Green D.C.

Our nation’s capital takes being green very seriously. We top the list of environmentally-friendly “firsts” time and again. The numbers don’t lie, D.C. stands above the competition in LEED certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita. And any foodie will tell you, this town loves supporting local farms.

Many embassies catch the eye with their beauty and grandeur, but only one prevents greenhouse gas emissions. The Embassy of Finland is the first LEED certified embassy in the U.S. Years of retrofitting the modernist building has produced energy-efficient lighting, plumbing and ventilation. Mirroring Finland’s environmental commitment, the embassy is a pioneer in eco-friendly business practices.

During those all too familiar summer scorchers, Pleasant Pops comes to our rescue. Inspired by paletas, a traditional ice pop from Michoacan, Mexico, the ingredients challenge our taste buds and support local farming. The Pleasant Pops mission dictates strict recycling practices and composting organic waste. Look for their new shop in Logan Square this summer.

Eco-friendliness comes as second nature to Nusta spa, the first and only LEED certified spa in the U.S. Their goal is to approach green from the inside out. Renewable and recyclable, Nusta’s interior meets the highest standards of sustainability. They thought of everything, down to the ink used in printed materials.

Ever wonder where your seafood actually comes from? Not at Tackle Box, whose green philosophy supports local suppliers who are using habitat-friendly fishing gear. Their fluctuating menu combats over-fishing and poor practices that endanger our oceans. Tackle Box believes environmentalism means flexibility, education and community.

Washington Nationals Park is the nation’s first major professional stadium to become LEED certified. Sustainable design elements include energy-saving light fixtures, drought-resistant plants and a green roof over concessions. What about those pesky peanut shells sprawling the ground? A special ground filtration is system designed to catch shells and other debris before reaching the storm-water system.

D.C.’s latest initiative is to keep our schools green. On March 20, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council released the Green Classroom Professional Certificate. The program educates pre-K–12 teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and parents about environmentally healthy practices in schools and classrooms.

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Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:01:02 -0400

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