City of Bowie
Sustainability Planner

Ashleigh Diaz

Contact me with questions!

GreenBowie News December 2021

“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”
― Oliver Herford


Did You Know: Paper Plates are Not Environmentally Friendly?

-Unlike office paper and newsprint, paper plates are contaminated with food residue and cannot be recycled. Unless you have a composting system your paper plates go straight to landfills, where biodegrading processes are slow. But even then it is not fool proof as many paper plates have a thin plastic residue on them, causing them to take a LOT longer to breakdown in landfills or compost piles.
-Where you could have washed a dish with an eco-friendly machine, you have now contributed to overall tree loss (and associated habitat loss from the timber industry which is another topic) while also adding to the landfill and methane emissions that come from it.
-An eco-friendly alternative would be a) a truly compostable version and b) regular ceramic/dishwasher safe plates. 

-Of course, single-use plates have their time and space in our lives when necessary but opting for the easy and convenient alternative is not the environmentally friendly alternative. Next time you have people over and reach for the paper, think again and offer them your regular plates. And then if hand washing use a luke warm water, turning off in between dishes, or load up the dishwasher. Dishwashers are much more energy efficient and save water in comparison to typical hand washing especially if they are Energy Star. 

Read more on this topic here.

GreenBowie Highlight


MOM’s is hosting their 11th annual Holiday Light Recycling Drive! Customers and staff are invited to bring in spent holiday lights to any MOM’s location for recycling between November 26th and January 31st. 
Why Recycle Holiday Lights?

  • Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year's holiday!
  • The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week!
  • Recycling raw materials from end-of-life electronics is the most effective solution to the growing e-waste problem.
  • By dismantling and providing reuse possibilities, intact natural resources are conserved and air and water pollution caused by hazardous disposal is avoided.
  • Additionally, recycling reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the manufacturing of new products!

When we recycle, we conserve natural resources and avoid air and water pollution! Drop off your lights at any MOM’s store between 11/26- 1/31.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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
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

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! 


Ashleigh's Holiday Green Beans
You will need:
  • 24 oz fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1 box vegetable broth (only need 1-2 cups)
  • 1 white or sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick of vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garlic to taste (1-3 cloves or 1-2 tsp)


  • Add half a stick of butter to a large Dutch oven on medium heat
  • Thinly slice your onion add to butter
  • Continue stirring until they become fragrant and translucent and then add in the soy sauce, continuing to stir. The onion will begin to brown nicely and can then be put on low
  • Meanwhile, cook your green beans according to the package- microwave in bag makes this very easy and nice
  • Add the cooked green beans to the onions with the rest of the butter, then cover with vegetable broth, 1-2 cups NOT THE ENTIRE BOX, and add in garlic. I typically add 1-2 tsp of a pre-minced garlic
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for about 10 minutes, mixing occasionally
  • To make these next level, add in crumbled sautéed vegan sausage or even diced jalapeno. You can top with crispy onion straws if you'd like.

Interested in Becoming a Volunteer?

The next Green Team Executive Committee meeting is
January 24, 2022 and will 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

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

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