You may take reusable bags to the grocery store, compost your food waste, or use only compact fluorescent bulbs. But if you really want to surround yourself with a green-friendly crowd, maybe you should consider moving to the eco-hood.
Realty group MRIS has released its top 10 green neighborhoods in the metro D.C. area, just in time for Earth Day. It includes five neighborhoods in Maryland and Virginia, and five in the District:
- Ballston, VA
- Old Town Alexandria, VA
- Bethesda, MD
- Mount Rainier, MD
- Takoma Park, MD
- Capitol Hill
- Columbia Heights
- Woodley Park
Each neighborhood was singled out for specific environmental initiatives, like building LEED certified buildings, solar power project, proximity to parks or green areas, and access to locally sustainable food or farmers' markets.
They specifically noted things like Energy Star appliances, green windows, high efficiency toilets and even vegetated roofs.
“Going green isn’t a fad, it is a key part of communities and towns,” MRIS Product Manager Tim Campbell said. “Green is good -- it’s healthy to live in a green area, energy-efficient fixtures keep bills and housing costs down, and green elements typically help a house sell quickly or at least set it apart from others on the market.”
While green may be good, not everyone agrees with the MRIS list. Put Lydia DePillis of the Washington City Paper in that category:
"What's conspicuously missing here? The densest of urban neighborhoods: Downtown. Crestwood may have a high tree-to-person ratio, but it also has gigantic houses and many more cars per capita (and often no sidewalks, which is a different but related issue) than Penn Quarter. ... If we're talking about impact on the planet, lots of people living in close quarters equal more energy savings overall than a few people living in big houses surrounded by lawns and parks."