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Green Homes Tour - What to Expect

 Here are some ideas and suggestions for planning for and having a successful Green Homes tour experience.

Before the Tour:

1.     We would like to find out who participated in the tour.  An sign-in sheet will be available. Please ask each visitor to fill in the sign-in sheet when they arrive. You and they are likely to forget if you don’t do this first.

2.     One of the goals of the tour is to educate people about sustainability.  Feel free to make copies of the Transition Howard County brochure and the HoCo Climate Change brochures available to visitors.  

3.     Decide which parts of your house will be open to the public.  You do not have to make your entire house available.  Some parts of the house may be difficult to access (attics, crawl spaces) and may not be good places for visitors.  It is completely your decision as to which parts of your house you choose to make available.  Here are some different options. You are not limited to these.

a.     Have all of the information about the green aspects of your home available in one room (eg. Your living room).  You could create a display that shows items such as insulation in your attic or pictures of solar panels on your roof.  You could also have a computer or smartphone App that shows how much power your solar panels are producing (if your solar power installation has that capability).  You could have samples of sustainable building materials and information about where you purchased them. Consider making available information on your present energy costs compared to what they were before your solar panels were installed.

b.     Have information about hard to access green features in one room and then provide a tour of public spaces that have green features (floors made from recycled materials, energy efficient windows, etc). You may also want to give a tour of green features of your yard (rain gardens, rain barrels).

4.     Determine if you need assistance on the day of the tour.  If you choose option A, then you may only need one person to manage the tour as all of your visitors will be in one room.  It may be helpful to have an additional person in case a number of visitors show up at once.  If you choose option B, it is highly recommended that you have more than one person staffing the tour as a group of visitors may show up at your door while you are showing another group through your house. With option B it is helpful to either have more than one person giving tours, or have one person act as a greeter who has people sign in while the other person gives the tours.  If you feel that you need assistance on the day of the tour, you may want to ask a friend, neighbor or family member.  Or you can email and we will try to provide a volunteer available to assist you.  We have a limited number of volunteers so requests for assistance will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

5.     Regardless of how you choose to do your tour, visitors are always interested in learning where to find green materials or green contractors.  You may want to have information available on the companies that you have worked with.  For example, if you really liked your solar installer, you could contact them for brochures.  They are generally more than happy to provide you with marketing materials for their products and services.

The Day of the Tour:

1.     The tour starts at 11am so have your sign-in sheet, brochures, displays and any other materials ready to go by 11am.

2.     Please make sure each visitor signs in.

3.     Have fun sharing all of your “green” knowledge with others!


After the Tour:

1.     Please email a copy of your sign-in sheet to Ernest Hilsenrath at or you can snail mail them to him at

11248 Chase Street Fulton,MD 201759

2.     We would love to find out how the tour went for you and any suggestions for improvements for the future.  Please email with your thoughts and ideas.