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Embroidery Tutorial

By Esther Stoppani, Intern with Campaign GW

Hi! I’m Esther, one of the Campaign GW interns. Embroidery is one of my favorite hobbies, and I know that a lot of people want to learn how to do this craft, so I offered to create a little beginner’s guide to embroidery! It’s a lot simpler than people tend to think and is a great way to repurpose old clothes.


-What will you need?

An embroidery hoop

An embroidery needle

Embroidery floss: comes in a variety of colors, it’s the same stuff that comes in a lot of “friendship bracelet” kits

Fabric: which can be pretty much whatever you have on hand, but I would avoid super tightly woven fabric and stretchy materials



-The basics

To get started with embroidery, you only need a few materials.

Your embroidery hoop has two separate pieces. Lay your fabric over the inner loop so that the outer loop can be tightened around it, holding the fabric in place. You want the fabric to be taut, so stay away from stretchy materials like spandex that might warp from stretching.


If you’re working off a pattern or design, use an erasable or water-soluble pen to draw the design on. I would also recommend starting with embroidery floss that is not metallic or sparkly. These types of thread are harder to work with, especially when you’re first starting out.


Regular embroidery floss is typically 6-stranded, so you’ll want to separate out 2-4 strands, depending on how large you want your stitching to be. I almost always use 2 strands and vary my stitch types to change the size. Thread your needle and leave a tail that’s about 2 inches long. On the longer (working) thread, tie a knot at the end of the string. Now you’re all set up to start stitching!


-The simplest stitch

This one is probably the easiest stitch in embroidery. To create a straight stitch, push your needle up through your fabric from underneath. Pull your needle all the way through so the string is taut. Then, push your needle back down through the fabric in a different spot. This creates a small, straight line of stitching. By repeating this process, you can fill in the space between your stitches and create shapes. I use straight stitches mostly for filling in areas of color, because these stitches don’t create as much texture or variety as some of the other stitches.



-Back stitch

This starts out with a single straight stitch. Once you’ve created a single straight stitch, your needle will be back under the fabric. When you bring your needle back up through the fabric, you want to come up one stitch-length from the hole you came through. I usually make my stitches about ¼ inch long, but it depends on the design you’re making. Pull the string taut, then go back down through the hole at the end of the previous stitch to connect the two. These stitches create uniform lines and are great for outlines and letters.



-Stem stitch

A stem stitch is very similar to a back stitch, but instead of coming up one stitch-length from your previous stitch, you will bring your needle up just to the side of the hole you came through. Pull the string taut and push the needle back down one stitch-length away. This will create a staggered line of disconnected single stitches. I don’t typically use this stitch type a lot, but it can be helpful when filling in areas.



-Split stitch

Start again with a single straight stitch. This time, when you bring your needle up through the fabric, do this in the middle of your previous stitch, so that the two threads of the stitch separate around your needle. Pull the string taut. You now have a single stitch with thread coming up through the middle of it. Continue along your line and push the needle back down through the fabric. Repeat. This creates a very textured stitch with little V’s in it. I like to use this stitch for outlines and decorative borders.



-Chain stitch

To start a chain stitch, bring your needle up through the fabric and pull the thread taut. Bring your needle back down through the same hole you just came up through, but don’t pull the thread taut! Leave a loop of thread sticking up from the fabric. One stitch length away, bring your needle back up through the fabric. Take the loop you just created and bring your needle up through it. Now, pull the string taut. This should make the loop get smaller and lay flat. Bring your needle back down through the fabric close to where you brought it up. You can change the shape of the loop, which is now your stitch, by gently pulling the sides. Repeating this stitch will give you a very textured, chain-shaped stitch. I love the way this stitch looks, and it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Doing a single chain stitch is also a fun way of making leaves and petals on floral designs.



-French knot

This stitch is a little trickier, but it’s an important one. To start a French knot, bring your needle up through your fabric. Pull taut. Then, push the tip of the needle back down through the fabric just to the side of where you brought it up. Don’t push the needle all the way through! Instead, tip the needle back up through the fabric a couple millimeters from where you just pushed it down. Again, don’t pull the needle all the way through. At this point, you should have your string sticking up towards you from the fabric, and your needle should be tucked through the fabric so that both ends are above the fabric (the middle is below). Gently take the long loop of thread and wind it around the needle 2-3 times. Pull the thread a bit to get it fairly tight around the needle. Slide these loops down the needle so that they rest next to where it comes up through the fabric. Using your nail to hold the thread in place, gently pull your needle all the way through. Pull taut. You should now have a small knot at the base of the thread where it comes up through the fabric. If the knot is loose, pull the string more and push the knot towards the fabric. To finish off the knot, push your needle back down through the center of the knot. If your knot was a little messy, you can try to tuck any loose parts in during this final step. French knots can be difficult, but find the way to make them that works best for you! I like doing it this way because if you want to make flowers, wrapping the thread around the needle 5-7 times instead will create a longer knot that looks like the petal of a rose. Making several of these and tucking them together is my favorite way to make roses.



-Tying off your stitch

When you want to switch thread colors or are moving to a different area of your fabric and don’t want to waste thread, you tie it off. After you finish your stitches, your needle will be underneath the fabric. Keep the needle and thread on this side of the fabric. Use your needle to tuck your thread under a nearby stitch, and then tie a double knot. You want to make sure the knot is secure before cutting the thread.


Now you know how to make some of the main stitches for embroidery, but what will you do with them?

Finding a pattern online and following it is a great place to start. This way you have instructions and a clear idea of what your design should look like. You can also just stick to practicing the different stitches until you feel comfortable. If you feel good about these stitches, you can try creating your own design or learning new stitches. Embroidery is great for making patches (I like to use felt as my fabric for these), covering up holes or stains in older clothes that you don’t want to throw out, and just adding some personalization to your clothes.


A couple tips and tricks before you go

You can always “undo” your stitches. Whether with a seam ripper or by just pulling the stitches out, your work can be undone if you don’t like how it turns out.

Trim the ends of your threads. All of your threads will end on the backside of your design, and it can be tempting to let it get messy since it won’t be seen. The more loose ends you have, the more likely it is for your floss to get tangled. Avoid this issue entirely by always trimming your strings after tying them off.

Don’t sit next to someone, you might poke them in the eye. When you’re embroidering, you have to pull the thread through with your needle, which means that you’re constantly reaching your arm far out to the side with a needle in your hand. You can probably see where this is going. I’ve poked enough friends to know not to sit too close when I’m working (or at least to have them sit on my left since I’m right-handed).

Always pull gently on the string. Trying to work fast and pulling the thread through quickly will lead to tangles and knots, which get frustrating. It’s a lot easier if you just slow down.

By Francesca Edralin, Student Assistant for the Undergraduate Minor in Sustainability

On Thursday, April 16 Sustainable GW hosted a webinar titled “The Big Reframe: Shifting Your Focus to the Better Things”, led by Ayana Moore of GW Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management. While I was not sure what to expect when I signed up for the session, I was so glad that I ended up tuning in. The session was interactive, engaging, eye-opening, and taught me some valuable lessons on the importance of reframing your perspective during an unprecedented time like this.

No GW student or faculty could have anticipated a pandemic as severe as this. With a student body that is constantly “doing things” in the hustle and bustle of Foggy Bottom, many of us are used to an extremely fast-paced way of life. Walk around campus, and you’ll always find students on their way to their next class, their next club meeting, or their next interview. In such a lively and active environment, the thought of having to lose it all and go home likely never crossed anyone’s mind.

And then of course, the unimaginable happened. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, GW students have been kicked off of their bustling campus, and have been sent home to an environment likely far less exciting. This scenario is unprecedented, unimaginable, and undesired for many. But could there be a silver lining to all of this?

As the stereotypical GW student who thrives off of packing her schedule with e-board meetings, a work study job, five intensive classes, and an internship, “free time” was a foreign concept to me before the pandemic. It certainly took me some time to transition to this stationary way of life, but I’ve been able to make the most of it. I’ve been able to find meaning during these slower and more isolating times.

Honestly, a lot of it required me to shift my way of thinking. As Ayana Moore emphasized in her webinar, the key is always to reframe how you see your current situation. For me, this meant no longer blaming coronavirus for cutting my sophomore year short and canceling all my April and May plans. Instead, I’ve reframed the situation, accepting that this pandemic is an issue far bigger than myself, and that everyone is pausing their lives for the greater good.

Instead of hustling from one meeting to another, I can take this time to just “be”. No outside pressures, no time crunches - instead I am learning how to enjoy the simpler things in life and emerging as a more grateful and self-aware person. Now that I have much more free time on my hands, I’ve gotten back into old hobbies, like singing and songwriting, as well as taken on new hobbies, like baking and meditating. I’ve also been able to reconnect with my family members, who I felt so distant from when I was back in DC.

In life, things will sometimes be out of your control. This pandemic happens to be one of those things. Yet, reframing is a powerful tool to make the most of this situation - and see light when everyone else sees the darkness. During the webinar, one of the students reframed the situation so beautifully: “We will emerge out of this different and more united.” 

I couldn’t agree more. This is a difficult time for sure, but it is also a shared moment worldwide for learning, reflecting, and reframing. I am confident that once we overcome this chaos, humanity will emerge stronger, more grateful, and more unified than ever before.


Doing Social Science Research in a Disaster

By Dr. Robert Orttung, Research Director for Sustainable GW

Given the on-going COVID-19 crisis and the growing prevalence of hazards in the world, many GW faculty and researchers are launching projects that deal with disasters in various forms. While the pandemic is the most pressing problem at the moment, there is growing concern with fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and the overall effects of climate change. 

Some of the recent initiatives around GW include efforts to study the response to the pandemic in Eurasia, Michael Keidars work to develop new medical equipment, and endeavors to understand how the crisis is affecting the Arctic. Keidar recently  won a NSF RAPID award for his research to decontaminate the environment and to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.

A key question for social scientists working with human research subjects is how to conduct research in crisis conditions. A couple of recent articles provide some good advice. 

In a recent contribution to Nature, J. C. Gaillard and Lori Peek offer a variety of ways to be sensitive to ethical dilemmas and power imbalances. Their main advice is to be sure that the research efforts keep the interests of the local population as the foremost priority. In proposing a code of conduct for researchers working in crisis conditions, they suggest: 

  1. Having a clear purpose
  2. Respecting local voices
  3. Coordinating locals and outsiders

Another recent article in Disasters by Kathryn Falb et al, offers five practical pieces of advice for Institutional Review Boards (IRB), the organizations on campus that authorize research work with human subjects. The authors offer advice on how to quickly obtain IRB approval for research, address the traumatic experience of participants, deal with difficulties in obtaining meaningful consent, and ensure reviews have sufficient knowledge of the population's needs.

In 2019, the National Academy of Sciences published a report on “Science during Crisis.” The authors argue that “a central, curated clearinghouse for data and scientific information can improve scientific collaboration, speed up analyses, and build public trust.” In other words, we will all benefit if everyone works together. 

Crisis communications play an important role in this effort. There is a lot of incorrect information circulating about the pandemic and leaders need to identify ways to make sure that people have the facts. Evidence from past infectious disease outbreaks shows that simple interventions with correct information do not always work and we need to find more effective solutions

Hopefully careful research will make it possible to provide helpful advice in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic and other crises our society is currently facing.  

To learn more about GW’s sustainability efforts, visit


A message from Meghan Chapple, Office of Sustainability Director and Co-Director of Sustainable GW:

I hope you are staying safe, and finding some form of peace and wellness in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

We are having a first-hand experience of global change. In the chaos we find confusion and anxiety. We can also find a learning moment to observe, reflect, and come to a deeper understanding.  How will the pandemic experience affect the way society sees the world, and the sustainability of our Earth systems to support human life? What can we learn from this to create a world that embodies the Sustainable Development Goals

Thus far, I have found that the pandemic reminds us of several key sustainability truths:

1)  We are all human, and we are all in this together.
We depend on our planet, and the local and global web of one another for goods, services, and social support. Starting today, let us acknowledge and show respect for these interconnections with one another and the Earth.

2)  We need to continue to create structures for equality across societal boundaries. While every human is susceptible to the novel coronavirus, unless we take immediate and creative action, the poor and disenfranchised will experience a more negative impact. Let this situation inspire us each to bring forward courage and creativity to support our fellow humans through our individual actions and our societal structures.

3) Trust, transparency, and connection enable us to work together across boundaries more effectively.  We have seen the disastrous effects of denial of scientific evidence and eroded international and domestic State relationships. With trust, transparency, and connection we can leverage one another’s strengths and resources for the greater good of all.

 4) We need to plan for what we can’t see. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the limits of the old adage “see it to believe it”. Our ability to prepare for global change – sudden like COVID-19 or gradual like climate change – is only limited by our willingness to imagine such scenarios, our courage to envision the world we want to see, and our ability to believe we can create it together.  We need to turn the adage around and “believe it to see it”.

Let’s explore these three abilities.

  • Can you imagine the scenario: a global pandemic in the midst of a natural disaster (flooding, hurricane, forest fires, extreme heat, drought, etc.)?
  • Can you envision a world we want to see: where we acknowledge scientific evidence to prevent the worst impacts of disease and climate change?
  • Can you believe in our collective ability: that we can act as an interconnected society that uses scientific evidence to plan and coordinate ingenuity and resources to address the problem, whether in the health care system or the global ecosystems?

I hope you will join me in using this time of crisis to learn, and to exercise these three abilities. Such practice is going to come in handy in the coming years to prepare for further global change. 

Follow this blog in the coming weeks for a deeper exploration into imagining possible scenarios, envisioning the world we want to see, and believing in our collective ability to create a sustainable future. 

Meghan Chapple
Director, GW Office of Sustainability
Co-Director, Sustainable GW
For more information about sustainability at GW, visit

By Emma West

Do you commute to an internship each day? What’s your go-to off-campus hangout spot? How do you get around when you leave Foggy Bottom?


DC is a very walkable, bike-friendly city, but when it’s 90 degrees outside or you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, you might ditch your bike (or scooter!) in favor of a Lyft, the free Circulator bus, or Metro. There are many ways to get around the city, some better for the environment than others—so let’s take a moment to think about how sustainability plays into your daily transportation habits. 


Metro customers waiting for Pentagon Express shuttle bus – Summer 2019


The transportation sector currently accounts for the largest percentage of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States at about 30%. Now more than ever, low-carbon transportation needs to be a priority as cities and states turn to real solutions to fight climate change. And there's no doubt that climate change is affecting all of us in the DC region. According to the EPA, "The region has warmed by more than two degrees (F) in the last century, hot days and heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the tidal Potomac is rising about one inch every eight years." (To read more about the impact of climate change on the District, check out this fact sheet.)


But don’t get too discouraged: you can make a difference! The easiest and most impactful choice you can make each day to live a more sustainable lifestyle is to leave your car at home, forget about your ride-hailing app, and, instead, hop on a Capital Bikeshare bike, get some extra exercise by walking, or take Metro.


7000-series train pulling out of NoMa-Gallaudet U station


Did you know that each trip you take on Metrorail produces 40% less CO2 than taking the same trip in a car? Each year, Metro riders avoid emissions equal to 370,000 metric tons of CO2—an amount equivalent to the emissions from 41 million gallons of gasoline. 


And while public transit is already an efficient low-carbon mode of transportation, Metro is committed to making its internal operations even more sustainable. Since 2014, Metro has become approximately 6% more efficient, using less energy and fuel per vehicle mile.


Some exciting initiatives underway include:

  1. Lighting: Upgrading all station and facility lighting to energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED)
  2. Regenerative Braking: Integrating braking energy recovery into traction power upgrades 
  3. Service Improvements: Investing in modern fare payment technology, developing an electric bus strategy, and strengthening the regional bus network
  4. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): Designing all new and significantly renovated facilities to meet LEED Platinum standards
  5. Solar: Designating four station parking lots/garage rooftops for renewable energy development that will produce 7–9MW of power


About the Author: Emma West is an alumna of GWU and proud 2017 graduate of the Sustainability minor. Despite always having been passionate about environmental issues, it wasn’t until she landed an internship at Metro through the DC Sustainable Energy Utility that she truly embraced public transit for its role in fighting climate change. Emma works in the Office of Sustainability at Metro, tracking energy data and supporting project managers to quantify and implement energy efficiency projects across the organization. If you, like Emma, never knew Metro had a sustainability office and are interested in internship opportunities, or are just curious about what it is like to work in the transit industry, you can reach out by email at


5G is on its way. The fifth generation cellular network technology is primed to be ridiculously fast - fast enough to change the way you go about your daily life. 

Today, the top corner of your phone screen probably says 3G, or 4G LTE, and these are symbols that stand for the different generations of broadcasting technology. 1G, or first generation, gave us the ability to make calls, 2G allowed us to send and receive messages, 3G let us access the internet, and 4G made accessing the internet markedly faster. LTE is a classification used to symbolize signal connection speeds in between 3G and 4G. 

The speeds of these connections are partly measured in something called latency, which  marks the time it takes for information to travel from one area to another. As the fastest widespread broadband, 4G boasts a latency rate of 300 milliseconds. This is remarkable, as the average human reaction times between 200 and 300 milliseconds. At best, human reaction time is only slightly faster than the time it takes for a device to retrieve information from a host on 4G.

5G, on the other hand, as some engineers have stated, will have a reaction time around one millisecond. Almost instantaneous. This is why when 5g reaches peak connectivity and is introduced to the world, it will allow for a new age of technology. Things like self driving cars and augmented reality become not only plausible, but markedly better alternatives to what exists today. A one millisecond delay time means an almost instantaneous reaction to a possible collision in a 5G self-driving vehicle, which would hypothetically reduce the amount of death and injury every year from car accidents substantially. It also means technology like virtual reality will be experienced in near real-time. While all of this promises to alter the way in which we experience the world around us, it also guarantees that many of the devices that we use today will quickly go obsolete. 

In this fast-paced age of technology, the newest and most advanced products seem like a necessity for our everyday lives. As the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports, Americans spent almost 71 billion dollars on telephone and communication technology in 2017, which is five times more than they spent in 2010 even when adjusted for inflation. Technological corporations have been feeding into this ‘newer is better’ model, reducing the lifespan of a device and regularly unveiling newer, more advanced devices and enticing consumers with discounts for upgrades. This sort of mentality is great for profit, but produces a large amount of electronic waste, which is much harder to recycle than plastic or paper. 

Electronic waste can not be simply placed in a recycling bin because the precious metals hidden inside these products can be flammable or radioactive. They must be sent to specialized recycling centers that focus on taking apart technological devices and salvaging parts that can be used in making future electronics. Because of this difficulty, most obsolete technological parts end up incinerated or in landfills.

With the introduction of 5G, this is only going to get worse. As Alana Semeuls of TIME magazine reports, electronics waste is the fastest growing solid waste stream in the world, and it will “turn into a torrent as the world upgrades to 5G”. E-cycling facilities forecast an explosion of the number of devices in the waste stream and are preparing to expand their capacity in order to meet these demands. However, these devices will never reach their facilities if they are not disposed of properly. At this time, more than ever, the GW community should turn its attention to the blue e-waste collection towers located throughout the campus. The university has contracted eAsset Solutions, a recycling center located in Falls Church to pick-up and recycle any technological parts placed in these collection towers, which are pictured below:

E-waste collection tower located in Gelman Library on the second basement level

There are eight collection towers located across the three main GW campuses:

  • Marvin Center (Ground Floor next to elevator)
  • Science and Engineering Hall (1st Floor West)
  • Gelman Library (Basement Level 2).
  • Shenkman Hall (1st Floor Elevators)
  • Thurston Hall (Mail Boxes)
  • West Hall  @ Mount Vernon Campus (Lower Level 1)
  • District House (Level B-1 on H Street side near restrooms)
  • Enterprise Hall @ VSTC (Loading Dock)

Electronic recycling is only a short-term solution, as technological companies rapidly increasing the rate of obsolescence has accelerated the rate of resource depletion to something completely unsustainable and detrimental to our environment. Until companies like Apple and Amazon feel pressure from their consumers to create more long-lasting products, e-waste will continue to pollute nature at an alarming rate. Today, all we can do is dispose of electronics in a smart and safe way in the wake of 5G technology.

...continue reading "The Dark Side of 5G Technology"

Hello! My name is Ragavendra Maripudi and I am the newest intern for the Office of Sustainability at GW. With each and every experience I have with this position, it becomes increasingly evident to me that the driving force behind the sustainability movement is a collective spirit that is strengthened by meaningful collaboration. This spirit is a dedication to the conservation of the very Earth that sustains us, and I have felt the immense power of this collaboration since the day I started working with the Office of Sustainability: when I was asked to volunteer at the GW Green Move-Out.

It was a hot and lethargic morning when I walked into South Hall on my first day as an intern. My eyes were transfixed on a group of people in matching white t-shirts, each holding a garbage bag, jostling for position around a seemingly endless pile of household supplies. There was a deep, tangible passion that seemed to connect every one of these people. I was handed a bag myself and asked to gather ‘household goods’ (anything other than food and textiles) until I had filled the bag. As I approached the pile, I could feel the energy and  excitement radiating off of every person, and as I reached for the pile, I felt it rushing through my own body. From an outside perspective, our task would have seemed relatively mundane, yet every single person seemed deeply engaged. In a flurry, we replaced the pile with organized stacks of garbage bags and within two hours, we loaded them onto multiple trucks to be taken to a recycling center. It was engaging, effective, and fun. It was a clear example of what it takes to bring people together around sustainability.

GW Green Move-Out is an initiative that encourages students to drop off recyclable items such as clothing, perishable food, small furniture, and kitchenware in cardboard boxes in the lobbies of their residence halls as they move out for the summer. A bevy of volunteers then work to sort the left-behind goods and send them to recycling centers and charity partners. In 2014, when the initiative began, Mr. Kris Ferguson, the Zero Waste Coordinator at George Washington’s Facilities Resources and Planning Department, reported that Green Move-Out collected and donated 44,010 pounds of materials to recycle. This May, Mr. Ferguson’s team recorded 59,792 pounds, or almost 30 tons, of materials collected, the most it has ever collected. 

This staggering increase is due to collaboration efforts between different communities on and off campus to help preserve these reusable materials. For example, the Department of Energy and Environment for DC has helped through a program called Re-Thread DC to place year-round recycled clothing bins in three residence halls, where they are easily accessible to students and faculty. Green Move-Out has also partnered with “The Store”, GW’s student-run food pantry for food insecure members of the community, to put out boxes for food recycling and monitored them for contamination. Green Move-Out is working to involve every individual and organization in the GW community to recycle massive amounts of materials during late May and early June. 

With my experience volunteering for them, I learned Green Move-Out is more than simply a service for a few weeks in the year. It is a movement that brings people together in their passion to do something, no matter how small, to conserve the massive amounts of waste we produce. The kind of camaraderie that this campaign produces fosters a feeling of tremendous love for the conservation of our earth. In order to face climate change with a bold attitude, we must create more emotional and meaningful movements like the GW Green Move-Out.

For more information about Green Move-Out and to sign up for volunteering, check out:

Planning for Climate Change Impacts at GW

Kehan Desousa

Why is it important for GW to plan for resilience to climate change? Resilience refers to the capacity of a community, business, or natural environment to prevent, withstand, respond to, and recover from a disruption, like the impacts of climate change. We know that GW and the DMV region are already experiencing these impacts, which means we need to make sure we're resilient to them.

The District and GW have been experiencing impacts related to climate change for a number of years now, like the 2012 Derecho that flooded the Mount Vernon Campus. In fact, GW's 2017 Climathon focused on "hacking" resilience in the District. Looking forward, the District is going to face increased precipitation, extreme heat, sea level rise, extreme weather, and storm surge, all of which will impact GW students, faculty, and staff.

The number of days above 95 degrees is projected to increase, with frequent warm nights; this means that core body temperatures won't get a chance to reset at night, harming human health. Heavy flash rain events are also projected to rise, causing flooding and run-off pollution from the region's hardscape surfaces. Severe storms (hurricanes and derechos) will be increasingly energized by warmer air and water, threatening flooding and power outages. The District's rivers - which are tidal - contribute to sea level rise and storm surge; tides on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers have risen 11 inches in the past century already.

While the District government is planning for citywide resilience through Climate Ready DC and the 100 Resilient Cities Resilience Planning, GW is also taking steps to plan for resilience as an institution. In addition to considering the way climate change will impact the District, GW will also consider the global impacts of climate change, which may alter the availability of food, fuel, and other commodities.

GW's resilience planning efforts were originally inspired by a commitment made to Second Nature, a non-profit that convenes colleges and universities around climate change, but have taken on new urgency given the undeniable impacts of climate change. To begin the process, Sustainable GW has hosted two workshops with the sustainability faculty and university staff. These workshops were intended to begin the conversation around resilience as well as to begin honing discussion: what aspects of GW and our urban resilience do we need to focus on?

These ideas will be further distilled and discussed over the next several months, culminating in the development of several concrete, actionable targets that will be incorporated in GW's overall sustainability goals. That way, Sustainable GW can continue to track and advocate for progress towards the broader goal of increasing GW's resilience to climate change impacts.

Sustainable GW plans to continue to convene faculty, students and staff around this topic for the next several months, aiming to release the final Resilience Strategy to the public in early 2020. If you're interested in learning more or participating in GW's resilience planning, please contact

Welcome back G-Dub Green Hub.

Happy 2019! Here’s to a new year full of tons of opportunities and lots to look forward to at Sustainable GW. This post serves as a reminder that there are so many ways to get involved and we want YOU to contribute as much as you would like.

This space is here for you, and we are more than happy to help you generate published content that you can brag about while applying for jobs/internships/grad school/etc. Interested in making a post? Email us at and we can make it happen! If not, check back soon for more from us coming very soon

Sustainability at GW: Year in Review

So many exciting things have happened at the university in 2018, it’s hard to keep track. Here’s a round-up of sustainability related campus happenings at GW since the beginning of the year.


  • Chef Jose Andres shared his story of making thousands of meals for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, hosted by GW and Food Policy Action
  • Sustainable GW and Campaign GW announced the official launch of the composting pilot
  • The GroW Garden set up the next semester’s worth of community supported agriculture (CSA), where students can get weekly shares of local produce using GWorld
  • GW cosponsored a talk on “Creating the Paris Path on Climate Change”
  • Bernie Sanders and Bill McKibben came to the university to talk about the future of renewable energy


  • The first collection for the composting pilot occurred in the Mid-Campus Quad, with 80 pounds collected
  • Another group of sustainably-minded students applied to live in the Zero Waste housing affinity
  • Green GW’s annual Valentine’s Day succulent sale took place
  • The 2018 Food Tank Summit occurred with the GW Food Institute
  • Planet Forward hosted a salon with global parties
  • The GroW Garden had their first volunteer hours of the year
  • The $2 million Sustainable Investment Fund was announced


  • The GW Environmental & Energy Law Association and the Environmental Law Institute hosted a symposium
  • Nutritionist Debbie Amster came to speak on how to eat a healthy diet in college
  • Campaign GW hosted Earth Hour for the entire university


  • Sustainable GW and The Store hosted a clothing swap to combat the consequences of fast fashion
  • The Planet Forward Annual Summit began, and the Storyfest winner was announced
  • Sustainable GW took part in the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative
  • The Foggy Bottom Farmers Market reopened for the Spring Season
  • Green GW’s annual Trashion show occurred at the Georgetown Patagonia store
  • The Conscious College Road Tour made its stop at GW
  • GW Dining held an event called “Smoothies for Sustainability”
  • GW Campus Rec and Sustainable GW led an outdoor yoga session
  • An official “campus cleanup” occurred in honor of Earth Day
  • Four environmental film screenings took place
  • The university congregated in Kogan Plaza for the annual Earth Day Fair


  • International Compost Awareness Week occurred, with GW’s compost pilot now averaging over 200 pounds collected per week
  • GW celebrated #BikeToWorkDay
  • GW was recognized as the largest green power user in the Atlantic 10 by the EPA Green Power Partnership
  • The Class of 2018 graduated, some of which had a minor in sustainability
  • The GW Commencement speaker, Marcia McNutt, was an oceanographer and president of the National Academy of Sciences
  • The Green Move-Out program collected and donated over 50,000 pounds of clothes, food and household goods


  • Sustainable GW met the Class of 2022 at Colonial Inauguration
  • The first faculty planting of the summer took place at 2101 F Street, moving the university one step closer to meeting the GW Sustainable Landscape Guidelines
  • Several offices and departments re-certified their status as an official green office in the Green Office Network
  • G Street Park was surveyed and will be used for an upcoming sustainability project


  • Sustainable GW’s first clothing repair workshop took place in collaboration with the Innovation Center
  • GW cheered on the This Is Zero Hour youth climate march on capitol hill


  • Earth Overshoot Day occurred, and GW advocated for the #MoveTheDate initiative
  • GW announced the new dining vendor on the Mount Vernon Campus, SAGE, who focus on local food and other sustainability initiatives
  • Freshman moved in to their housing assignments, which were fitted with brand new recycling and trash signage
  • Sustainability at GW held their Welcome Week Open House to introduce first year students to the green community
  • The composting program expanded collection hours
  • The sustainability blog, G-Dub Green Hub, was officially launched


  • The GroW Garden and Miriam’s Kitchen were featured in the Washington Post and on WTOP Radio
  • Freshman Day of Service took place and GW freshman engaged in the local community on a variety of projects, many of which are directly related to sustainability in DC
  • Many of the sustainability related student organizations hosted a joint info session for first year students, including Green GW, Fossil Free GW, the GroW Garden and GW Animal Advocates
  • GW’s Environmental & Energy Law Program hosted a presentation on sustainability and ecological management
  • A Carbon Pricing Toolkit that GW aided with was released
  • The GW Student Association and The Store hosted a Food Insecurity Town Hall
  • The GW Textile Museum hosted an event centering around the link between fashion and sustainability


  • GW Campus Rec returned with another outdoor yoga session, reminding community members that wellbeing is an important part of sustainability
  • The first ever Green Roundtable occurred, bringing together sustainable student leaders from across the university
  • Student eco-representatives hosted a variety of events, including DIY workshops and a mend-a-thon
  • Sustainable GW announced the 2018 Duke Energy Innovation Fund winners
  • Green GW hosted GW alumni Patrick Realiza to talk about entering the sustainability field after graduation


  • The Sustainable GW Leadership Team held a morning of ‘Coffee and Conversation’ with members of the university community
  • The DC Climathon at GW took place, which was a 24-hour hack-a-thon with the goal of hacking good food access
  • Sustainable GW hosted a Lead On Climate staff retreat
  • Director of Sustainability Research, Robert Orttung, spoke on 900 CHML radio about climate change in the United States


  • The GW Sustainable Scholars Award continued to accept undergraduate research proposals, and will be giving out grants to students and staff
  • The compost program finished its final collections of the year, collecting over 2 tons of compost since the launch in January
  • Sustainable GW is hosting a holiday party and sustainability tour of the university to celebrate a successful year

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