Posts Tagged ‘blog’

posted by | on , , | No comments

By Tynekia Garrett, DC EcoWomen board member

The inspiring journalist and social activist Dorothy Day once said, “the best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away.”

Nov. 27, 2018 is #GivingTuesday – the annual global movement and social media campaign designed to help individuals and organizations give back to their communities. What better thing to do with “the best things in life” you have to offer, than give back to your community?

For me, that means becoming more engaged with the DC EcoWomen board. As the Treasurer, I provide financial oversight for the DC Chapter of EcoWomen. In my role, I formulate future year budgets, balance current year budgets, and support board members in purchasing goods and services for EcoWomen events. This helps other women by supporting their hard work and dedication to providing quality programming to members.

Join DC EcoWomen in participating in #GivingTuesday. Collaborate with our organization.  Help empower women to become leaders for the environmental community. Our hard-working board manages our organization of nearly 6,000 members and puts forward opportunities left and right! For the past 15 years, we’ve provided a space for women to share ideas and events that have focused on everything from professional development to outdoor activities and outings, to our signature EcoHour, which has featured environmental journalists and bloggers, and women leaders from local and national environmental groups and within government. We have much more in store for the new year too!

This #GivingTuesday, I invite you to give back in one of the following ways.

  • Donate – DC EcoWomen is a not for profit organization that accepts donations through PayPal Giving Fund. There are no fees associated with giving and tax receipts are provided via email.
  • Become a Member – We invite you to share and collaborate with DC EcoWomen by becoming a member and bringing your voice to one of our many events. Sign-up for our newsletter and community listserv for notifications of upcoming events.
  • Blog Away – Interested in writing about environmental or women’s issues? Join our Blog Team and provide your voice to the DC EcoWomen platform. Send us a message on Facebook to get started.
  • Raffle Time – DC EcoWomen is hosting its annual holiday party on Dec. 18, 2018. We are seeking non-monetary donations from businesses to raffle off to attendees at our holiday party. Proceeds from raffles will support DC EcoWomen future programming. Contact us on Facebook, if you’re interested in contributing.

All information for opportunities to get involved and donate are located on the dc.ecowomen.org website. I encourage you to join me in giving back the best you have to offer. While you’re at it, don’t forget to share how you’re giving back your best things in life. We’d love to know – tag @dcecowomen and #GivingTuesday!

Tynekia currently serves on the DC EcoWomen board as its Treasurer. She is also a Management and Program Analyst for the District Department of Forensic Sciences, where she manages budget and performance. She is proud to work for a public agency, where women are at the forefront of science. She speaks highly of the scientists, examiners, procurement staff, and the budget team that is comprised of a diverse group of women.

posted by | on , , , , , | Comments Off on Focus on Food Waste this Holiday Season

By Lesly Baesens

With the holiday season upon us, food is at forefront of people’s minds. However, these joyous occasions also present an opportunity to consider what frequently becomes of our leftovers – food waste. U.S. households are responsible for wasting a staggering 238 pounds of food per person each year. Each scoop of mashed potatoes that ends up in the trash, carries with it the resources used to produce, transport, and process that food. This waste of resources is an economic, social, and environmental harm. For example, food rotting in landfills emits methane, a greenhouse gas with 25 more heat trapping potential than carbon dioxide.

Households are not the only source of wasted food. Food waste is a systemic problem that inhabits all parts of the food production process–from farmers unable to sell produce that fall short of supermarkets’ rigorous aesthetic standards, to restaurants serving portions too big for consumers to finish. As a result, approximately 40 percent of food produced each year in the U.S. is wasted. Despite the pervasiveness of the issue, there are no federal laws, incentives, or enforceable requirements to reduce food waste. Instead, some U.S. cities and states have committed to reduce food waste.

In the first iteration of its Sustainable DC plan, the nation’s capital committed to reducing food waste through establishing curbside organic waste pick-up for composting. Though composting is preferable to sending food waste to methane-producing landfills, it should be a second-to-last resort as the resources necessary to produce the food have already been expended. In my paper, Leading by Example: 20 Ways the Nation’s Capital Can Reduce Food Waste, I closely examined the issue of food waste in the District and provided the city government with recommendations on how to tackle food waste more efficiently and holistically.

The paper’s recommendations range from simple ones, such as establishing a food waste reduction target in the Sustainable DC Plan, to more politically challenging ones, including requiring grocers to measure and publicly disclose wasted food amounts. By establishing a food waste target, the city would be encouraged to move beyond composting to addressing food waste more comprehensively. By requiring grocers to disclose food waste amounts, the city would bring transparency to the amount of food discarded in this sector, which in turn would incentivize retailers to waste less.

Since sharing my paper with the Office of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city agencies, I was pleased to find that the city’s latest draft plan, Sustainable DC 2.0, includes several of my suggested measures. For instance, it steps-up the city’s food waste reduction efforts by committing to a target – reduce DC’s food waste by 60 percent by 2032. In order to develop recommendations on reducing food waste, the city will conduct an assessment of food waste in household and businesses – another one of my proposals. Sustainable DC 2.0 also proposes to educate residents and businesses on food “buying, storage, and disposal […] to minimize waste.” As discussed in my paper, consumer education campaigns can help households become drivers of reducing food waste.

These improved commitments are a major step forward for the District in its efforts to tackle food waste. However, I challenge D.C. to consider adopting bolder, more hard-hitting recommendations. We’ll need them if we want to become a model of food waste reduction in the U.S. and internationally, especially if we want to achieve the city’s goal of becoming “the most sustainable city in the nation.” In the meantime, I challenge you to educate yourself about the city’s efforts by reading Sustainable DC 2.0. Also, think twice before tossing those holiday leftovers. Find ways to reuse them and help our city become a leader in food waste reduction.

Lesly earned her Master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University focusing on sustainable agriculture. A professional with more than 10 years of experience in project management, policy, and research, she is a die-hard food waste reduction advocate and is always looking for opportunities to advance the cause. Lesly volunteers with the DC Food Recovery Working Group, a group focused on food waste reduction and recovery efforts in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Photo Credits: petrr CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons; Sustainable DC

posted by | on , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why We’re Excited about DC EcoWomen’s 2018-2019 Calendar

By the DC EcoWomen Executive Board

In early August, in a community room of an apartment building in Northeast D.C., the DC EcoWomen executive team sat down to discuss the upcoming board year and work on a document that would help guide our efforts – the 2018-2019 Calendar. As we wrote down all the dates, we couldn’t help but get excited. We have upcoming events and content appealing to all types of woman in our DC EcoWomen community. We’re planning speaker events, skill-building workshops, meetings for a special-interest club, outdoor adventures and more. Keep reading for more information.

If you’ve attended an event of ours, it was probably one from our signature EcoHour speaker series. This year, we’re continuing the tradition. On the third Tuesday of each month (except December and August), we’ll hear from a successful woman in the environmental field discuss her work. The free event kicks off with some networking and runs from 6-8 p.m. at Teaism Penn Quarter. The next one will be Tuesday, October 16, and will feature Analisa Freitas, Campaign Coordinator for the Peoples Climate Movement. She’ll talk about how she helps orchestrate large-scale marches for climate justice and organize Latino communities around grassroots advocacy.

In terms of professional development, we’re holding a series of mentoring dinners. They provide a unique opportunity to talk with women in the environmental field in an intimate setting. It’s a time when 6-8 women can get advice and guidance on advancing their careers while sitting down to share a meal with one experienced mentor. The mentors are selected based on their professional accomplishments and alignment with our organization and mission. The next one will be in October.

We’re also planning a few professional development workshops that will focus on helping women develop the skills to succeed in the workplace. Previous workshops included topics like salary negotiation, resume writing and public speaking. Our next workshop will be in December.

As women who are passionate about the environment and getting to know our community, our upcoming programming involves several fun outings, volunteer opportunities and networking events. In October, we have a women-only craft brewery tour & tasting at Right Proper Brewing’s Brookland Production House. In way of eco-outings, we are looking into hikes, rock climbing, cave walking, paddle boarding, and a river clean-up and tour. For the book lovers, our book club will continue to meet to discuss a book or series of small articles, blogs and podcasts with an environmental angle. We’ll have happy hours, and a book and clothing swap, too.

Every year, DC EcoWomen also hosts a spring photo contest. The contest showcases artistic images taken by our members that highlight women in the environment, conservation in action, natural beauty, travel, iconic urban landscapes, etc. Details surrounding the 2019 contest and its themes will be available in the spring. To learn more about the 2018 grand prize winner, Sarah Waybright, check-out this blog on her photo and work at Potomac Vegetable Farms.

To keep current on the various activities that we have planned, please sign-up for the newsletter and track us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also have the DC EcoWomen blog, which will keep you informed of various topics and issues relevant to our community. Our very own board members will write many posts and we’ll have some guest posts too.

We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!