If you haven’t already, Earth Day is the best opportunity to begin sustainable habits.
From eating at restaurants that embrace local farming to participating in cleanups, there are plenty of places around the District where you can give back to the planet on Monday in honor of the holiday.
GW Earth Day Fair
The Office of Sustainability will host its annual Earth Day Fair in Kogan Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday. The event will feature two new activities, including a sustainable cook-off and a clothing swap.
To participate in the sustainable cook-off, you can whip up a dish that uses locally sourced food and portion it into bite-sized samples. Students will taste and vote on their favorite dish, and the top two winners will receive a free Cuisinart food processor or a Crock-Pot.
At the clothing swap, you can exchange up to 10 items of used clothing for other pieces students want to trade in. Jamila Madyun, the owner of Stitched with Style, a local sewing company, will also attend the event to demonstrate how to “upcycle” old articles of clothing or accessories with new buttons or repaired hems at a repurposing table in Kogan Plaza.
You can also head to FRESHFARM Market outside of the Metro station located at 901 23rd St. to buy some locally grown produce. The market is open every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. through the end of November. With the warm summer months approaching, the market is in peak season with more than 50 local and regional farmers offering organic fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, bread, eggs, pasta and cheese.
Buying locally grown food reduces the distance imported food needs to travel to grocery stores and preserves small farmland that otherwise might be developed for industrial or commercial use.
If you don’t have time to shop at farmers markets, eat at environmentally conscious restaurants like Urbana.
Located at 2121 P St. NW in Dupont Circle, Urbana grows herbs and vegetables at a rooftop garden and uses the produce in its Italian cuisine. Urbana also uses a food waste technology called the Biodigester, which converts leftover food scraps into gray wastewater that drained and treated without using chemicals.
While you’re there, you can try an appetizer like the beet salad ($12) with gorgonzola, apples, chives and aged balsamic, or the white and green asparagus ($14) with salsa verde, quail eggs, almonds and capers. For your main dish, try the margherita pizza ($15) with tomato, basil and mozzarella, the pappardelle house-made pasta ($28) with organic mushrooms, black truffle and parmesan, or scallops ($32) with parmesan risotto, asparagus, pancetta and leeks.
Wash down your meal with a Milano mule ($7), daiquiri ($7) or Aperol spritz ($7) during happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. every day.
Earth Day tree planting
You can also give back to the Earth in a literal way by planting trees. The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences of the University of the District of Columbia and Casey Trees, a nonprofit organization that aims to protect trees in D.C., will host a tree planting event Monday. Volunteers will plant trees at the university’s Van Ness campus at 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Make sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated while you give back on Earth Day.