Annual results, prize winners, and best practices during COVID

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MGR news

June 16, 2020

The Maryland Green Registry Annual Results


We know these are trying times for businesses and organizations of all types, but let's not miss the opportunity to recognize the environmental and economic successes of the 573 members of the Maryland Green Registry. Your hard work and commitment to sustainable practices has delivered significant benefits to the environment and costs savings to your organizations.  

Over the past year, members have kept over a billion pounds of material from being landfilled through reduction and recycling efforts; saved millions of kWh of electricity through efficient practices, conserved enough water to fill 300 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and saved more than $76 million - all in one year!  

We thank you for your efforts over the past year, and for the hard work you're undertaking now to re-open and adapt in these challenging times. MDE stands ready to help your organizations as you move forward.

Ben Grumbles

Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

View Results


Prize Drawing Winners Announced

The Purge the Plastic campaign, which ended June 1, encouraged members and other businesses to share ways they have reduced single-use plastics in the workplace. Names were pulled from the entrants and they received plastic-free items like bamboo utensil kits and items from fellow members Echotopia and Half Moon Wax Wraps. Among other best practices, our prize drawing winners shared the following:


Baltimore Community Tool Bank reuses plastic components of broken tools in art projects with students.

Living Word Ambassador Church has dramatically reduced the plastic waste from potluck lunches by purchasing reusable utensils and service ware. 

The Grooming Place Pet Shop uses only paper and biodegradable bags and is offering a reward to customers who suggest a winning solution to decreasing plastic bags for fish sales.

Towson University has been moving toward Zero Waste events since 2017 and has hired a Zero Waste Manager in housekeeping.

Thanks to all who participated. Please continue to use the Purge the Plastic recommendations and share any new practices in your Maryland Green Registry profiles. 


Teleworking Resources

If your business is one of the many that was able to shift its employees to teleworking during the stay-at-home order, you may be looking now at how to establish or improve telework policies going forward.  Commuter Choice Maryland has responded with a Lunch and Learn Webinar Series called Reflections of Remote Work Life During and Post COVID-19: Success Stories & Lessons Learned from Maryland Businesses. They also offer a Telework Toolkit with sample policies, telework agreements, a discussion of technology considerations, and a list of co-working and teleworking spaces available throughout the state.

Commuter Connections, which serves the metropolitan Washington, DC area, offers similar telework resources and lists shared workspaces and telework centers.   

For a quick calculation of the carbon emissions reductions your organization is achieving through telework policies, enter the estimated annual mileage reduction of employee commute into the travel tab of this calculator.  


Optimizing energy usage during COVID-19

The shut-down orders and shifts in occupancy of your facilities over the past weeks have presented some low-cost, high-return-on-investment opportunities to reduce energy use, address deferred maintenance issues, and reduce operating expenses. If sections of your facility are vacant or have reduced hours, taking these simple steps can make a significant impact:

HVAC: Operate the building automation system on a weekend or holiday schedule with reduced hours, delayed startup, lower setpoints, and wider temperature ranges while maintaining appropriate ventilation and air quality;

Lighting: Turn off the lights in tenant spaces and common areas; and

Plug load: Turn off and unplug appliances like televisions, monitors, printers, and kitchen equipment.

Maximizing daylight use is a smart practice anytime of the year, but especially now as we approach the summer solstice. The Daylight Hour campaign is asking businesses to turn off lights from 12 noon until 1 p.m. on Monday, June 22, 2020. This year, the campaign is encouraging employees working from home to participate too.  In a room with good daylight and a lighted computer screen, you may find you can keep the lights off all afternoon!


Finding Safer Disinfectant Products

The EPA List N database is the CDC-recommended source of cleaning and disinfection products during COVID. For information on how to choose among those products, you can look for EPA Safer Choice, Green Seal and EcoLogo products, which contain safer chemicals.

New Member Spotlights

Member Spotlights are a great way to spread the news on your latest environmental practices as well as any recent support to the community that you might want to share. Send your photos and text to and we'll work with you to get it out through social media.

Hotel Revival