Going Green

April 2022


Photo Credit: Vinicio Linares

With every Earth Month comes countless articles on “going green.” But what does it mean to “go green”? Are you “going green” with envy? Are you “going green” with illness? In most contexts, to “be green” is to live your life sustainably. To color all your actions with a shade of awareness on how it could affect the environment, equity, and economic development. “Going green” just might be at the crossroads between a healthy, long-lasting future and turbulent disruptions to our way of life. Of course, it is easier said than done. Like every lifestyle change, “going green” requires time, effort, and the willpower to stick it out. Luckily, here at Sustainable DC we have a series of actions and resources on our website to help you do just that.

During the Sustainable DC 2.0 development process, our team held a series of citywide surveys and community focus groups. We found out that District residents would like to know more about how to “go green” and make the city a healthier, greener, and more livable place. This engagement, in combination with a review of the Sustainable DC 2.0 actions that residents can best influence, resulted in the ten action categories available on our Go Green webpage. All actions are available in Spanish, French, Amharic, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, to inform as many DC residents as possible. They also include programs and other resources available in the District to help each of us take action.

“Going green” does not have to be tedious solo undertaking. It is a change we all benefit from and there are resources that can help you reap those benefits. Like most things, creating a sustainable DC is a team effort. Help us help you go green!



Recap of April Fix-It DC Event

On Saturday April 2, community members troubleshot and repaired broken items as part of the first Fix-It DC event of the year! The event was held at the Fabrication Lab in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, an emerging technology space with equipment, programs, and tools for District makers. From a toaster, an ice cream machine, and even a 1947 sewing machine, approximately 80 pounds of items were given a second life and kept out of the landfill. Fix-It events are community events dedicated to changing the “throw-it-away” mentality and creating a culture of repair and reuse. At each event, participants bring their small broken appliances, electronics and toys, or garments. They then learn how to disassemble, troubleshoot and, if possible, repair their item or garment. Workspace and tools are provided. Keep an eye out for future events on the Fix-It DC webpage.


The Nourish DC Collaborative Awards $400,000 to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-Owned DC Food Businesses

In an effort to build a more equitable food ecosystem in the District, the Nourish DC Collaborative - in partnership with Mayor Muriel Bowser - announced its first round of grants totaling $400,000. These grants were awarded to support locally owned food businesses, especially in neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores and other food businesses. The nine awardees are local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-owned food businesses in Wards 5, 7, and 8 that are providing healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food for DC residents. Seven of the awardees are women-owned businesses. They include A1 Grocery Store, Circle 7 Food and Grocery Market, Mechos Dominican Kitchen, Pinke’s Eats, Plum Good, Rich Capital Concepts (VeggieDC Farmers Market), Three Part Harmony Farm, Turning Natural Juice Bar, and Wellfound Foods. For more information, visit this webpage.


goDCgo is Offering District School Staff up to $200 Towards a New Bike

goDCgo, an initiative of the District Department of Transportation, is offering District school staff up to $200 towards a new bike to use for commuting. If you work in a traditional K-12 District of Columbia public, private, or charter school and have recently purchased a bike or plan to buy one, get rewarded for doing your part to reduce congestion and improve air quality in DC. You can submit your receipts and receive your money back on this webpage. For more information, visit this webpage.


Sustainable DC Progress Report Coming Soon

The 2022 Sustainable DC Progress Report, highlighting key environmental, equity, and economic achievements from the past year, will be released soon! Keep an eye out for it on the Sustainable DC website. We can’t wait to share the progress we’ve made with you!



The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to offer the Small and Accessible Sustainability Grant Program. The Grant Program has three new funding opportunities that are now live. See below for information on all three. A workshop on the opportunities will be held Thursday April 21 starting at 3:00 p.m. The Donation and Reuse program will be discussed first, followed by Ditch the Disposables at 3:45 p.m. and Urban Agriculture at 4:30 p.m.

1) Ditch the Disposables Grant Program

Takeout and to-go meals are more popular than ever, but their convenience comes at a cost. Waste from disposable and single-use food service items, such as containers, utensils, and condiment packages, continues to grow and most frequently ends up at landfills, incinerators, or waterways. DOEE’s Ditch the Disposables program, part of Zero Waste DC, aims to reduce the use of disposable food ware throughout the District by providing grants to support the transition to reusable food ware at restaurants and food-serving establishments. The deadline to apply is May 6 at 6:00 p.m. For more information and to apply, visit this webpage. To view the Request for Applications visit this webpage.


2) Donation and Reuse Award Grant Program

The Donation and Reuse grant program provides funding for donation and reuse projects, programs, and services for more donation and reuse opportunities of materials that would otherwise be headed to the waste stream in the District. The grant program may also fund education and outreach efforts to increase the public’s understanding of the importance of donation and reuse and increase awareness of current donation and reuse opportunities and best practices. Entities can apply for up to $10,000. The deadline to apply is May 19 at 6:00 p.m. For more information and to apply visit this webpage. To view the Request for Applications visit this webpage.


3) Urban Agriculture Small Award Program

The Urban Agriculture Small Award Program is now open and accepting applications. The aim of the program is to increase infrastructure and operations capacity for new and established District farms towards advancing sustainable urban agriculture and for the benefit of historically underserved communities. Entities can apply for up to $10,000. The deadline to apply is May 19 at 6:00 p.m. For more information and to apply visit this webpage. To view the Request for Applications visit this webpage.


The 2022-23 DC Futures Program

The new DC Futures Program aims to help District college students complete their first associate or bachelor’s degree. The program offers last-dollar scholarships (tuition, fees, and cost of attendance) at three local universities in addition to college coaching, as well as personal and financial support services for all participants. One of the eligible majors is a B.A. in Urban Sustainability from the University of the District of Columbia. The application for the 2022-23 school year closes on August 19. Interested individuals are invited to review the student information and submit a DC Futures Program Application.

futures program

Notice of Request for Applicants - Green Stormwater Infrastructure Signage Program

DOEE seeks eligible entities to implement a comprehensive planning and design process for identification and interpretative signage, and produce designs and specifications, for the District’s green stormwater infrastructure. The grantee will also test prototypes and develop a user’s manual of signage for future fabrication and installation. The deadline for applications is May 6 at 11:59 p.m. To view the Request for Applicants, visit this webpage.

Notice of Funding Availability - Mapping and Managing Invasive Species for DOEE and the National Capital Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management

DOEE seeks eligible entities to enhance the natural environment and restore natural areas by recruiting a team of people that will manage invasive plants, improve habitat along restored streams, and improve wildlife habitat for rare species and for the enjoyment of residents. The deadline for applications is May 9 at 11:59 p.m. To view the Request for Applicants, visit this webpage.


DC Green Bank – Communications and Marketing Intern

The mission of the DC Green Bank is to provide access to capital, growing the clean economy to develop a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable DC. DC Green Bank is looking for a driven Communications and Marketing Intern with a basic understanding of internal and external strategic communications strategies, ready for an immersive, real-world experience. The intern can expect to participate in media and public relations, news aggregation, press releases, and other administrative support for DC Green Bank. The administrative support may include current news trends, trends in the green energy space, and other administrative projects for the team. Applications are due April 24. For more information and to apply, visit this webpage.

Casey Trees – Urban Forester

Casey Trees’ mission is to restore, enhance, and protect DC’s tree canopy. The Urban Forester 1 (UF1) 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, 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. Applications are currently being accepted. For more information and to apply, visit this webpage.


Department of Parks and Recreation Urban Grower Course

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is hosting its annual urban grower course, a free course focused on teaching people the basics of gardening in a city, from building a home garden to cooking your harvest, to composting your waste, to understanding the food systems we live in. The course began in March and goes through May. For self-guided learning, participants can sign up to receive weekly recorded webinars to watch on their own time. To learn more and to register, visit the DPR urban grower course webpage


April D.C. Home Composting Workshops

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is offering online home composting workshops for DC residents as part of the DC Department of Public Works' Home Composting Program. These live webinars will cover what you need to know to start hot composting outside. Attendees will qualify for a rebate of up to $75 for the purchase of a home composting bin. Please note that you must be a resident of DC to participate. Register here for the workshop on Wednesday April 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. or here for the one Friday April 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.


Climate Change and the Future of Work

What does climate change have to do with a career in healthcare? Or law? Join Catholic University’s “Climate Change and the Future of Work” conference on April 21-22 to find out! The goals for the conference include inspiring and informing students and the broader community, as well as creating space for generative, forward-thinking conversation. For more information, visit the conference webpage.


Dreaming Out Loud Spring Fest

Dreaming Out Loud, an organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity within marginalized communities through building a healthy, equitable food system, is hosting the fourth annual Spring Fest! The event will feature plantings, music, games, pony rides, as well as a swap of all gender clothing, shoes, and accessories at 11:00 a.m. organized by SwapDC! Spring Fest will take place Saturday April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. To learn more and to register, visit the Spring Fest webpage.


The 2022 City Nature Challenge

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) motivates people around the world to find and document wildlife in their cities. And it’s coming to the DC metro area soon! Between April 29 and May 8, thousands of local residents will observe and identify as many species of animals, plants, and fungi as possible in area parks, neighborhood, front stoops, backyards, etc. Participants will use their cell phone cameras, digital cameras, and the iNaturalist app platform to make observations. Data collected during the CNC will provide valuable information to scientists on urban wildlife and global biodiversity. For more information, visit the CNC DC Metro Area website. A free virtual information session will occur on April 20.


Food for the Body and Soul: Advocating for Community through Culinary Traditions

The Food for the People Program Series features virtual cooking demonstrations and conversations with women chefs in the greater Washington, D.C., area. The programs highlight their work to achieve food justice and community empowerment. Drawing from the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum’s new exhibition, Food for the People: Eating and Activism in Greater Washington, the focus is on women’s roles as changemakers and community leaders in the past—and during recent challenges. Join the conversation on Tuesday May 10 at 6:45–8:45 p.m. to hear Chef Janet Yu talk about her work preserving and sharing Chinese food culture in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. For more information and to register, visit this webpage.


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, April 23, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 2301 L St NW (near West End Library)
  • Saturday, April 30, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 1801 23rd Street NW (Ward 2, near Mitchell Park) Collection vehicle on 23rd St NW between Bancroft Pl NW & S St NW
  • Saturday, May 7, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. 5200 Sherier Place NW (Ward 3, near Palisades Recreation Center) Collection vehicle on Sherier Pl NW between Edmunds Pl NW & Dana Pl NW

Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date.

Looking for Volunteer Events?

The Sustainable DC team maintains a calendar of volunteer opportunities on the Sustainable DC website. The calendar features volunteer events with community organizations that advance the District’s sustainability goals. If you would like to receive biweekly emails with upcoming volunteer opportunities, you can sign up through the form on the bottom of the volunteer webpage.


Input to Medium and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicles Action Plan

The District of Columbia, 15 states, and one Canadian province committed to phasing out 100% of fossil fuel-burning Medium- to Heavy-Duty (MHD) truck and bus sales by 2050 with an interim goal of 30% of new truck and bus sales being zero-emission by 2030 (Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)). The multi-jurisdictional workgroup released a draft Action Plan on March 10, 2022 and is accepting public comments until April 25. The draft Action Plan focuses on strategies and recommendations for state policy makers to promote equitable, quick, and widespread deployment of MHD zero emission vehicles. DOEE also reviewed the Action Plan as part of the “Clearing the Air” workshop on March 15, which can be viewed here.


Notice of Public Comment Period - Draft Stormwater Management Plan

DOEE is soliciting comments on the draft Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). The SWMP describes the District’s existing and new strategies, elements, initiatives, schedules, and programs to reduce the discharge of pollutants from stormwater runoff. The Plan is available for public review and comment until June 8. For more information, visit the DOEE website.


Everyone can be a Sustainability Leader: Watch founder of “Sustainable Talent” Annick Schmeddes talk about how you can maximize your sustainable talents, and become a sustainability leader in your everyday life.

The Good Map: Visit this webpage and explore DC Sustainable Fashion Collective’s guide to shops, restaurants, and businesses having a positive impact on the District’s environment and community.

Down to Earth and Up to Us: Community Voices on Environmental Justice: Listen in to this audio tour while visiting Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to hear insights into the social and environmental history of the neighborhoods that surround them.

Calls to End Potomac and Anacostia Rivers Swim Ban: As significant improvement has been made to the District’s waterways, some are considering whether it’s time to lift the ban on swimming in the city’s rivers.




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