Sustainable DC
Built Environment

Sustainability at Home

Here are some more tips to make your home more sustainable while also saving money.

  • REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USE: The average U.S. household spends around $2,600 a year on utility bills according to The DC Sustainable Energy Utility has a virtual home energy walkthrough tool to help you identify places to reduce energy usage. Here are some other easy ways to reduce your energy consumption and energy bill:
    • Turn off appliances and lights that you are not using
    • Open windows to allow a breeze instead of turning on the air conditioning when temperatures allow. Ceiling fans (turning counterclockwise) and window fans can help pull in cool air and push out hot air.
    • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re at home and higher when you are away. A smart thermostat can make it even easier to save energy.
    • Hang clothes to dry instead of using the dryer. If you do use a dryer, make sure to clean the lint filter before every use.
  • BUY LESS AND DONATE: You can donate items that you are no longer using or save money by getting things for free! By extending the life of any product, you help reduce dependence on disposable or cheaply made single-use products that end up in landfills.
  • RECYCLE RIGHT: Spending more time at home often means generating more waste at home so recycling right is more important than ever. Zero Waste DC breaks down what should be recycled, what should be thrown away, and provides lots of great information on reusing items.
  • GROW YOUR OWN PRODUCE: You can keep your garden going with fall crops and indoor plants during the winter. Plant a few seeds or seedlings by a sunny window. Make sure to check your soil safety if planting in the ground, and to water when the soil gets dry. Note that the frequency of watering will change significantly as the weather cools down. More resources on gardening:
    • DPR Urban Grower Webinar Course - The DPR Urban Grower Webinar Course is a FREE online course focused on teaching people all the basics of gardening from building a home garden to cooking and preserving your harvest.
    • Landscape and Garden Watering Guide - DC Water and Waterwise offer tips for using water effectively when watering your plants