In this section:
- FREE! Wash your clothes in cold water.
- FREE! Air dry your laundry when possible
- See more tips on how you can Make Your Laundry Green.
- Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips from TreeHugger
- Avoid toxics in the home, article from EarthShare
- Keep your home clean for your family’s health.
The Energy Performance section of this website provides a number of tips and resources for enhancing the efficiency of your home or facility. For example, you can weatherize your home, choose a greener power supplier, utilize strategic landscape for energy reductions, or install a cool roof. Be sure to take a visit for more information in addition to the steps below.
- FREE! Turn off lights in spaces that are unoccupied.
- $ Switch to CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 66% less energy than old incandescent bulbs, and can last more than a dozen times longer!
- See these Tips for Efficient Lighting
- See these Tips for Going Solar
- Sign up for green power
Home Energy Savings
- Consumer Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Explore your options for saving energy and using renewable energy at home and at work
- $—$$ Do an energy audit. Check out The Home Energy Saver Do-it-yourself energy audit tool.
- FREE! Plug hardware into a power strip with an on/off switch (or a smart power strip) so the whole desktop setup can be turned off at once (make sure to power down inkjet printers before killing the power–they need to seal their cartridges). Printers, scanners, and other peripherals that are only used occasionally can be unplugged until they’re needed.
- FREE! Turning off machines when they are not in use can result in enormous energy savings. Common misconceptions lead people to believe that screen savers reduce energy use by monitors (they do not), or that equipment lasts longer if it is never turned off (it will not).
- FREE! Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off. These “phantom” loads occur in most appliances that use electricity, such as VCRs, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance, or using a power strip and the strip’s on/off switch to cut all power to the appliance.
- NO/LOW COST! Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade; they use much less energy than desktop computers, resulting in long-term savings.
- FREE! To maximize savings with a laptop, put the AC adapter on a power strip that can be turned off (or will turn off automatically); the transformer in the AC adapter draws power continuously, even when the laptop is not plugged into the adapter.
- FREE! Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use.
- NO/LOW COST! Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost effectivethan throwaway batteries. If you must use throwaways, check with your trash removal company about safe disposal options.
ENERGY STAR Resources
- $$—$$$ Always buy ENERGY STAR qualified products when possible. The ENERGY STAR mark indicates the most efficient computers, printers, copiers, refrigerators, televisions, windows, thermostats, ceiling fans, and other appliances and equipment.
- ENERGY STAR Lenders
- Home Lighting
- Home Appliances
- Home Electronics
- Store Locator for Products
- Products in Development
Lawn + Garden
- FREE!—$$ Plant a tree. Some local programs will do free tree giveaways.
- FREE!—$$ Provide habitat for local creatures. The City is currently working towards becoming a Certified Wildlife Habitat (CWH) Community. Residents and individual property owners can make improvements to their properties and become certified CWHs, which will help the City meet it’s requirements.
- FREE!—$$ Practice xeriscaping by using plants native to your climate that require minimal watering and possess better pest resistance. If local code allows, consider diverting “gray water” for irrigation.
- FREE! Compost kitchen scraps to use in your yard or garden.
- FREE! Grow your own kitchen vegetable and/or herb garden.
Waste Prevention + Reduction
- FREE! Use refillable water bottles and drink tap water.
- FREE! Stop junk mail.
- FREE! Recycle! Head over to Baltimore’s Department of Public Works website for more information about recycling in Baltimore. And be sure to Recycle Electronic Waste
- FREE! Properly dispose of hazardous materials
- FREE! Compost your food [EarthShare tips for composting]
- FREE! Run your dishwasher and clothes washers only when full.
- See more tips on How to Cut Home Water Waste.
Handywork + Renovations
- $—$$ Use Non-Toxic, no/low-VOC paints. Check out these eco-friendly painting tips from EarthShare!
- $—$$$ Learn about sustainable and environmentally friendly advice for Installing New Carpet.
- $—$$$ Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Sealing
- $—$$$ ENERGY STAR Home Sealing Brochure
- $—$$$ Guide to Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling
What are other cities saying?
- NYC: GREENYC
More Great Resources:
- Read more about Recycling.
- Lehman’s — An online store for hard-to-find products that make your life simpler and greener.