Setting Sustainable Intentions for 2020!



They say that hindsight is 20/20, but this year so is our vision for the future! The new year brings an opportunity to set new goals, and with the release of Sustainable DC 2.0 last year our city has quite a few. Our broad goals range from increasing the use of public transportation by 50% to reducing racial disparities in life expectancy by 50%. Our intention for 2020 as the Sustainable DC team is to be ever more creative, transparent, equitable, and engaging in our work and communications. The Sustainable DC team invites you to set intentions of your own for 2020 that support creating a more sustainable city. We offer some ideas below, inspired by sections of the Sustainable DC Plan 2.0 (SDC 2.0).

  1. WASTE: Become a #ZeroWaste champion. You can divert your individual waste by eliminating single-use plastics, embracing reuse, or by learning how to compost at home! You could also consider getting involved as a volunteer with FoodRescue US, moving food from donors to recipients to avoid waste and address hunger.
  2. EQUITY: The Sustainable DC team is working to refocus its sustainability conversations around the equity needed to make DC a more sustainable city. To do so, our work throughout the environment, economy, health, and education is being focused on ways to uplift underserved communities and work collectively to empower residents who’ve carried a greater burden. Could one of your 2020 intentions be learning about centering equity in your environmental work or getting involved with one of our partner organizations who is doing just that? Sign up for a workshop with Movement MattersSURJ DCRooting out Racism, and check out EmpowerDCMany Languages One Voice, and Black Lives Matter to find ways you can get involved in the intersection of environment and equity.
  3. EDUCATION: Youth are the key to the longevity of sustainability in DC. It’s up to us to make sure that they have the support they need to make informed decisions about the future—inside and outside of the classroom. Become a mentor for  DC youth through one of DC Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services’ after-school/mentoring programs, or commit to volunteer with City Blossoms or Washington Youth Garden in their programs to integrate garden-based education.
  4. HEALTH: One of the Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan goals is to systemically address the connection between health and place. To learn more, read DC Health’s “Health Equity Report for the District of Columbia 2018,” which focuses on social and structural determinants of health in the District such as education, employment, income, housing, transportation, food access, medical care, outdoor environment, and community safety. Get involved with organizations such as La Clinica del Pueblo, So Others Might Eat,, or another organization working, to support community-based work tackling health issues systemically in your neighborhood.


The census creates a picture of who is living in the United States, regardless of citizenship, age, or housing. This information is used to make many essential decisions that affect Sustainable DC because it impacts transportation and educational planning, as well as federal government funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, school lunch, educational, healthcare, public housing, affordable housing, transportation, and energy efficiency. In fact, in 2018, over $1.8 billion of federal funds that DC received were based on 2010 Census data! It is critically important to make sure we are receiving our share of federal funding to support our city, which is why we need you to help make sure everyone supporting Sustainable DC will fill out the census and get involved. Encourage your neighbors, family, and friends to fill it out as well. If you want to learn more about how to get involved, click HERE.



Do you have a business, organization, or individual that is doing incredible work to further the goals and vision of Sustainable DC 2.0? If so, nominate them for a 2020 Sustainability Award!

The annual District Sustainability Awards program recognizes outstanding individuals, businesses, and organizations for understanding and responding to current environmental challenges and social disparities in DC, and intentionally building and supporting equitable environmental, social, and economic initiatives.

If you live or work in DC, you may soon nominate your favorite sustainable champion. For more information, email



While climate change has contributed to a strangely warm January, it’s still important to make sure we’re ready to deal with winter weather events. Below is a list of things residents can do to help protect both people and the environment during snow events:

  1. For updates of closures and other winter weather emergencies, as well as tips for winterizing your home, visit
  2. Check in with your neighbors who are seniors or are differently-abled to make sure that they have proper snow storm supplies or help them with shoveling snow. To join the DC Volunteer Snow Team to lend a hand to those who are not able to shovel, visit
  3. Please call 202.399.7093 to reach the 24-hour Shelter Hotline for residents in need of shelter. We recommend saving this number in your phone for easy access.
  4. Choose the right de-icer and reduce how much you use: rock salt and calcium chloride can be dangerous for children, pets and the environment. Consider applying small amounts of sand or sawdust as a chemical-free alternative to ice melts.
  5. As you shovel sidewalks or roadways, move snow onto lawns, planters or other permeable surfaces so that as it melts, snow can soak into the ground. Interested in porous asphalt or other permeable pavement? Learn how DOEE can help you install permeable surfaces through our RiverSmart program.

Urban Forestry Fellowship

Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. institutions studying urban forestry, environmental studies, horticulture, forestry, or related courses of study with a special interest in urban forestry.

Application deadline: January 31, 2020


CivicSpark Fellowship Opportunity

CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address the most pressing community resilience issues relating to the environment and social equity.

Application deadline: March 15, 2020



The Climate Reality Project, Multiple Positions

The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit organization founded by former Vice President Al Gore, is dedicated to leading a global cultural movement demanding immediate action on the climate crisis, they multiple openings including a Special Projects Associate, who will help create and implement climate advocacy trainings, and a Youth Engagement Program Coordinator, who will be working youth activists in pursuing real solutions for the climate crisis.


2020 Census Jobs, Multiple Positions

The 2020 Census is your chance to play a part in history! Temporary census positions offer the perfect opportunity to earn extra money while helping your community. Most 2020 Census positions will last several weeks. They feature competitive wages, weekly paychecks, flexible hours, and paid training.


DC Water Summer Internship Program

DC Water’s summer program is 12 weeks long, and includes paid work at DC Water and the opportunity to explore jobs in the participant's area of study. Participants will work 40 hours per week from May 26, 2020 to August 14, 2020. In addition to being exposed to jobs related to the student's course of study, interns receive professional development training on relevant topics. The summer program also includes field trips designed to help students better understand the work that is done at DC Water, and the impact that work has on Washington DC and the surrounding area.

Application deadline: January 24, 2020



MLK Day Invasive Species Removal on Theodore Roosevelt Island

Monday, January 20, 10 am to 12 pm
Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington, DC 20007

Join Friends of Theodore Roosevelt Island and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists as they team up to remove invasive plant species from the island. These invasive plants threaten native trees, so it is important to periodically remove them to maintain the island's ecosystem. To register, click HERE.

 Clean Waterways Volunteer Cleanup: Dr Martin Luther King Day of Service

Monday, January 20, 10 am to 1 pm
Pope Branch Park, 2900 M Place SE, Washington, DC 20019

The Anacostia Riverkeeper has put together this collaborative event that celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the memory of Joseph Glover, Founder and Chair of Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance. Rain or Shine. All supplies provided. Wear closed-toe shoes and clothing you can get dirty that will protect you from the brush. To register, click HERE.


Film & Discussion: We Are The Radical Monarchs

Sunday, January 19, 5 pm to 7 pm
Cafritz Hall, 1529 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color on the front lines of social justice, started by two fierce, queer women of color. Set in Oakland, CA, a city with a deep history of social-justice movements, the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units such as being an LGBTQ ally, preserving the environment, and promoting disability justice. The screening will be followed by a remote conversation with filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton. To register, click HERE.


MLK Peace Walk and Parade

Monday, January 20, 11 am to 3 pm
Intersection of MLK Jr. Ave SE and Good Hope Road SE

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do… you have to keep moving forward.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Please join the Mayor for the 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Peace Walk and Parade to honor Martin Luther King Jr., a great American hero in the nation's capital of a country forever changed by his legacy. All are welcome! The Peace Walk will assemble at 11:00 am at the intersection of MLK Jr. Ave SE and Good Hope Road SE. For more information or to register, click HERE.

what we're reading

The 2020 U.S. Census and Afro-Latinos in the DC Council

Project Drawdown

10 Year Civil Eats – Our Best Food Justice Stories of 2019 

GreenBiz – Closing the loop on 2019 

Washington, DC program trains young people to be environmental leaders

Brent & Co’s new Anacostia album 




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