Friday, April 22, 2011

Is Columbia Heights one of the greenest neighborhoods in the area?

It's Earth Day, and a press release by a real estate listing company says we're one of the greenest. However, their blurb about the neighborhood is pretty short: "Columbia Heights is home to DC’s first solar powered condos, as well as DC’s largest residential solar thermal project."

That's it? I looked up these projects, and they're actually pretty interesting. The solar-powered condos are the appropriately-named Capital Solar Condos at 1337 Harvard Street NW, a house converted into 3 units. The Washingtonian reports that with the solar panels, the owners could even sell power back to Pepco.  Kind of a neat idea. As for the thermal solar, that would be 3501 13th Street NW, which has a solar water heater and solar panels on the roof.

Admittedly these are cool projects, but I'm not sure if those alone make us the greenest. However, you could probably make the argument: for one, there are lots of bike riders and bike share stations in the neighborhood, we're well-served by Metro, Metrobus and the Circulator, and the one huge parking lot we have at DCUSA is rarely used -- a sign that not many people drive.

Plus there's also smaller things, like the eco-friendly yards around the neighborhood and people who have those carbon-donation stickers on their cars.

So, maybe we are pretty green? What do you think?

UPDATE: Apparently there's a bit more to the rankings, thanks to the City Paper: "by collecting the most recent MLS data, and surveying local parks and area green initiatives," whatever those are. Still not a lot of info, though.

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