Keep Warm While Saving Green

December 2021


As temperatures dip over the next few weeks, there are plenty of ways to stay warm while saving money and energy. If you pay a heating bill, taking steps to save energy over the winter months will free up money you can use for other needs, or for gifting something special to a loved one over the holidays. Even if you don’t pay for utilities, many energy-saving measures have other benefits, such as reducing drafts and keeping the temperature steady throughout the day.

You may be familiar with well-known winter energy saving tips, such as adjusting the thermostat lower than usual, sealing gaps around doors and windows, or leaving the blinds open to let the sun in. But have you tried these other simple steps?

  • Make sure furniture or other items are not blocking duct openings or other sources of heat.
  • If you have ceiling fans, reverse their direction to go clockwise in the winter so they push warm air down.
  • Make sure your filters are replaced regularly on your heating system, or coordinate with your landlord to do so.
  • Put some trays out with water to evaporate or add some plants to your space, as humidity makes the air feel warmer.
  • If you qualify based on the income guidelines, apply to get help reducing energy bills through the Weatherization Assistance Program, which conducts audits and installs energy-saving measures.

By taking these actions in your home, you’ll also be helping the District meet its Sustainable DC energy goals. And doesn’t contributing to shared community efforts bring a little extra warmth to your heart too?



Rebates Available for Electric Leaf Blowers

To help you turn over a new leaf, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) is launching commercial and residential rebates for electric leaf blowers! As the seasons change, the DCSEU remains committed to helping District residents and businesses reduce their emissions, adapt to new regulations, and save money. DCSEU wants to help you make the switch to eco-friendly, electric leaf blowers. Leave dangerous fuel storage behind and keep it simple with a plug-in or battery-powered leaf blower before the new city ordinance banning gasoline-powered leaf blowers takes effect on January 1, 2022. Electric leaf blowers are cleaner, safer, quieter, just as reliable, and easier to use. District residents can receive $50 cash back on qualifying leaf blowers and businesses licensed in the District can receive $75 cash back on up to five qualifying electric leaf blowers. Keep your maintenance costs low and make the switch before the last leaf has fallen. Visit DCSEU’s electric lawn care equipment page to learn more!

Note that residents looking to dispose their gasoline-powered leaf blowers should do so by placing them in the trash at this time. However, before disposal, fluids such as gas and oil should be drained. Gas and oil should be taken to Household Hazardous Waste drop-off at the Benning Road Transfer Station (3200 Benning Road NE). Gas and oil cannot go in the trash. Businesses should check with their solid waste hauler for disposal instructions.

leaf blowers

Zero Waste Event Guide Now Available

Events are a great way to bring together community members for a common cause or celebration, but they can also generate a lot of waste. To help solve that problem, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) and Department of Public Works came together to develop the newly-released Zero Waste Event Guide! The guide is short and easy-to-use. It includes tips for before, during, and after the event. Take a look through the guide as you plan your next event and you’ll be helping the District reach its goal of diverting 80% of waste from landfill or incineration (including waste-to-energy) by 2032. The guide is available at

Zero waste guide

Reducing Food Service Waste: Utensils by Request Starting in the New Year

Beginning January 1, 2022, food-serving entities must not distribute disposable straws, utensils, napkins, and other accessory food ware unless these items are specifically requested by the customer or provided at a self-serve station. These requirements also apply to online and mobile orders, including restaurant ordering sites and third-party ordering platforms. By only providing disposable items as needed, businesses will save time and money while also cutting down on unnecessary waste that ends up landfilled or incinerated or as pollution in local rivers. For more information, including how to report a tip if a business is not in compliance, visit


Notice of Request for Partners - 2022 Small and Accessible Sustainability Grant Program

DOEE is seeking eligible entities to submit an application to manage three small subgrants: 

1. Urban Agriculture Infrastructure and Operations Grant Program

2. Ditch the Disposables Grant Program

3. Donation and Reuse Small Grant Program

Through these subgrants, DOEE seeks to provide District of Columbia entities, including non-profits, public and charter schools, and certain businesses, modest funding to advance the District's sustainability goals. Learn more about the Request for Applications (RFA), including a pre-application meeting on Wednesday, January 5 at 2:00 p.m., at Questions about the RFA should be sent to The deadline to apply is January 18, 2022. We hope you consider applying or help us spread the word!


Department of Energy and Environment – Green Fellows

The Green Fellows Leadership and Development Program is a competitive paid opportunity designed for students who are currently enrolled in a graduate study program. Candidates must either attend a local-area higher education institution or be a District resident. The Program is both a career exploration and pipeline program for students interested in job placement at DOEE. Green Fellows perform a variety of assignments designed specifically to enhance their public service values, environmental knowledge, critical leadership skills, and project management abilities. Fellows will have several opportunities to come together with their cohort to participate in cross-disciplinary and professional development trainings, collaborative group projects, field work, volunteerism, field trips, and other value-added opportunities. Fellows are connected to a program area which matches their unique skill set, background, expertise, and interests.

Visit the DOEE Green Fellows website to apply by December 20. Inquiries may be sent to the Program Coordinator, Larissa Etwaroo-Bako, at

Department of Energy and Environment – Environmental Protection Specialist

The incumbent will serve as an Environmental Protection Specialist enforcing regulatory programs and conducting compliance assistance to regulated entities in the Partnering and Environmental Conservation (PEC) Branch, Watershed Protection Division, Natural Resources Administration. The mission of the PEC Branch is to cultivate partnerships through engagement; education; regulation; and financial, technical, and compliance assistance to achieve the District’s clean water goals and support community priorities. The incumbent will implement and enforce the District’s bag law; foam ban, straw ban and food service ware requirements; and coal tar and high Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) sealant ban. The incumbent will also support ongoing partnership and programmatic activities in the PEC Branch. Applications for this position are due by December 21. To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the DC Careers webpage and search for job ID 15262.

Casey Trees – Urban Forester

The Urban Forester is responsible for the management and smooth execution of Casey Trees’ tree planting programs on both public and private lands. This incumbent fields and schedules tree planting and related consultations on a year-round basis with property owners and others and responds to referrals from local government, industry partners, and others. The Urban Forester also coordinates spring, fall, and winter tree plantings to flow seamlessly with other tree planting activities and events.

To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the Casey Trees career page.

FRESHFARM – Pop Up Food Hub Operations Associate

FRESHFARM’s Pop Up Food Hub (PUFH) is the first (and only!) of its kind, offering hyper-local food access and distribution services by coordinating wholesale procurement from local farms for underserved buyers. FRESHFARM’s team works closely with numerous community organizations that serve low-income families and individuals with a need for fresh fruits and vegetables. PUFH Operations Associates are responsible for supporting and implementing the daily operations of the PUFH and gain first-hand experience learning about DC’s local food system along the way. This is a seasonal, part-time position with regular weekly hours, ranging from 20-30 hours per week depending on customer demand.

To learn more about the position or to apply, visit the FRESHFARM employment page.


Invasive Removal - Melvin Hazen East

Please join National Park Service, Rock Creek Conservancy, and Weed Warrior Leader Rena Subotnik for a morning of socially-distant service on Saturday, December 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Under Rena's leadership, volunteers will remove invasive plants from Rock Creek Park. Invasive species are among the biggest threats to this urban park. To register for the event, visit the Rock Creek Conservancy page.



Resilience: Community Empowerment Series

The FH Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center (FCEC), located at 4800 Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE in Ward 7, launched a monthly series on Thursdays for community members to engage, meet, and discuss resilience matters that impact them directly. The series is inspired by the work of the Ward 7 Resilience Hub Community Committee, in partnership with community leaders, DOEE, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, and other community-focused organizations. The second Thursday of the month features a presenter from DOEE on the topic of "Flooding and Climate Change for Renters and Homeowners" and the next session will be January 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The sessions offer limited in-person seating and a virtual participation option, and they are live-streamed and recorded. For more information, visit the FCEC website.


Commission on Climate Change & Resiliency: Knowledge Forum and Exchange

The Commission on Climate Change & Resiliency is an independent body created by the District of Columbia to provide guidance to the Mayor and Council. The Commission is holding a public forum on Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to gather testimonials and research on the impacts of climate change in the District of Columbia. The event will inform a report to the Mayor and the Council with recommendations on how the District can mitigate climate change impacts and coordinate adaptation strategies. Interested citizens, businesses, civic organizations, researchers, and students that would like to speak at the forum can submit a proposal by December 15, 2021.

For more information and to sign up to attend, visit the Commission’s website.


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, December 18, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 3160 16th St NW (near Mt. Pleasant Library)

Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date and keep an eye out for 2022 events, which will be posted soon.

what we're reading

Voting Rights Advocate Jerome Foster is Raising Youth Climate Awareness: D.C.-area native Jerome Foster has launched several first-of-their-kind initiatives to raise awareness of the connections between environmental and social justice. He is now the youngest member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

Next Generation: Water with Sarah Diringer, PhD, Jonathan Nez, and Emma Robbins: An estimated one in ten Native Americans do not have access to clean drinking water, an issue likely to be exacerbated by increased extreme weather events. In this hour-long conversation, President of the Navajo Nation Jonathan Nez and Executive Director of the Navajo Water Project Emma Robbins discuss solutions to this water crisis.

‘Mobility Justice’: How Cities are Rethinking Public Transportation after COVID: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several transit agencies to rethink how they prioritize investments and provide equitable service. The pandemic underscored the unmet needs of lower income communities and communities of color, particularly for bus service.

A DC Neighborhood by the Anacostia River: Joe Lapp, a former Kenilworth resident, wrote this booklet on the history of the Kenilworth neighborhood, which includes the shifts in racial makeup of the neighborhood over time, advocacy by community leaders, and the origins of Kenilworth Park and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Diamonds in the District Shining through Dark Times: This 40-minute documentary by the United Nation of Individuals Fighting Impossibilities and The Fresh Food Factory Market shares insights from residents and practitioners in the District on determinants of community health, housing security, and generational wealth.




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