Well, at first I was excited to hear that the DC Government launched its "Green DC" website, a "comprehensive resource on environmental issues." The idea suggested that the government takes new initiative, maybe in better educating people, maybe in creating incentives to conserve energy, maybe in crreating stricter punitive measures against environmental sins.
A closer look at it, however, reveals that it is, at best, a well-meant start. The information given is pretty general ("What is a Rain Garden?") with outsourced links and diagrams and with little concrete pointers at resources for the average citizen. Under "Natural Environment," there is a "Plan for a Fishable and Swimmable Anacostia River by 2032" (!) but even that is "temporarily unavailable." (The Anacostia is DC's second river that forms a Y with the Potomac.)
Really disappointing is what you can find under "Green Services:" tips on how to request a trash can and how to report a rodent problem. There are a bunch of complicated bureaucratic guidelines on how people "just above the poverty level" can apply to receive assistance in replacing their appliances for more energy efficient ones. (I don't know how many poor people will request the electronic "spread sheet" for an application that can only be submitted online.)
My favorite, however, is the "Rodent Control Management Program" that is absolutely incomprehensible for a lay person like me. Then under "Energy Audit" you don't learn, as one might expect, about a new service the city offers, but rather get some advise on how to walk around your property and check for problem zones. (At the end, you're told that a professional audit will cost a few hundred dollars--no resources given.)
In any case, it's a start -- bookmark it for the future if you like. Let's hope it will truly evolve into a consumer site that offers some accessible ideas for Willie Washingtonian.
And then, if all goes well, maybe I will be able to take my yet-to-be-born grandchildren for a swim in the Anacostia in 2032.
© 2012, Catarina Bannier