In the face of the global fight against climate change, individuals are increasingly seeking ways to fight climate change at home. Washington, DC — a city known for its political prowess — is also making strides in the realm of sustainability. From co-living arrangements to community gardens, the nation’s capital is setting an example for sustainable living. Here’s how to fight climate change at home and contribute to a greener DC.
Sustainable Housing in DC: The Rise of Co-Living
One of the best ways to fight climate change is through sustainable housing. In DC, co-living is emerging as a popular and eco-friendly housing option. Co-living spaces — such as those offered by Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) — reduce individual carbon footprints by sharing resources and minimizing waste.
Co-living arrangements often feature shared common areas, energy-efficient appliances, and a commitment to recycling and composting. This communal lifestyle not only fosters a sense of community but also plays a significant role in fighting climate change.
Green Transportation: Cycling and Public Transit
Another effective way to fight climate change is by reducing our reliance on cars. DC’s extensive public transportation system — including the Metrorail and Metrobus — offers a greener alternative to driving.
Cycling is another sustainable transportation option. With over 50 miles of bike lanes and numerous bike-sharing programs, DC is a bike-friendly city that encourages residents to leave their cars at home.
Community Gardens and Local Food Markets
Embracing local food is another way to contribute to the fight against climate change. Community gardens — such as those supported by local nonprofits — provide residents with the opportunity to grow their own food, reducing the carbon emissions associated with food transportation.
Local farmers’ markets — like the popular Eastern Market — offer fresh, locally sourced produce, promoting a sustainable food system and supporting the local economy.
Volunteering for Sustainability
Volunteering for local environmental initiatives is one of the most effective ways for people to fight climate change. In DC, numerous organizations offer opportunities for residents to get involved in sustainability efforts. From tree planting to river cleanups, volunteering can make a significant impact on the local environment and foster a stronger community. Learn more about the social impact of volunteering here.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Three R’s of Sustainability
- Reduce: Before making a purchase, consider if it’s truly necessary. Opt for products with minimal packaging and think about the longevity and durability of items.
- Reuse: Instead of discarding items, think of ways they can be repurposed. Old jars can be used for storage, and worn-out clothing can be transformed into cleaning rags.
- Recycle: Familiarize yourself with DC’s recycling guidelines. Ensure that recyclables are clean and sorted correctly. Participate in local recycling programs and drop-offs for items like electronics and hazardous waste.
Tips for Sustainable Living in DC at Thompson-Markward Hall
Living sustainably is not just a trend — it’s a necessity. As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, it’s essential to take steps at the individual level to make a difference. For residents who live at TMH in Washington, DC, there are several ways to incorporate sustainable practices into daily life. Here are some tips on how to fight climate change at home in DC:
- Make Use of the “Free Bin”: The “Free Bin” in the basement allows residents to recycle clothes, partially used shampoo, room decorations, and other items that are no longer needed rather than throwing them in the trash. Be sure to check the bin before purchasing anything new.
- Utilize Recycle Stations: TMH has recycle stations set up on each resident floor and encourages residents to use those bins. Please refrain from placing pizza boxes, food scraps, or other non-recyclable items in the recycling bins.
- Report Malfunctioning Utilities: Reporting water leaks and running toilets promptly not only conserves water but reduces the cost of other repairs that may arise due to unreported water leaks.
- Recycle Old Electronics: Residents can drop off items at the front desk for electronic recycling, which can include things like used batteries, old earbuds, and old monitors.
- Minimize Energy Use: Residents can help conserve energy by turning off the heat/AC, lights, and other devices/equipment in rooms when leaving for the day or a trip. Keeping windows fully closed while running the AC also conserves energy.
- Walk or Bike: Walking or biking instead of using Uber/Lyft/Taxis is an eco-friendly option that provides great exercise and is also budget-friendly.