There are many ways we can all help make our community a better place to live. Below are some ideas to get you started.
Reduce your use
Reducing your water, energy and waste by making small changes in your daily life can make a big difference to our community and environment. For tips to reduce your use, visit our Green Tips page.
General tips for living more sustainably:
Water reduction rebates:
The Tampa Bay Water Wise program offers 11 rebates for residential and non-residential customers who purchase or implement new water saving devices and measures on or after March 1, 2020. Learn more about how to save money by saving water
Waste reduction for businesses:
- Waste Reduction and Recycling for Businesses
- Small Quantity Generator (SQG) Program (for businesses generating only minimal amounts of hazardous waste)
- Clean Marina Program (offers published materials, seminars, and activities to help boaters protect our waterways and marine life from pollution)
Recycle at your home and business
In addition to diverting waste from our landfills, recycling also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that pollute our air and contribute to climate change. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the reduction in solid waste from paper and paperboard recycling alone in the U.S. in 2018 saved more than 155 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our environment. That’s the equivalent of the emissions that could be reduced from taking 33.5 million cars off the road for one year.
Learn more about recycling in Pinellas County with these resources:
- Recycle Guide
- Where Does it Go? Search Tool
- Facebook Live event - Don’t Trash the Holidays: How to reduce waste during the holidays
- Waste Reduction and Recycling for Businesses
Are you building a business or home? Learn more about green building practices.
Read the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Guide for Homebuilders.
Consider going solar
Solar energy production is growing rapidly in Florida, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save residents and businesses money on energy costs. If you’re interested in installing solar panels at your home or business, the resources below may help:
Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Home and business owners who install solar panel systems can save on installation costs through the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Residents and businesses that install a solar energy system during 2020-2022 can receive a tax credit of 26% of the cost of their solar panel system. Those that install a solar panel system in 2023 can receive a 22% tax credit.
The residential tax credit will expire in 2024 unless the U.S. Congress renews it, while the tax credit for commercial and utility solar energy systems will decrease to 10% starting in 2024.
Learn more about the Solar Investment Tax Credit:
Solar Co-op Programs:
Solar co-op programs allow residents to save on solar installation costs through bulk discounts and get one-on-one support throughout the installation process. Learn about local solar co-op programs through Solar United Neighbors (SUN)
Financing through Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF):
The nonprofit Solar and Energy Loan Fund offers low-interest rate financing for solar equipment installation and other home improvements to make your home more energy efficient. SELF’s solar loans require no minimum credit score, no income limits and no minimum asset or home equity. Learn more about solar financing with SELF.
Community Solar through Duke Clean Energy Connection Program:
If you’re interested in saving money with renewable energy but are not able to install solar equipment on your property, you can still benefit from solar energy through the Duke Clean Energy Connection community solar program. The program allows customers to subscribe to clean energy in Florida and save money on their electric bills while helping to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in Florida.
Other Solar Energy Resources:
- Homeowner’ Guide to Going Solar (U.S. Department of Energy)
- Estimate your community’s solar potential with Google’s Project Sunroof
Making the switch to an electric vehicle is one way to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Driving an electric vehicle not only reduces greenhouse gas pollution but can also save you money in in the long run on both fuel and maintenance costs. Learn more about electric vehicles with the resources below.
General electric vehicle (EV) information and resources:
Electric and hybrid vehicle options:
- Plug In America Electric Vehicle Guide
- Sierra Club Electric Vehicle Guide: Which electric vehicle is right for me?
Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 are available for many electric and hybrid plug-in vehicles. View the latest tax credit amounts for each vehicle.
Where are the EV charging stations near me?
- ChargePoint EV charging station map
- PlugShare EV charging station map
- Tesla Trip Planner
- U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fueling Station Locator
Pinellas County Volunteer Opportunities
Other Community Volunteer Opportunities
Environment & Wildlife
- Audubon Society:
- Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- Florida Native Plant Society, Pinellas Chapter
- Friends of Brooker Creek
- Friends of Crescent Lake
- Friends of Hammock Park
- Friends of Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges
- Keep Pinellas Beautiful
- Seaside Seabird Sanctuary
- Sierra Club:
- Solar United Neighbors
- Suncoast Primate Sanctuary
- Surfrider Foundation, Suncoast Chapter
- Tampa Bay Conservancy
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program
- Tampa Bay Watch
Search for local volunteer opportunities by topic on VolunteerMatch:
- Advocacy & Human Rights
- Arts & Culture
- Children & Youth
- Education & Literacy
- Health & Medicine
- Homeless & Housing
- People with Disabilities
- Veterans & Military Families