EFI Walks the Walk…in Eckington Neighborhood!

At the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), we don’t just talk about climate solutions—we put them into practice! Our Sustainability Committee, currently led by Analyst Ansh Nasta, meets to brainstorm and implement sustainable practices in the office, including reducing our paper trail, tracking and offsetting our commuting and office-generated emissions, and teaming up with the Social Committee (led by Analyst Alex Maranville) to pick up trash around the Washington, D.C. area. 

The EFI team collecting trash in Eckington neighborhood. Featured here, from left to right, are Alex Maranville (Analyst, Chair of the Social Committee), Nick Britton (Analyst), Jordan Gallagher (Communications Associate), Mel Montgomery (Executive Assistant), and Tim Steeves (Senior Research Associate)

Over the last few months, EFI staff gathered in various D.C. neighborhoods to pick up trash. Most recently, friends and staff gathered in Eckington, scouring three blocks in two hours. On the surface, the neighborhood looked litter-free; however, on closer look, micro-litter (small pieces of trash that are often overlooked) was abundant. Our team collected thousands of cigarette butts, a particularly harmful form of micro-trash. The many metals and microplastic filters in cigarettes impede plant growth and impact biotic soil communities, hurting their carbon storing potential. To learn more about how we can harness plants and soil microbiomes to store more carbon and fight the climate crisis, check out EFI’s 2020 report, “From the Ground Up.”

Previously, EFI staff hiked around Rock Creek Park, collecting glass, bottles, and other debris. These clean ups serve as an opportunity for staff to bond and directly improve the natural space in the local area. 

Since 2019, EFI has tracked its greenhouse gas emissions and worked to offset them. EFI’s Sustainability Committee is currently collecting and analyzing total emissions generated by EFI operations, including building electricity and gas, commuting to the office, and traveling for events in 2021. We hope to have our results ready to share soon!

–Angie Kaufman

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