MHP’s Green Initiatives
Glenville Road Youth Green Club
Students living in the Glenville Road cul-de-sac in the Long Branch community of Silver Spring formed a Youth Green Club in the summer of 2010. They wanted to learn strategies on how to make their neighborhood more attractive and help the environment in the process. In April 2011 to commemorate Earth Day, the students planted trees and shrubs to transform the median strip of the cul-de-sac from an eyesore into a lush green garden under the direction of Tobon Landscaping.
Affiliates of MHP own four of the small apartment buildings on the cul-de-sac, and MHP operates a community center in the basement of one of the buildings. The Glenville Road Youth Green Club meets weekly on Thursdays. Upcoming projects include learning more about composting.
MHP Joins Nonprofit Energy Alliance
Group Supports Clean Sources of Energy, Saves $178K in Energy Costs
MHP is part of a group of 14 area nonprofits who came together recently to use our collective purchasing power to negotiate as a group for cheaper and greener energy. The Nonprofit for Energy Alliance was formed in February, and worked with the Montgomery County Council, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and Clean Currents, an independent wholesaler of green energy in the mid Atlantic states.
By locking in fixed rates for electricity and purchasing in bulk, the nonprofits were able to save on their energy bills while also protecting and improving the environment. Collectively, the members of the Nonprofit Energy Alliance purchased more than 2 million kilowatt hours and will save nearly $178,000 a year compared to standard offer service. The purchase was arranged through Clean Currents, and is equivalent to taking 294 cars off the roads.
The group was honored July 6, 2010 by County Executive Ike Leggett and Council Member Roger Berliner for being models for other organizations who want to be more environmentally conscious about their electricity purchases. A Nonprofit Energy Alliance II is currently being planned.
Gilbert Highlands & Takoma Park Preservation
The Gilbert Highlands and Takoma Park Preservation (TPP) projects feature an array of amenities and sustainable green features for the benefit of residents and the community, including:
- Energy Star appliances including refrigerators and stoves
- Insulation of exterior walls
- Time-delayed fans in bathrooms for ventilation to control moisture
- Increased interior and exterior lighting efficiency with Energy Star lighting fixtures in units and common areas & daylight sensors on outdoor lighting
- Increased water-conserving appliances and fixtures with low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets
- Low-VOC paints, primers, adhesives and sealants
- Wood flooring throughout non-ground floor living and dining rooms
- Green Label certified carpets, pads, and carpet adhesives in non-ground floor bedroom units
- A maintenance manual that describes proper use, maintenance, and benefits of all green features for the management company
- Rain barrels at many drain spouts for efficient watering of grass and gardens
- Native landscaping with a selection of new plants and trees that are appropriate to the sites’ soils
- New reflective roof
- Individually metered in-unit HVAC systems
Neighborhood Programmable Thermostat Project
MHP is partnering with the County’s Department of Environmental Protection to promote and solicit applicants for the “Set it and Save!” program. The program offers free programmable thermostats, including installation, to up to 300 qualified households. The County, along with MHP, is targeting neighborhoods in the Wheaton and Glenmont Metro areas as part of this pilot project effort. For more information and an application, call DEP 240-777-7753, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://tinyurl.com/setandsave
MHP Green Team
MHP is committed to reducing its carbon footprint, and since July 2008, the MHP Green Team has been ensuring the effective implementation of carbon reduction measures throughout the organization. Here are some highlights of their accomplishments:
- Reduced office paper use by 20% from 2008-2009, despite increasing number of staff members
- Switched to purchasing recycled paper and environmentally friendly cleaning supplies
- Initiated Carpooling and Mass Transit incentive program, which reduced carbon emissions from commuting by over 1.7 tons in a 9-month period
- MHP has given support to the National Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees in our national forests.
- Reduced office power consumption through smart energy usage
- Increased awareness of and participation in county recycling program
- Recycled over 500lbs. of outdated computer and electronics equipment
Rental Property Upgrades
A number of additional energy efficiency upgrades have been made to existing rental properties such as Dring’s Reach and the Amherst/Pembridge apartment communities. These power and water fixture upgrades have already proven to provide substantial decrease in operating costs.
- 165 Low-flow shower fixtures, 165 bathroom faucets, 105 kitchen faucets, and 165 low-flow toilets installed at the Dring’s Reach apartments have reduced water consumption by 19% in the last quarter in 2009.
- Energy efficient CFL Interior and Exterior lighting installed at the Amherst Square, Pembridge Square, Dring’s Reach, and Beall’s Grant Apartments through a rebate program offered by PEPCO and BG&E is estimated to save over $2,500 per year in energy costs.
- Rain Barrels have been installed at Greenwood Terrace apartments