Information for Residents
Every resident in Franklin County plays a crucial role in protecting our local environment. For most people, this work begins with some basic steps that can be taken to make your home, your automobile, and your daily lifestyle as environmentally friendly as possible.
Listed below are suggested actions you can take to help protect the environment in your own personal life:
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Tips
- Perform a Home Energy Audit to determine how much energy your home uses and what steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient. For further information visit the U.S. Department of Energy website.
- Install a programmable thermostat to control heating and cooling systems in your home. When away from home for long periods of time (e.g. during the workday), program the thermostat to lower the temperature in the winter and increase the temperature in the summer.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label. Make sure to dispose of them properly to avoid environmental contamination.
- Always buy ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and equipment - they're up to 40% more energy efficient. For further information about ENERGY STAR visit the program's website.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to conserve energy.
- Unplug home electronics, battery chargers and other equipment when not in use. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.
- Click here for more customized recommendations for your home.
Water Usage Recommendations
- Install low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and high efficiency (low-flow) toilets in your home.
- Avoid buying bottled water by purchasing a reusable water bottle. This easy step will prevent plastic waste and will help to save you money.
- Purchase a rain barrel to collect rain water that you can use for irrigation.
- Water your lawn in the morning or evening to reduce water lost to evaporation.
- When possible, wash clothes in cold water. Approximately 90% of the energy used in a clothes washer goes to water heating.
Property Improvement Ideas
- Install a rain garden to help keep water clean by filtering storm water runoff before it enters local waterways. Click here to download a brochure about the Central Ohio Rain Garden Initiative or visit the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District's website for further information about rain gardens.
- Install high efficiency windows to improve the insulating quality of windows and maximize energy efficiency. Consider replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows that are gas-filled with high performance glass (e.g., low emissivity or "low-e" glass).
- Consider a Passive Solar Home Design for home construction or remodeling. For further information visit the U.S. Department of Energy's website.
- Always ensure that your home is properly insulated to maximize energy efficiency.
- Compost your yard waste. Please visit SWACO's website for further information.
- SWACO publishes a list of acceptable recyclable items in Franklin County.
- Click here to find the nearest recycling drop-off location.
- Purchase reusable grocery bags to take to the store. Traditional plastic shopping bags take up to 1,000 years to break down, but by bringing your own reusable bags you can prevent hundreds of plastic shopping bags from entering local landfills.
- When using plastic shopping bags is necessary, make sure to recycle the bags later at your local participating grocery store.
- Recycle electronics (e.g. cell phones, iPods, TVs, computers, computer monitors) rather than throwing them away. Visit SWACO's website for additional information.
Automobile Fuel Efficiency Suggestions
- Tips to improve automobile fuel efficiency:
- Avoid aggressive driving
- Observe the speed limit on highways
- Remove excess weight from vehicles
- Use cruise control (when appropriate) on highways
- Avoid excessive idling
- Avoid extended warm-ups
- Check and replace air filters regularly
- Keep tires properly inflated
- Carpool or take public transportation whenever possible to reduce fuel consumption and associated pollutant emissions
Take Advantage of Federal and State Energy Assistance Programs
- Home Weatherization Assistance Program
- Home Energy Assistance Program
- Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency and Residential Renewable Energy Systems
- Ohio Residential Renewable Energy Systems Incentives
To Learn More About How to "Go Green" Visit the Following Links
Board of Commissioners Agencies
- Animal Care & Control
- Benefits & Risk Management
- Child Support Enforcement
- Economic Development
- Fleet Management
- Homeland Security
& Justice Programs
- Human Resources