Seasonal tips from askHRgreen.org
As fall turns into winter, askHRgreen.org is wishing everyone is “Home Green Home” for the holidays. The organization is encouraging the community to keep the earth in mind this season and consider some of the following reminders to help make the approaching holiday season easy on the environment.
- With company coming, you’ll want to have a tidy yard so be sure to collect your leaves for municipal pick up and check the loose leaf pick up schedule. Leaves should never be raked or blown into the storm drain, which can cause street flooding and contribute to excess algae growth in waterways.
- While you’re sprucing up, be sure to disconnect and drain your garden hoses and rain barrels. Packing away these items now will prevent damage from freezing temperatures down the road and may decrease your chances of bursting a water pipe.
- Holiday cooking can leave behind a big fat mess. Make sure to keep leftover foods out of the kitchen drain and garbage disposal to avoid a backup in your sink. For proper disposal, throw food scraps in the trash or compost them, and use a paper towel to wipe your dirty dishes before washing. As for standing grease or cooking oil, pour it in a heat-safe can, pop it in the freezer to harden and toss the can out with the trash.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. In Newport News, you can recycle your naturally-grown Christmas trees after the holidays by removing the ornaments and placing it curbside during the bulk trash pick-up. Visit the city’s residential recycling page to learn more about holiday items that can be recycled.
- When it snows, never use fertilizer as a deicer. When the snow or ice melts, the fertilizer runs off into the storm drains and continues its journey to our local waterways. Try a no-chemical approach by pouring a solution of warm water and table salt on small areas of thin ice, or use sand to improve traction on slippery surfaces. If you must use chemicals, use magnesium chloride before the snow falls to prevent ice from forming, it is the chemical deicer that is the least harmful to the environment.
For inspiration, visit www.askHRgreen.org
for ideas on how to be a conscientious environmental steward throughout the year, every year.