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City of Bowie
Sustainability Planner

 
Ashleigh Diaz

adiaz@cityofbowie.org
301-809-3044

Contact me with questions!
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GreenBowie News February 2022

“February is the border between winter and spring.”
― Terri Guillemets

 



On the agenda for 2022:
Weatherizing Your Home

 

Weatherizing your home helps you save money and energy while improving the comfort of your home and quality of the air inside. Professionals who perform weatherization services are part of the "Home Performance" industry and are trained to offer solutions that can solve common and difficult problems using building science.
Learn more from the Department of Energy.

Most Levitt Homes will undergo some sort of energy efficiency issue so step 1 is signing up for a  Home Energy Audit! 

*Please note that City of Bowie sponsored No-Cost Energy Audits are available for the first 50 homeowners each fiscal year. We currently have about 10 openings left so click the link above and submit your application today!*


From here, you will learn about actions you can take to improve efficiency including:

  • ventilation-improve energy efficiency and air quality
  • moisture control- improve the comfortability of your home
  • air sealing- reducing air leakage
  • insulation- keep cold air or heat from outside out of your home

Steps you can take on your own include:

  • Switching lightbulbs to LED wherever possible
  • Using power strips as a central hub for technology that you can unplug and therefore avoid energy vampires
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat that can utilize an Eco Mode and regulate so energy is not wasted. You can save on average $150 a year!
  • Clean your HVAC filters regularly
  • PurchasENERGY STAR® high-efficiency appliances.

GreenBowie Highlight


Grab your coffees and join us for a discussion on climate change, clean energy choices in Maryland, and so much more. Submit questions to be answered live to adiaz@cityofbowie.org and register here

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The D.C. Environmental Film Festival will take place virtually this year from March 17-17. Visit DCEFF.ORG for more information and for passes.

 

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Did you know … 

 
… that the two most significant sources of greenhouse gasses (GHG) in the U.S. are transportation and electricity generation? And did you know that besides buying an electric vehicle, the single most important action that individual consumers can take to reduce GHG production is to choose renewable energy to power their homestead? 
 
Whether your goal is getting the lowest price, a stable price, reducing your impact on the environment, or all of the above, the choice is yours. How does it work? If you get your electricity from BGE or PEPCO you are paying for the product (electricity) and the service (distribution and delivery). You are locked in to those companies for distribution since they own the infrastructure, but you can choose the supplier. For example, BGE buys energy from many suppliers, and you can too. You are still billed by BGE but BGE pays the supplier you choose to produce energy and feed it into the regional grid. If you choose a supplier that uses wind to produce energy, BGE buys that, reducing demand for fossil fuel energy. And you don’t have to change anything you are doing to have your homestead powered by wind or solar instead of coal or natural gas! 
 
You can start the exploration by going to mdelectricchoice.com. If you choose renewable energy, you can eventually electrify your homestead by replacing gasoline and natural gas powered tools and appliances when they wear out with electric and battery operated ones.  I’m proud to say that my yard tools, car (electric), lighting, entertainment, and everything else powered by electricity are wind-powered! You, too, can brag about taking an important step to reducing greenhouse gas!

-Steve Wehrenberg, former EAC Chair
 


S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
 
  • Sustainability Webinar Series: recap all episodes by visiting the City of Bowie YouTube channel and choosing the Webinar Playlist.
 
  • Did you know the City has pledged to aim for 50% reductions of emissions by 2030? That's a hefty goal that will take work from all of us to meet. View the Climate  Action Plan and see what actions you can take to make every day, Earth Day. 
 
  • Did you know the City of Bowie has its own Solar Farm to help off-set City emissions? How cool is that! "The farm" as we often refer to it has been operational since August 2021 and will greatly help reduce the emission generated from City of Bowie operations. Stay tuned for our State of the Environment report later this year to see more data on the farm.
 
  • Adopt-A-Road: We have officially launched our Bowie Adopt-A-Road program. This program was made possible through a Keep Maryland Beautiful Grant. Please visit the webpage to learn more & contact Ashleigh Diaz if you are interested in adopting a road.
  Dr. Richard P. Denise, DDS and his "crew" help clean up Gallant Fox Way, the road they have adopted!
  • Neighborhood Mini Grants: We have also launched a new program aimed at neighborhood engagement. Host an event for your street, HOA, or neighborhood and let the City help you pay for it! Learn more about the Neighborhood Mini Grant program by visiting the webpage

Food Waste & Composting

 
  • Food Waste Program: *we are not currently taking any new residents* Do you live in Belair Town II, Victoria Heights, Idlewild, Yorktown, Overbrook, Saddlebrook or Saddlebrook West neighborhoods? If yes, you are eligible for the food waste program!  Learn more about this fun and FREE program at  www.cityofbowie.org/foodwaste
 
 
Excess food waste breaking down in landfills creates a lot of gases. Methane to be exact. And methane is one of the greenhouse gases that get caught in our atmosphere, trap sunlight and heat, and contribute to climate change. Because Landfills  are a large emitter of methane, we encourage composting to the full extent possible for you/your family. 

 Green Bowie Biz


There are now 10 certified Green Bowie Businesses
 
Are you a business looking for ways to go green? Know a business that is green and should be certified?  Need assistance with furthering your goals of sustainability? You've come to the right place! You can read about all Green Bowie Businesses at www.cityofbowie.org/greenbowiebiz.

The Green Bowie Business program is modeled after the MD Green Registry program. Admission into the state program automatically enrolls you into the City program and helps you access resources from both. Learn about the MD Green Registry here.
 

Recipe of the Month

 
Where we give you a plant-based recipe to help your health and the environment! 

 

Vegan Noodle Soup- like chicken noodle, without the chicken : )
 
 
You will need:
  • Olive oil
  • One onion (white or yellow), diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 celery stalk (can omit)
  • 1-2 carrots (can also omit)
  • 1 box of vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cups of noodle of choice, I typically use penne or rotini for texture
  • 1 can of drained chick peas (optional but helps make up texture without chicken)
  • 1-2 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrot- it is ok if you do not have celery or carrot as the onion and garlic are more important- until translucent and fragrant
  • Add in your spices, adjusting if needed, and stir. You may add in a splash of water if you see things sticking
  • Then add in the box of vegetable broth and noodles and stir to combine
  • Allow to cook for about 10 minutes and then add in your can of drained chickpeas
  • Allow to simmer for 5 more minutes, adding in more salt, pepper, and thyme as needed
  • You will simply love this twist on a standard chicken noodle soup. Its delicious and hearty and you won't even miss the chicken. Feel free to add some fresh jalapeno or lime and to serve with rice and crispy bread.

Interested in Becoming a Volunteer?


The next Green Team Executive Committee meeting is
February 28, 2022 and will (likely) be virtual.
Please check the City calendar for the link.



 
City of Bowie Green Team
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
City of Bowie Calendar

Other Incentives

 
  • Learn more about Maryland's energy supply, usage, policies, etc. by visiting this on-line manual on Maryland's Energy.
 
  • Explore different choices for electricity providers through this Maryland website that allows you to filter choices based on your needs i.e. 100% renewable, wind, etc. 

 

Community Solar:

Having solar panels on your home is not the only option for obtaining residential solar! By subscribing to a Maryland based community solar farm a customer is allotted a specified percentage of the entire farm’s electricity output each month, which the customer agrees to purchase from the supplier at a price that is typically 5%-25% below the rate the utility charges. That percentage of the overall output is then converted into a dollar amount which is calculated at the current rate that the utility charges their residential customers.  That dollar amount is then reflected on the customer’s utility bill in the form of a credit. 

Here is a great resource to learn more about Community Solar in Maryland and more specifically by Electricity provider.

                                                                                                                                                              
 Home Weatherization Upgrades:
 
Washington Gas Customers Can Now Get Up to $400 in Rebates at Your Favorite Home Improvement Retailer
Washington Gas is here to make your home more energy efficient and your equipment shopping experience more affordable.  As of April 2021, Maryland residential Washington Gas customers can receive rebates on qualifying natural gas water heaters and dryers at our approved retailers. Retail associates at these stores are trained and ready to help you find the right appliance for your home. Be sure to look out for Washington Gas signage highlighting these rebates in these stores! Customers can save up to $400 on natural gas water heaters and $75 on natural gas dryers.

Qualifying ENERGY STAR certified natural gas water heaters are ALSO eligible for a $300 federal tax credit! Visit the ENERGY STAR website for more information. Montgomery County residents can also receive a $250 Montgomery County Energy Efficiency tax credit. That means you could save up to $950!
 
Participation is easy! To qualify for a rebate:
  1. Purchase qualifying equipment in store at an approved retailer.
  2. Work with an installation service professional through an approved retailer or with an EmPOWER Contractor to have the equipment installed. 
  3. Apply for your rebate online through the Retail Application website.
  4. Receive a rebate check within 6-8 weeks of completed application.
     
Click here to get started on your path to energy savings. 

To learn more about eligible equipment and the application process, please call our Application Processing Center at 1-833-286-0860.
 
Our mailing address is:
Bowie City Hall
15901 Fred Robinson Way
Bowie, Maryland 20716
301-262-6200


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City of Bowie · 15901 Fred Robinson Way · Planning & Sustainability · Bowie, Maryland 20716 · USA

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