Wishing You Joyful & Sustainable Holidays!




This season is such a special time to gather with friends and family, exchange gifts, and there’s so much to celebrate. Less joyous news? The US produces 25% more waste during the holidays!

Here are some holiday tips to reduce that number while creating some new holiday traditions:

  1. Reduce: Have you had the gift talk with friends or family? Decide for yourselves whether you still want to be gifting and how. It can be a hard conversation to start, but you might find another solution: each one, gift one, for example.
  2. Rethink: Have you ever thought about gifting a movement? Instead of buying something, think about making a donation to your recipient’s favorite non-profit or spend a day volunteering together. To help you on this search, read the Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy Holiday Giving Opportunities!
  3. Reuse: The US uses 8,000 tons of wrapping paper every year, equivalent to 50,000 trees! Can your wrapping be part of the gift instead? Consider putting your home-baked treats in a reusable container as a double-gift or wrapping a present in a scarf, cloth napkin, or reusable bag. All of these can make great gifts and can help you avoid packaging waste.
  4. Recycle: Glossy and plain recycling paper can be recycled in your curbside bin. (Obviously, so can newspaper, if you choose to wrap in that!) Flatten any cardboard boxes, or at least the ones you don’t want to reuse, as well as cartons, like broth, eggnog cartons, and juice boxes - plus aluminum pie pans and cooking trays! Lastly, you can print some easy signs to label your home bins for a Zero Waste holiday party.
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Food waste increases during the holidays, but it doesn’t have to! Begin by using the easy-to-use Guest-imator tool to help you plan for just the right amount – guests are happy and food waste is minimized! Reducing food waste from holiday parties is a way to save money and lower waste, either by using some unusual parts of a vegetable (think carrot top pesto) or by encouraging your guests to bring containers for their leftovers. Food waste drop-offs continue all winter at Union Market, Columbia Heights Farmers Market and Dupont Circle, and at all of the DC Community Compost Cooperatives. Check out the new Zero Waste DC resources on Home Composting in DC, including a rebate for a home composting system, up to $75.

Plus, DPW will collect holiday trees and greenery between January 14 and February 2 from houses they serve year-round; you can also drop-off greenery at Fort Totten or Benning Road. All of these are composted and made available to residents for free for next year’s garden. Make sure you remove any wires!!



Electronics are a great gift for your tech-savvy family members, but did you know that 3 million tons of electronic waste is generated each year in the United Sates? As you are gifting or unwrapping that new device, collect your old electronics and remember it’s now illegal to throw computers in the trash, and it’s dangerous to put them in recycling. Instead, head to Takoma Park Library on Saturday, Dec 14th for the final eCYCLE event of the year, or head to the Ft. Totten Transfer Station every Saturday from 8 am – 3 pm to drop off your old electronics. 



It is time to do some last minute holiday shopping, but it’s never too late to shop small and local. You never need to worry about how fast it’ll ship! When you shop local, you are also contributing to the local economy and supporting artists and spaces that are essential to the vibrant culture of Washington DC. Find out about all of the DC Holiday Markets at the end of this newsletter, featuring many #MadeInDC businesses here.



DC Green Bank Executive Director/CEO
The DC Green Bank seeks its inaugural Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to launch this cutting‐edge, mission‐driven organization that will use public capital to increase access to funding for energy efficiency improvements and clean energy installation. The Board of Directors welcomes applications from visionary, experienced, and resourceful leaders ready to roll up their sleeves and build an organization from the ground up. The deadline for application is January 10. Learn more and apply here.

Potomac River Keepers Network, Sustainability Intern
The Sustainability Intern would work with the Potomac Riverkeeper to develop a web page and outreach materials to drive the reduction of trash and plastic pollution in the Potomac River.  The Potomac Riverkeeper protects the public’s right to clean water by stopping pollution. 
Learn more and apply here.

Institute for Market Transformation, Director, DC High-Performance Building Hub
Mayor Bowser just announced funding to create the DC High Performance Building Hub (“the Hub”), which will support Sustainable DC and Clean Energy DC goals of improving energy efficiency in our city’s buildings. This Director will create the strategic and long-term vision for the Hub to work with the local building community in market transformation towards dramatically improved energy performance. Learn more and apply here.


H Street Farms

Date: Saturday, December 21 and 28, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: H St. Farms @ W.S. Jenks and Son by Cultivate the City, 910 Bladensburg Road NE, Washington, DC 20002

Join Cultivate the City at H. St. Farms -- the rooftop garden on top of W.S. Jenks Hardware -- which is a unique rooftop growing area that utilizes DC's unused space. With 3 greenhouses and many plants all year-round, H St. Farms encourages you to come get involved and have a try at a green thumb! Dress in clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, and dress appropriately for the weather and to be outdoors. For more information email hstfarms@cultivatethecity.com or click HERE.

Carpenter's Shelter Lunch Prep

Date: Sunday, December 29, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Carpenter's Shelter 5701-D Duke Street, Alexandria, VA, 22304

Carpenter's Shelter is a residential facility for adults and families transitioning out of homelessness. Nearly all of the residents who transition out of the shelter never return to homelessness. They are looking for volunteers to prepare and serve lunch for residents of the Carpenter's Shelter in Alexandria, VA. For more information, please register HERE.


Oh So Many Holiday Markets

Thanks to DSLBD, there’s a full list of holiday markets throughout the city! We’ve selected those that are still open for those looking to support small, local businesses, which helps us reach our Sustainable DC goal of doubling DC small business by 2032! Check out the whole list of markets here.


what we're reading

9 Reasons to Bike in the Winter, by WABA

Sustainability Defined

Housing Equity Report: Creating Goals for Areas of Our City

How To Use The Gifting Economy To Tackle Your Holiday Gift List

DC Zero Waste Inspectors Issue Warnings if You Aren’t Recycling Right




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