When we think of sustainability, we often think of what we can personally do to impact the environment. More than individuals, these collectives of concerned officials, citizens and businesses strive to have the greenest neighborhoods in Washington, DC.
Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
Old Town Alexandria is known for its charming architecture and history. Many tourists and locals alike flock to its brick-laid sidewalks to enjoy the finest shops, maritime entertainment, arts and restaurants in the Washington, DC metro area. Alexandria has an eco-city initiative that includes certification for Green Business Recognition for offices, retail, lodging, restaurants and attractions. The community’s commitment to examining energy usage, waste water, recycling and more has earned it Virginia’s platinum-level certification for its sustainability efforts as part of the Go Green Government Challenge.
Mayor Vincent Gray has announced initiatives for the District to become one of the healthiest and greenest cities in America. The city has already been noted for its many green initiatives including the Capital Bikeshare and car sharing options to the bag tax, which has reduced pollution in the Anacostia River as well as reduced plastic waste. This is one of many wastewater reducing plans. DC has a new 20-year plan called Sustainable DC, with goals including reducing obesity, increasing jobs, reducing emissions while adding renewable energy, providing access to fresh foods and increasing the amount of green jobs.
Takoma Park, Maryland
Takoma Park is a very green city for many reasons. The most well known is because of its many public parks, like Sligo Creek and Long Branch Creek, that provide wildlife habitats, a cooling effect from the shade and streams and bike trail access for the community. Besides the abundant green space, sustainability campaigns have included “Stop and Smell the Flowers,” which expanded the parks’ plantings of drought-resistant perennials to not only help with carbon sequestration, but also avoid causing an additional burden on precious resources like water. Takoma Park’s government has also made efforts to protect resources, like establishing that you have to have a permit to remove trees of a certain size or reducing energy usage by installing solar on many of its buildings.
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Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture
Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.