Green Living in Downtown Blacksburg

Bike Month

Ride Smart Celebration

Take the Ride Smart Challenge to carpool, bike, walk, or take public transportation this May

Each year, RIDE Solutions challenges area commuters to take miles off our region's roads by exploring their commute options. And each year, commuters throughout the Roanoke Valley and beyond find creative ways of avoiding tens of thousands of miles worth of trips. This year our goal is 100,000 miles pledged.

Every mile counts: work commute, shopping, dining, visiting friends - replace one of those car trips with an alternative mode to contribute to our 100,000 mile goal.

Nothing motivates like some friendly competition, so why not form a Ride Smart Team to challenge other teams in or organization or across the community to see who can log the most clean miles. Form a team by April 15th and receive a Ride Smart Challenge Starter Pack, with over $100 worth of swag to help motivate your team, like t-shirts, stainless steam coffee mugs, USB car chargers, sticks, buttons, and more.

You just need 5 people on your team - coworkers, friends, your book club or riding club - anything goes! Taking the pledge is easy - existing RIDE Solutions members just need to log in and click the Ride Smart Challenge on their account page. If you don't have an account, it's fast and free to make one!

Accept the challenge to walk, bike, carpool, telecommute, or take public transportation this May with the annual Ride Smart Challenge. Explore your transportation options and earn entries to win great prizes, all while reducing your transportation costs, improving regional air quality, and spending more time doing the things you enjoy.

The Bike Shorts Film Festival features shorts films produced by local, national and international filmmakers featuring bicycles, bicyclists, and bicycling in interesting, creative, and surprising ways. From music videos to zombie movies, the Bike Shorts Film Festival highlights some of the incredible creativity that southwest and central Virginia has to offer.

Join us for the Bike Shorts Film Festival at the Lyric Theatre, Blacksburg on Tuesday, May 23 at 6:30 pm.

Blacksburg DC Fast Charger

As part of Energy Awareness Month, the Town of Blacksburg is proud to announce the installation of the first publicly-available, DC Fast Charger south of Roanoke. This charger will enable owners of electric vehicles traveling along I-81 or Route 460 to re-charge their vehicles quickly and conveniently while visiting downtown Blacksburg. The charging station is located in the Municipal Building Parking Lot at 300 S. Main Street.

“Blacksburg is a Town that is committed to a cleaner energy future. We’re so grateful to VCC and their partners for helping to broker installation of this DC fast charger, which will enable residents and visitors alike to plug in, grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat downtown, and be on their way in about 30 minutes, with a ‘full’ electric tank,” said Carol Davis, Sustainability Manager for the Town of Blacksburg. “We’re looking forward to sharing this exciting announcement with our community and surrounding area.”


The Town of Blacksburg has already installed the “split can inserts” into 6 existing cans (half is devoted to trash and half recycling). They are located at:

• 316 N. Main Street @Chipolte.
• 400 N. Main Street @Tobacco Shop.
• 208 N. Main Street @ front of 310 Rosemont
• N. Main Street @ Post Office Corner.
• N. Main Street @ Old NBB Bank.
• N. Main Street @ Capones.

They have also installed one new recycle only can and one new duel can (½ trash – ½ recycling), both at DP Dough.

There are 7 more locations remaining to install – coming soon:
• Draper Road @ Farmers Market – two new duel cans.
• Draper Road @ Armory Building – one new recycle only can.
• Draper Road @ Armory Building Stairs - one new recycle only can.
• N. Main Street @ Sharkeys – one new recycle only can.
• 322 N. Main Street @ Hokie House – one new recycle only can.
• N. Main Street @ Cooks Clean Center – one new recycle only can.
• N. Main Street @ crosswalk @ Mike’s Grille - one new recycle only can.

The Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg have also committed to follow the DEQ guidelines and officially make all of our events Virginia Green!


Compact Fluorescent Lamps, printer cartridges and batteries: Use Them, and Recycle Them Do

In an effort to be more Green many of us are making the switch to compact fluorescent lamps, (CFL). These lights last longer than the standard incandescent bulbs and use less energy. But, unlike incandescent bulbs, CFL's cannot be thrown in the trash. They contain a small amount of mercury, which allows the lamps to be more efficient, but mercury is toxic and must be disposed of properly.

The Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg have made it their mission to help out with the proper disposal of CFL's, batteries and printer cartridges. Please tape the ends of your batteries or individually bag them before dropping them off at one of the collection points in downtown Blacksburg. The following businesses will accept CFL's, batteries and printer cartridges and take them to the correct recycle collection points at no charge to you:

  • Colley Architects

  • Community Arts Information Office

  • EATS Natural Foods

  • Blacksburg True Value Hardware

  • The Artful Lawyer Gallery Store

The Bike Barn accepts used bike tires, inner tubes and metal bike parts for recycling.

Blacksburg True Value Hardware has a cardboard compactor available for public use to recycle cardboard.


Helium Balloon Policy Justification

According to the Clean Virginia Waterways website hosted by Longwood College: “Balloons are hazards when they enter the aquatic environment because they can look a great deal like jellyfish—a major source of food for many animals. Sea turtles, dolphins, whales, fish, and seabirds have been reported with balloons in their stomachs.” Also, the strings used to tie the balloons can entangle fish and birds as well.

At the very least, balloons that land on ground end up as litter. Latex balloons are known to take years to biodegrade in contrast to the balloon industry which claim they are biodegradable.

Helium is a nonrenewable resource that is in short supply and more urgently needed for medical use and research purposes.

Policy Adopted October 2014

Helium Balloon Policy

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. acknowledges the potential dangers to the environment which can be caused by helium filled balloons.
Therefore the use of helium balloons at festivals and events presented by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. will not be permitted.

Balloons filled with helium are not allowed to be sold, given away, on display, or in the booth of any vendor. Balloons that are not filled with helium, such as water balloons and balloons used to create balloon animals are allowed but must be correctly disposed of in a trash can after use.


Summer Solstice Fest, Art at the Market and Steppin' Out Certified Green

Our events have once again achieved Green Event Status with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Please support our green efforts by carpooling, walking, biking or taking the bus to our events!

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

Supports the work of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, (DEQ) visit:

Downtown Blacksburg Inc

Supports the mission of Ride Solutions provides alternative transportation options – ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), biking, public transit, walking, and guaranteed ride home services – to residents living within the greater New River and Roanoke Valleys and Region 2000 regions of southwestern Virginia.

Through our free services we partner with citizens and businesses to connect them with commuting options – beyond the single-occupancy vehicle – to access work and school.