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Fighting Climate Change at Home: Sustainable Living in DC

Fighting Climate Change at Home: Sustainable Living in DC

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.

Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.