Sustainable DC
Built Environment

Go Green


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  • Save energy and money: Take advantage of DC’s weatherization programs. Learn more here.
  • Flip the Switch: Ask the property managers at your workplace to let the sun shine in to take advantage of natural light during the day.
  • Report potholes and light outages to DC’s 311.


  • Keep your home resilience ready with an emergency kit.
  • If you can, skip the commute. Inquire about your organization’s work-from-home policy.
  • Sign up for a course on climate science or join a climate action club.
  • Help the District fight engine idling by participating in the Citizen’s Engine Idling Enforcement Pilot Program


  • At home, it can be easy to buy online and internationally. Sometimes, it can be faster or even less expensive to buy from local businesses where funds stay in our neighborhoods.
  • Do you work for or own a green business? Consider starting an internship program for local residents to provide experiential learning and job experience.
  • Think Local: Support the local green economy by shopping at locally-owned businesses.


  • Post a waste sorting infographic magnet on your fridge. Use the SDC conversation cards to get a discussion going at home.
  • Ask your employer if you can help champion your organization's energy, waste, and water use reduction goals. Saving water and energy reduces costs, while also being beneficial for branding.
  • Even if sustainability isn’t your major you can take a class about sustainability or start/join a sustainability club.


  • You don’t need your own windmill to use renewable energy in your home. Review your utility bill for opportunities to choose your power source.
  • Did you know that the DC Sustainable Energy Utility has rebates and incentives to cover the costs of more efficient appliances, lightbulbs, heating equipment and air conditioners? Learn more here.


  •  Save good food. Reduce food waste by using a mesh bag to store fruits and vegetables in the fridge. Learn more food reduction tips at
  • Ask about starting a food waste for compost collection program at work. Many DC businesses offer collection for offices, schools, buildings and businesses, including Compost Cab, Veteran Compost, Compost Crew, Loop Closing, and more.
  • Start a food pantry for students and staff to help ensure access to healthy food. Contact the Capital Area Food Bank on how to get started.
  • Join or start a community garden. The DC Department of Parks and Recreation can provide great resources for you on community gardening.

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  • Find places near you to run, walk, play, jump or explore outside. Park spaces can be as great a place for any exercise as a gym!
  • Even a walk around your office can be a good way to stretch your legs, get in some steps, and rest your eyes from a computer screen.
  • Add a short walk to your commute by getting off of the bus one or two stops before your usual stop.


  • Invite nature in. Adding plants to home improves indoor air quality.
  • Adding plants to your work area improves indoor air quality: some employers will actually cover the cost of new plants! 
  • Organize a group to participate in a local stream cleanup or daylighting project.


  • Consider trying a new way to commute to work.
  • Open to carpooling? Post a flyer at work to help form carpool options.
  • Ask your University or employer about discounted Capital Bike Share memberships.

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  • Extend the life of your clothing by washing your clothes in cold water.
  • Organize a Freecycle Event that encourages colleagues to swap extra office supplies and equipment.
  • Organize a Fix-It Event to help other students learn to repair their own items.
  • BYO: Heading out for a bite to eat? Bring a set of reusable utensils along.

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  • Do you have a terrace, patio or yard? Collect rainwater to water your plants on dry days.
  • Ask about having a water bottle vending machine replaced by a bottle filter.