If you are planning to attend one of the language schools in Washington DC, you should familiarize yourself with “going green.” When people say they are “going green,” it means they are making environmentally-friendly choices. Ultimately, the goal is for individuals to make knowledgeable choices in their everyday lives to help protect the environment for future generations. People all over the world are “going green,” but as you will discover as a student at a Washington language school, green living is a big deal in DC.
DC is One of the Greenest Cities in America
DC is one of the greenest cities in America according to a study by WalletHub. The study looked at the environment, transportation, energy sources, and lifestyle, and policy. Additionally, many point to DC as a leader for developing “green cities.” For example, Carey L. Biron writes, “In August, the city was the first to receive the top “platinum” certification under a global sustainability program called LEED for Cities, which tracks performance on energy use, waste management, water, transport and even quality of life.”
How did DC earn this prestigious certification? By working diligently to reduce its carbon emissions, water consumption, and improve recycling. Biron explains, “Between 2006 and 2013, it reduced carbon emissions by almost a third, to 11.9 tonnes per capita. Water consumption fell by more than 13 percent in the past five years. And today the city recycles about half of its waste – more than double New York City’s rate.”
Therefore, as a student visitor taking an English class in DC, it is important to embrace going green. Fortunately, DC makes it easy for student visitors and tourists to go green and make more eco-friendly choices during their stay. We’re sharing some of the easiest ones today.
Eat and Drink in One of DC’s Eco-Friendly Bars and Restaurants
One way to “go green” is to eat at restaurants where the food comes from nearby farms. This is becoming a very popular dining option in the US. According to Go Green, there are several reasons why it is better to buy food locally, including fewer food miles, fresher produce, it protects local lands, and you support local workers. DC has several farm-to-table restaurants, but you can go “even more green” by visiting one of these 6 D.C. restaurants and bars fully embracing sustainability.
Shop in Eco-Friendly DC Stores
Try to be a well-informed shopper when you are staying in DC. Rather than wasting your money on tourist souvenirs that are made of plastic, invest in products that are made locally. Not only will you be supporting the local economy, but you will also end up with a higher-quality, longer-lasting product. Additionally, as you shop, head to shops in DC that sell eco-friendly merchandise such as Eco-Green Living or Greater Goods.
Take Advantage of DC’s Green Travel Options
Going green means reducing your carbon footprint. One of the best ways to do so is to make better travel choices. After your plane trip to the US, make every effort to choose more eco-friendly travel methods like carpooling or biking. Biking is a popular option in the city, with Capital Bikeshare stops located throughout the city. There is even one right outside the Washington language institute, inlingua, making it easy for students taking an English class in DC to take a bike.
Plus, the DC Metro is an easy way to get around town, and it is better than driving a car. The DC Metro Sustainability Report explains, “Every Metro rider is making a sustainable transit choice. Each trip taken on Metro instead of in a car reduces regional CO2 emissions.”
DC is a Walkable City – So Walk!
DC is one of the most walkable metro areas in the nation, so always opt to walk when you can. Visitors will be happy to see that walking is one of the main modes of transportation, so the streets are bustling with people. When it comes to green transportation, nothing beats walking!
Learn What Goes Where in DC
Another way DC has encouraged its citizens and visitors to go green is to recycle or compost. However, they recognize that it can be confusing to know what to recycle. That’s why they implemented Zero Waste DC. This website can help you learn where and how to recycle, compost, and dispose of special waste. DC even has a program that allows people to take their food waste to local farmer’s markets on the weekends to be composted.
Other Ways to Go Green at Home in DC
First, conserve water. Instead of taking baths, take showers. However, this comes down to the amount of time you spend in the shower. So, take quick showers rather than lengthy ones. Also, do not leave the water running when you brush your teeth. Little choices like these have a big impact on the environment.
Next, invest in reusable items like a refillable water bottle and reusable shopping bags. Plastic shopping bags and plastic water bottles are terrible for the environment. Plus, these items will be a big help as you study English in Washington DC. You will likely use them every day, so it is a much better choice for the environment (and your wallet) to invest in reusable ones.
Also, be sure to turn off the lights or other items that use electricity whenever you leave. Additionally, minimize your use of the heating and cooling systems. For example, by closing your curtains, you can keep spaces cooler without running the air conditioner.
Take Home What You Learn
Finally, take home what you learn after your time in DC is over. As one of the greenest cities in the US, you can learn a lot about sustainable living while you study in DC. The daily habits you pick up, such as reusing a water bottle or recycling or shopping for locally produced goods, will make just as much of an impact on your environment at home as they did during your time in DC.