Sustainability for Residents
Residents can take several positive steps to enhance sustainability. Learn how residents can help protect our environment and natural resources while working toward a healthier and more sustainable future.
Install a Smart Thermostat
The Electric Utility offers rebates to residential utility customers who buy and install smart thermostats – which adjust automatically and remotely to temperature preferences and help save energy.
Install Solar Panels
The Naperville Electric Utility offers rebates of $1,000 to $3,000, based on the size of the system, to homeowners who purchase and install either a roof-mounted solar energy system or a solar water heating system. The utility also provides a solar installation checklist to guide residents through the application process.
Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The City encourages installation of electric vehicle charging stations and advises customers to contact the Naperville Electric Utility before beginning the installation process. The City is offering up to a $700 rebate for a Level 2 or 3 electric vehicle charging station for residential use.
Replace Light Bulbs with LEDs
By switching your light bulbs to LEDs, you can save energy and money on your utility bills. In fact, LED light bulbs use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and 50% less energy than compact fluorescents. LED light bulbs also last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, which means you don’t have to change your light bulbs quite as often. Visit the Community Services Department in the Municipal Center (400 S. Eagle St.) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up free LED light bulbs for your home.
Collect Water in a Rain Barrel
Have you ever thought about a rain barrel to provide a free irrigation option? Rain barrels capture rainwater from your roof for reuse in watering gardens. Rainwater is better for plants and soil because it is free from the salts, ions and fluoride found in tap water. Just as importantly, rain barrels capture water that otherwise would run off and could harm streams and rivers.
Plant a tree
Each year, the City hosts an Arbor Day Tree Sale, in which residents can choose from a number of species including maples, oaks and elms for use in beautifying their yards and sustaining the environment.
Cultivate a Beautiful Yard Without Pesticides
Studies show that use of lawn chemicals can have environmental ramifications, especially for children. These chemicals potentially can contaminate surface and groundwater, affect outdoor and indoor air quality, and threaten the health of pets and wildlife. Alternative approaches include:
Leave grass clippings on the lawn to act as a natural fertilizer. Overseed to fill in existing bare spots in the late summer or early fall. This approach will prevent weeds from taking over these spaces in the spring. Aerate your soil to facilitate healthy grass growth.
- Replace turf grass with native and deep-rooted plants.
- Keep your mower blade setting at least 2-3 inches tall to allow your grass to developer deeper, more drought-resistant roots.
- View ideas and resources can help achieve a beautiful yard while also caring for the environment.
Have you also considered using native plants in your landscaping? Join the many homeowners who have incorporated native plants into their landscapes to create beautiful outdoor spaces, invite birds and butterflies to their yards, reduce their use of water, fertilizers and pesticides and protect our rivers. The Conservation Foundation’s Conservation@Home program offers free advice and ideas to help eliminate chemical use, incorporate earth-friendly landscaping and create native gardens.
Consider installing a native planting pollinator garden
- Register your pollinator garden for the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
- Earn a certificate for your garden’s environmental stewardship through The Conservation Foundation’s Conservation@Home program
Create a Monarch Waystation
The City encourages residents to plant habitats for monarch butterflies, which are in desperate need of suitable places to lay eggs. Habitats that meet criteria established by Monarch Watch can become certified as a Monarch Waystation.
Use Green Products
Looking to green up more than just your cleaning arsenal? The nonprofit Environmental Working Group reviews, rates and provides recommendations on a wide range of products including cosmetics, food and water filters.
Check your County’s Sustainability Resources
Recycle Your Holiday Lights
The Electronics Recycling Center accepts holiday lights for recycling year-round from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 156 Fort Hill Drive. Accepted lights include mini lights (Italian lights) as well as C7, C9, rope and LED lights in all colors and lengths as well as extension cords.
Recycle the Right Way
One simple way to reduce your environmental impact is recycling at home. But to do it right, it’s important to recycle the approved items and keep all non-recyclables out of your recycling bin. When recycling, remember to
- Recycle clean bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard,
- Keep food and liquids OUT of your recycling bin,
- Don't put your recyclables in plastic bags in your recycling bin. (Loose plastic bags are NOT recyclable, either.)
The following is a complete list of items you CAN recycle in your residential recycling bin:
- Bottles: glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 (#6 plastic is not accepted)
- Cans: aluminum cans, foil and trays, tin or steel cans, empty aerosol cans and paint cans
- Paper: newspaper, advertisements, junk mail, magazines, catalogs, phone books, books, office paper, sticky notes, gift wrap, paper bags (NOTE: shredded paper is NOT recyclable and should be placed in your garbage cart.)
- Cardboard: corrugated cardboard boxes, frozen food boxes, gift boxes, tissue boxes, cereal boxes
- Other: plastic 6-pack rings, empty milk cartons and drink boxes
The City also offers free drop-off recycling services for Naperville residents at the Environmental Collection Campus, 156 Fort Hill Drive, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you have questions about whether an item can be recycled, please call the City's waste and recycling provider Groot Industries at 630-892-9294 or visit naperville.groot.com and use the Waste Wizard to search the item in question.
Participate in No Mow May
No Mow May is an increasingly popular way for homeowners to support bees and other pollinators by voluntarily delaying mowing. Naperville offered this program for the first time in 2023 with more than 170 households registering with the City to participate. By waiting to pull out their lawnmowers, residents allowed early flowering plants like clover and violets to grow, which provided a critical food source for newly emerged pollinators. View the benefits of reduced mowing from Bee City USA.
Consider an Electric Lawn Equipment Rebate
All available funds for the 2023 Electric Lawn Equipment Rebate have been granted, and the program is now closed, as of June 30, 2023.
This popular program, introduced in 2022, provides a $50 rebate to residents who purchase a battery-powered electric lawn mower, snow blower, leaf blower, trimmer, edger or manually powered reel lawn mower. Participants are eligible for one rebate per household per calendar year, and rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please check back here for information on future Electric Lawn Equipment Rebate opportunities as they become available.