Plastic Free July!

July 2021

This month is Plastic Free July, a global movement that encourages individuals, communities, and businesses to limit single-use plastics in their lives. Single-use plastics are designed to be disposed of right after use—often, in mere minutes. The Plastics Free challenge helps millions of people take small, daily actions to create long-lasting habits that minimize single-use plastic. Humans produce an estimated 300 million tons of plastic each year, half of which is for single-use items.

Over the past 50 years, our consumption of natural resources has increased by about 190 percent. Much of this consumption occurs from the production of everyday plastic consumer goods (such as food packaging, straws, and wrappers). Sustainable DC 2.0 outlines the District’s bold waste diversion goal: divert at least 80 percent of our waste away from landfill and waste-to-energy by 2032. By participating in Plastic Free July, you can help reduce the amount of waste you produce, and help the District meet its goal.

Mayor Bowser, along with many other mayors across the world, is accelerating the transition towards a zero-waste and more regenerative future by taking aggressive action to reduce municipal solid waste generation and improve materials management in our cities. Read more about Mayor Bower’s commitment in the C40 Pledge to advance the District towards a zero waste city.

“The District is one of the most sustainable cities in the country, leading the nation in green buildings, green power purchasing, and fitness–among others,” noted Mayor Bowser. “With a strong sustainability plan and widespread community support, there is no reason we shouldn’t be a leader on waste diversion.” This July, take the pledge to reduce your single-use plastic waste and help create a leaner, greener, DC.




DC Solar for All!

Solar For All is Mayor Bowser's initiative to provide 100,000 low-to-moderate income families with the benefits of locally-generated clean energy and reduced energy bills. #DCSolarStories exhibits how the District is using innovation and equal access to local, clean energy to reduce resident's utility burdens and protect underserved communities in the face of the changing climate. This program has the potential to save customers up to $500 per year on their electricity bills.

To qualify for Solar for All and receive the benefits of the clean energy, you must be a resident of DC, have a Pepco account, and meet the income requirements. To find out more about Solar for All, and to apply, go to the Solar for All website,, check out this video for more information on the benefits of solar or contact the DOEE Solar for All hotline at (202) 299-5271 or email

Styrofoam ban

Styrofoam Ban

Did you know, as of January 1, 2021, the retail sale of products made from expanded foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) is prohibited in the District of Columbia? The first phase of the District’s Foam Ban went into effect on January 1, 2016 and banned businesses and organizations from serving food or beverages in disposable food service ware made of Styrofoam. The 2021 requirements ban the retail sale of foam food service ware such as foam storage containers, coolers and ice chests, and foam loose-fill packaging material, commonly known as packing peanuts.

Have you seen a District restaurant, grocery store, or other business selling or using foam products? Help keep DC foam free and submit a tip at or call (202) 671-0080.

For more information on the Foam Ban, visit the Foam Free DC website.

Transportation Electrification Roadmap Sessions

The Department of Energy and Environment is excited to announce the Transportation Electrification Roadmap Sessions. These virtual stakeholder meetings will build on the District’s goal to become carbon-neutral by 2050 and will help outline actions needed to equitably electrify transportation in the nation’s capital. The Transportation Electrification Roadmap Session on July 29 will outline specific strategies to school bus electrification. District residents and interested stakeholders  who participate in these sessions can provide feedback and input that will inform and refine the Transportation Electrification Roadmap's recommendations. For more information and to view the event, visit the registration page!

Mayor Bowser Announces Amnesty Program for Drivers with Outstanding Tickets

Mayor Bowser announced a 4-month amnesty program giving drivers the opportunity to pay outstanding tickets for parking, photo enforcement (including speed, red-light, and stop sign), and minor moving violations. The amnesty program runs through September 30, 2021, and includes tickets issued before that date. This program launched at the same time the District restarted several government functions—such as all parking enforcement, towing of illegally parked vehicles, and requirements to renew vehicle registrations and inspections—that had been suspended during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Drivers eligible for the amnesty program are still obligated to pay the original ticket amount but any additional penalties will be waived (however any Department of Public Works tow and storage fees will not be waived). Residents and non-residents facing financial hardship should contact the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s Central Collection Unit for settlement options. Any ticket included in a settlement plan will no longer be eligible for adjudication. More information can be found at


Environmental Protection Specialist

The Environmental Protection Specialist position is located within the Partnering and Environmental Conservation Branch, Watershed Protection Division, of DOEE’s Natural Resources Administration. The mission of the Partnering and Environmental Conservation Branch is to achieve the District’s clean water goals in a manner that is responsive to community needs by cultivating partnerships through financial, technical, and compliance assistance; education; and engagement. The incumbent will support the Pollution Prevention (P2) team, which assists property owners and managers within the District to reduce stormwater pollution and comply with stormwater regulations, including the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) and the District’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Clean Water Act. Application closes August 11.

For more information and to apply for this position, visit the District Government careers page.


Sign Up to Be a Fix-It DC Coach

Celebrate repair! Help others learn to disassemble and troubleshoot their stuff by signing up to be a Fix-It DC Coach. Fix-It DC is an all-ages community event where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill.  We’re looking for volunteer coaches with knowledge and skills to repair a wide variety of items from common household goods to electronics and musical instruments. 

  Being a Fix-It DC Coach is easy, simply provide participants with encouragement to investigate their broken item, and, guidance with tools. Sign up to be one of our Fix-it Coaches!

  Our Fix-It Coaches have found that participating in Fix-It DC is a valuable way to promote their business and meet potential new customers. If you would like to learn more about Fix-It DC program or would like to sign up to be a coach, visit the Fix-It DC website.  


Volunteer at H. St. Farms

Join us every Saturday, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, at H. St. Farms (the rooftop garden on top of W.S. Jenks Hardware). A unique rooftop growing area that uses DC's unused space. With three greenhouses and many plants, we encourage you to come to get involved and have a try at a green thumb! Sign up with us today!



eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.


The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablet, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

  • Saturday, July 17, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 3366 Volta Pl NW (near Volta Park Recreation Center)
  • Saturday, July 17, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5001 Central Ave SE (near Capitol View Library)
  • Saturday, July 31, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5601 Connecticut Ave NW (near Chevy Chase Community Center)

Household LEAD Reduction Program Informational Webinar

No amount of lead exposure is healthy for a child. Even low levels of lead exposure can lead to learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children. If your home was built before 1978 and a child under the age of 6 is in your household, you may be eligible to participate in DOEE’s Lead Reduction Program to eliminate lead hazards in your home. Join DOEE to learn about the District’s NEW Lead Reduction Program on Wednesday, August 4 at 11:00 am.

To register for the event, visit the Eventbrite page, or for more information, Download the Lead Reduction Program flyer or email Jennifer Kulp Johnston at


Mighty Greens Is Looking for DC Teens to Join Our Team This Summer for the Mighty Greens Summer Experience!

Are you looking to have some FUN in the SUN this summer? Are you looking for a way to earn community service hours, practice entrepreneurial skills, and learn more about careers in the environment? We are looking for DC-based teens who are passionate about food, entrepreneurship, community-building, and/or sustainability who want to join us in our gardens this summer weekday afternoons, June 28 - August 6, for MIGHTY GREENS. Sign-up via this Google Form to stay informed about our Summer Experience!

Questions: email the program mentor, Ms. Lauren at or reach out to us via Instagram @mightygreensdc

mighty greens

Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans: at the National Museum of Natural History

What is “natural” in a world where the human imprint is everywhere? Humans are shaping the world in ways big and small, intentional and unintentional, visible and invisible. Seven contemporary artists challenge viewers to think about the changes we make to our planet in the Unsettled Nature exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors get the opportunity to explore the unparalleled, ubiquitous and still-growing mark that humanity is making on the world through 16 works of art, asking visitors to consider how they are shaping the planet and what world they envision for the future.

Plan your trip to the Natural History Museum to see the Unsettles Nature exhibit this Plastic Free July! 

what we're reading

Emerald Packaging: There has been a gigantic increase in the demand for plastic food packaging since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Join the Zero Waste Countdown Podcast to talk with Kevin Kelly, the CEO of Emerald Packaging, a family-owned plastic packaging company in the United States, to talk about the plastic packaging industry and ways to reduce plastic waste in a consumer society.

A Plastic Ocean: This documentary follows an international team of adventurers, researchers, and ocean ambassadors as they go on a mission around the world to uncover the shocking truth about what truly lurks beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine oceans. The result will astound viewers, just as it did the adventurers, who captured never-before-seen images of marine life and plastic pollution, with its ultimate consequences for human health. Watch on Netflix, or Amazon Prime

Plastic: A Toxic Love Story: From pacemakers to disposable bags, plastic built the modern world. But a century into our love affair with plastic, we’re starting to realize it’s not such a healthy relationship. As journalist Susan Freinkel points out in this eye-opening book, we’re at a crisis point. Also listen to NPR’s podcast Our ‘Toxic’ Love-Hate Relationship with Plastics to hear her opinion on the plastic consumer culture and its effects on the environment and our health.

Solar for All: The DC Community solar initiative provides the benefits of solar to residents who can’t install systems on their home, including renters and homeowners whose rooftops are shaded or need repairs. A community solar project is not located on the home, but offsite, and the benefiting household receives a credit on their Pepco electricity bill each month.




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