Guest Blog for AWS!

Check out my guest blog on the Anacostia Watershed Society website!

http://www.anacostiaws.org/news/blog

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Helping the Environment AND the Economy: Weatherize DC

Guess what! I discovered yet another cool environmental organization in DC: Weatherize DC. I interviewed Ayla Schlosser, a field organizer at Weatherize DC. Below is some of the information I learned in the interview, but I highly recommend that you find out more about this amazing organization at their website: http://www.weatherizedc.org/

Weatherize DC was founded in 2009 by a bunch of people who had just gotten done working on the Obama campaign. They founded Weatherize DC to address both the environmental and economic issues that the U.S. faces today. Weatherize DC aggregates homeowners around the common goals of spurring economic development and improving energy efficiency. The organization provides support to homeowners and helps them work together get to discounts from contractors that weatherize homes. Not only does the program help improve energy efficiency, but it also encourages contractors to create more jobs. Ayla explained that Weatherize DC has been able to balance market, social justice, and environmental goals through this innovative program.

Here are some ways college students can get involved:

-Sign up to canvas in local neighborhoods to raise awareness about energy efficiency.

-Join the Weatherize DC volunteer team, which meets regularly to plan outreach events in the community.

-Weatherize DC currently has three students interning with them, so contact Ayla to find about more about these internships.

Check out Weatherize DC’s website and contact Ayla Schlosser at <ayla.schlosser@thedcproject.org> if you would like to get involved.

As always, I love comments and feedback!

If you care, check out Greater DC Cares!

One of the cool things about my project is that I have gotten to meet other people who care about volunteering to help the environment. When I was at the Anacostia Watershed Society tree planting I met a guy named Tom who is in the Navy and was at the tree planting to log volunteer hours. He told me about a really cool website called Greater DC Cares, which I wanted to share with you all.

http://www.greaterdccares.org/HomePage/index.php/home.html
If you click on the “Get Involved” tab you can do a quick search for what you want to volunteer with, where you want to go, whether you need the event to be Metro accessible, and a variety of other search options. I searched for environment opportunities in DC that are Metro accessible, and I found 8 options instantly!
You can also sign up as a member of Greater DC Cares, which only took me about 5 minutes to do. If you want to become an active member you must attend an orientation, which takes 20-minutes online. Once you are an active member you can take advantage of the Greater DC Cares calendar of volunteer events that fit your skill set and interests. The opportunities really are endless, so Greater DC Cares is a great way to find volunteer opportunities that fit your volunteering goals.

My First Protest!

This Sunday I went to the Tar Sands rally at the White House to help 12,000 other people ask President Obama to oppose the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This was my first ever protest experience, and it really was amazing. It was an absolutely perfect fall day, sunny and warm enough not to wear a jacket. I was so happy to be in DC where I could hop on the Metro and go participate in a huge movement of people who share my passion for the environment.

It was an incredible experience being a part of such a huge crowd of people from all across the nation and from all age groups and backgrounds. Many of the people there had signs or neon orange vests blasting their message to the world: stop the pipeline! I was trying to look every direction at once as I read signs and watched people react to the words of the speakers. As I people-watched and soaked in my surroundings it was fascinating to think about where these people may have come from and how one important cause brought so many different individuals together. It really was amazing to see this grassroots movement for myself!

Speaker after speaker called on the crowd to continue the important fight against unsustainable energy sources that contribute to global climate change. I know this sounds cheesy, but I actually got goosebumps when a speaker led the crowd in a passionate chant of “Yes we can, Stop the Pipeline! Yes we can, Stop the Pipeline!”

Environmental activists face many challenges when trying to create widespread policy and behavior changes that will benefit the environment. It will take the continued work of passionate activists like the leaders and participants at the Tar Sands rally to bring about the change the world needs. It was exciting for me to see so many other people who care about the future of our environment, and I’m definitely fired up to continue to work for long-term sustainability and environmental consciousness.

To find out more about the Tar Sands Action and to get involved, check out this link:

http://www.tarsandsaction.org/

Students in Action: AU Eco-Sense!

This Monday I attended a meeting with American University’s student environmental group, Eco-Sense. I talked about my project and invited the group to help me spread the word about my blog to other AU students. They were really welcoming, and even gave me some ideas on other places to check out for my blog!

Eco-Sense is a really active organization that has very similar goals to what I have been trying to accomplish with this blog. They are dedicated to promoting sustainability and environmental awareness at American University and around DC. If you attend American University, I highly recommend that you check Eco-Sense out. Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. in MGC 247. It’s a great way to meet other students who are as passionate about the environment as you are!

Join the AU Eco-Sense Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/AU-Eco-Sense/261704713869280

Also, check out their website:
http://auecosense.com/

What Do You Think?

I have been having a lot of fun talking to people at organizations around DC and I’m discovering how many volunteering opportunities there are in this city. I’d love your feedback on the experiences I’ve posted so far.

Where should I go next? Do you plan to try any of the volunteering options I’ve described? Want to join me at a future tree planting, Greenpeace rally, or some other volunteer opportunity? Post your comments and I’ll be sure to respond promptly!

Also, please join my Facebook Group for this blog for updates on new blog posts and upcoming DC volunteer opportunities.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/102650216512655/