Sustainable living is central to these popular DC suburbs…
Washington, DC is a plastic straw-free community—and if you want a plastic bag at checkout, you’ll pay for that add-on. So no surprise that, just outside of city limits, existing and emerging trends including bike shares, scooter shares and going green in general are huge, whether you’re in the city or in the DC suburbs.
#1. Takoma Park, MD
If you want to “go green,” Takoma Park is a DC suburb to consider. The National Arbor Day Foundation dubbed the community a “Tree City, USA” more than 30 years ago, recognizing its commitment to planting and maintaining a lush, green landscape—something Takoma Park continues to pride itself on today.
That commitment to going green, promoting climate change and promoting sustainability is huge here. The city has numerous engagement programs including the Georgetown Energy Prize, Car-Free Challenge and Neighborhood Energy Challenge, all driving residents to get involved in promoting sustainability. More recently, Takoma Park launched its own Climate Action and Sustainability Plan, with an eye on being waste- and emission-free.
That, though, is just the beginning. Takoma Park offers free food waste curbside collection for residents. Once collected and processed, food waste becomes compost—and you can get your hands on that compost if you’re interested. Community “driven” compost is free to all residents.
#2. Old Town Alexandria, VA
Want to be more energy efficient? In Old Town Alexandria, head to the local public library and check out a thermal camera kit and bring it home. With a few quick clicks, you’ll be able to see where your home is lacking on the energy efficiency front, and what you can do to be more green, saving the world and saving your wallet in the process.
Old Town Alexandria is also part of the “Eco-City Alexandria” initiative, a collaborative strategic effort to drive sustainability in the City of Alexandria. Like other Eco-Cities, Alexandria is focused on building collaboration and consensus around everything from preserving natural resources to promoting green policies and helping businesses make smarter choices.
In addition, the city has Environmental Action Plans focused on everything from climate change and energy to water resources, air quality and more. For its efforts surrounding energy usage, water waste, recycling and more, Old Town Alexandria received a platinum-level certification as part of the Go Green Government Challenge.
#3. Annapolis, MD
This 40,000 person city sits right on the Chesapeake Bay, close to both Baltimore and DC—and has a very green mentality. The city launched its own Sustainable Annapolis initiative, a public/private collaboration designed to make the area more sustainable and 100% carbon neutral.
Already, many of Annapolis’ hotels, restaurants and local businesses self-certify with the Environmental Stewardship Certification program, while many local tourism hubs promote Maryland Green Travel.
And if you want to get involved? Head to Green Drinks Annapolis mixers, which typically happen monthly. These events are sponsored by Annapolis Green and, here, you’ll learn about the latest local initiatives, volunteer programs and ways to “green-ify” your home or office.
#4. Tysons Corner, VA
This popular community has made some major green moves recently. In 2014, the Metro arrived, which was a huge move forward—and, already, the city is reaping the sustainable benefits. More and more families are moving into buildings near that Metro and many are even going “car-free” (or one-car…), easily zipping into and out of DC and around Tysons Corner, either by public transportation or on foot.
On the heels of these shifts, Tysons Corner is aiming to do even more in the next 30 years. By 2050, the city plans to add 160 acres of parks and open spaces, plus more sidewalks and, even, skyways. Another goal? Go 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t… without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.