Going Green in DC


Politics aside, going green in Washington, DC just got a little easier. New American Dream, who is responsible for promoting things like simplifying your life, and a shorter work week to give you more quality of life, set out to put this guide together Summer 2006. Volunteers scoured the streets of Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom, interviewing businesses such as coffee shops, hardware stores and restaurants. The sum of their efforts can now be found in the Resource Guide for Buying Wisely in DC. Besides being good to the planet, the guide is also good to your pocketbook and good for your local community as it aims to help you focus on only purchasing items that are needed and hopefully produced locally. While the guide does not strictly point out eco-stores selling things like organic clothes and non-toxic products, but rather, it helps you to see stores in a different light. For example, if you need more books, try a library (hug those trees) instead of buying brand new books (killing more trees) or if you just broke the heel off your favorite pumps, why not get them repaired instead of buying new ones. This guide can tell you how.

After "saving time, looking local, and going green" the guide moves into "10 products you use every week" with a few tips for what to avoid when purchasing these items and a few stores in DC that carry them. Next, big ticket items such as finance, cars, home buying and travel are also included with addresses and weblinks to a few groups working on the issue. Stores were also given points based on categories like whether they sell eco-products or if they do anything to reduce their carbon footprint. More on these rankings can be found online.Store owners were also given resources for how to do more in these areas as they were interviewed.

The first edition of this guide may seem a little thin for the Treehugger aiming to revamp their DC life, but this version aims to merely get you thinking differently about DC and consider how you can change just a few of your daily activities. The second edition, which is due out later this year, aims to include more neighborhoods and include more businesses. In addition, guides going green for a few other cities (Frisco, CO; Brooklyn, NY; Meadville, PA; Wolfeboro, NH; and Nashville, TN) will also be out later this year.

For more on the methodology behind the guide, or to get yourself a copy, check out New American Dream and the Resource Guide for Buying Wisely in DC

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