Pearl Homes: Every person & every home can make a difference in the health of our waterways!

Virginia Beach residents need to check off at least 15 actions to qualify as a Pearl Home.  Make sure to check every action that your household is doing.  Actions are listed as things you can do in your home, outside of your home, on the water and in your community.  If you aren't able to check 15 actions, make note of the actions you could be doing and apply again once you have implemented them. 

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* 1. Is your home a Pearl Home?
Click all that apply. 15 "YES" responses qualify your home as a Pearl Home.This program is FREE to all Virginia Beach residents. 

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* 2. If you are representing your student's school as part of the Pearl School program, please provide the school's complete name below. Please note if you would prefer to receive a Pearl Home flag or magnet.

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* 3. My home is a(n)

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* 4. Do you rent or own your home?

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* 5. In my home...
Answer "Yes" to the actions that you are doing consistently, as appropriate.

  Yes I don't now, but I will start No N/A
Use reusable, refillable drink bottle instead of single-use, bottled water
Consistently recycle or reuse items
Install programmable thermostat
Purchase energy-efficient (Energy Star) appliances
Install low-flow faucets and/or toilets
Install energy-efficient windows
Increase insulation in my home
Install new, energy-efficient heating/cooling system
Dispose of household hazardous waste properly (i.e. batteries, paints, chemicals, etc.)
Keep a grease can in kitchen for proper disposal
Reduce or eliminate use of garbage disposal
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use
Unplug electronics when not in use
Replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs
Compost kitchen waste
Recycle old, used electronic devices and printer cartridges
Open blinds/curtains to help with heating in the winter; close to help with cooling in the summer
Use non-toxic, environmentally-safe, biodegradable cleaning products
Grow house plants to improve indoor air quality
Turn off water in bathroom sink while brushing teeth
Take short showers to conserve water
Install a low-flow shower head
Replace kitchen paper towels and bathroom tissue with 100% recycled rolls
Run only full loads in dishwasher
Run only full loads of laundry
Participate in other recycling programs (i.e. Terracycle, plastic bags, H&M, Gimme 5) in addition to municipal recycling
Install aerators in faucets to reduce water use
Buy groceries and household items in bulk packages to reduce packaging and/or shipping materials
Use washable, cloth napkins and towels instead of paper
Replace plastic wrap with waxed-cloth alternatives
Purchase package-free foods
Replace disposable items with eco-friendly versions (i.e. biodegradable floss, bamboo toothbrush, etc.) 
Reuse shipping materials when sending packages
Re-purpose packaging for storage or other household uses

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* 6. Outside my home...
Answer "Yes" to the actions that you are doing consistently, as appropriate.

  Yes I don't now, but I will start No N/A
Pledge to Scoop the Poop
Display a Scoop the Poop sticker on VB city trash can or in building common area
Reduce lawn area by converting to planted, landscaped beds
Choose native plants for landscaping
Remove non-native, invasive plants from landscaping
Plant a tree
Install a rain barrel or cistern to reduce storm water runoff from property
Install infiltration trench or dry well to reduce runoff from property
Install rain garden to reduce runoff from property
Get soil test results before applying fertilizer and reduce application, as able
Use Bti dunks to kill mosquitoes in standing water
Implement an Urban Nutrient Management plan for property
Install a buffer garden between lawn and waterway and/or lawn and street
Compost leaves and grass clippings
Raise mower blades to 3-inches or higher to slow runoff and keep turf grass healthier
Turn off irrigation, and irrigate only when soil probe or rain gauge specify a need
Keep gutters clear of dirt, leaves and debris so rain does not transport to storm drain
Redirect down spouts into planted beds and away from impervious, paved surfaces
Install pervious pavers that allow infiltration in place of concrete or blacktop
Install homes, such as brush piles and native bee houses,  for challenged wildlife populations
Create backyard habitat for wildlife
Switch to an electric mower or a manual push mower
Line dry laundry whenever possible
Grow some of my own vegetables, herbs or fruits
Install a bat box to encourage native bats for natural insect control
Convert swimming pool to salt water system
Discharge pool into sanitary sewage drain (not storm drain) or across yard
Install solar panels to offset or replace direct electrical needs
Use certified "Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional" for lawn and landscaping needs
Ask lawncare provider for water-friendly, low-fertilizer plan option
Wash car on lawn instead of on driveway, or use a commercial car wash that recycles water
Recycle old motor oil after changing oil
Sweep fertilizer off driveways, sidewalks and road

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* 7. On the water...
Answer "Yes" to the actions that you are doing consistently, as appropriate.

  Yes I don't now, but I will start No N/A
Grow oysters for conservation reefs in Virginia Beach waterways
Install oyster castles or an oyster reef along shoreline
Display Lynnhaven River Now Clean Boating sticker on boat
Pump out holding tank on boat
Use marine-approved cleaning products for boat
Obey all "no wake" zones to reduce shoreline erosion
Remove broken fishing line, hooks and derelict equipment from environment; dispose of safely and properly
Install "turtle excluders" on crab pots
Maintain shoreline as natural, vegetated buffer
Replace failed bulkhead or hardened shoreline with living shoreline

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* 8. In my community...
Answer "Yes" to the actions that you are doing consistently, as appropriate.

  Yes I don't now, but I will start No N/A
Purchase yearly membership with Lynnhaven River Now to help support their work
Support Lynnhaven River Now by registering my Kroger Rewards card or shopping AmazonSmile
Help with Lynnhaven River Now waterway cleanup or another community cleanup
Serve on a Lynnhaven River Now committee
Attend Lynnhaven River Now presentation through club or civic organization
Participate in Lynnhaven River Now workshop or program
Participate as Lynnhaven River Now Citizen Science volunteer
Install watershed storm drain marker in neighborhood or Adopt-a-Stormdrain
Own a fuel-efficient vehicle
Drive fewer miles; eliminate unnecessary trips
Use public transportation, walk or bike for regular transportation
Communicate with one of my elected officials about an environmental issue
Pick up litter and dispose of properly
Do not release balloons into the environment; instead, dispose of properly
Do not feed ducks and geese
Properly dispose of cigarette butts (even if not mine)
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program
Buy locally made or grown food and products
Buy organically grown food products
Take my own, reusable carryout containers to restaurants
Eat at Virginia Green - certified restaurants
Use the Virginia Green website when planning to travel in-state
Support restaurants that participate in an oyster shells recycling program, such as LRNow's Save Our Shell program
Refuse plastic, single-use, disposable straws at restaurants
Buy second-hand goods at thrift stores and consignment shops
Support Lynnhaven River Now Pearl Businesses in our community
Support restaurants and grocers that locally source food items
Consistently use reusable grocery/shopping bags when shopping
Recruit other Pearl Homes and/or encourage Pearl Neighborhood program

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* 9. There are many ways to "green" a home and be kind to our local waterways.  Are there any other actions you are doing that are not listed elsewhere on your Pearl Home application?

If you were not able to check 15 items, Lynnhaven River Now hopes that you found some new actions to implement and will try to qualify again once you have put those in place.

If you were able to check at least 15 actions you are doing in your home, in your yard, on the water and in your community, congratulations on becoming a Pearl Home!  Clean and healthy waterways are important to all of us. For qualifying households, your Pearl Home flag (with stand) or magnet is waiting for you in our office.  Please come by to pick it up anytime during our regular office hours, Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm.  We are located at the Brock Environmental Center, 3663 Marlin Bay Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23455.

If you are participating in a Pearl Homes Drive as part of the Pearl School program, check with your school to see how you will receive your flag or magnet.  Make sure you listed the name of your student's school and whether you would prefer a flag or a magnet in Question #2.

Now, it's time to put your flag in your yard and spread the word to your neighbors.  We look forward to driving around Virginia Beach to see all the Pearl Homes taking care of our beautiful waterways!  If your neighborhood has lots of Pearl Homes already, check into becoming a Pearl Neighborhood.  Thank you for all that you do for a clean and healthy Virginia Beach waterways.

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