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Kelly Henderson’s Blog

Moving Planet Brought People from All Offices to Move Past Dirty Fuels

Kelly Henderson

Posted September 28, 2011

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This past Saturday was’s Moving Planet Day, a call to move beyond coal and other fossil fuels and hop on the renewables “train.”  Thanks to all who took time out of their Saturday to take steps to move the planet forward! Over the next week I will be releasing a series of stories from NRDC’s own who came out to the event to show their support of moving the planet off of dirty fuels. Please enjoy the following from the DC office:

Christine Xu- China and Energy/Transportation PA- Washington D.C.’s “VegFest”:

“The D.C. “VegFest” on September 24th at George Washington University was a free festival promoting and celebrating the vegetarian diet – whether for the planet, health, or animal welfare reasons – that drew both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. For the past several months, I have increasingly become what they dub as a “flexitarian”: someone who eats meat only occasionally (though, what occasional means exactly is highly subjective). Along with me came two friends who are actually on the cannot-live-without-meat diet. Their presence didn’t take any convincing on my part, however, because the food vendors that were expected to come such as Fojol Bros and Amsterdam Falafelshop – both local favorites—make such flavorful and hearty meals that meat-lovers can’t turn to their usual excuse of “I can’t get full off of JUST veggies!” So, we got our food truck fix and began roaming the booths for freebies. There were both hits and misses with the free food samples. Our favorites were vegan rice pudding and vegan oatmeal cookies; while the imitation bacon at the Tofurkey booth were not so great, to say the least. There were also handy guides on vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the DC-Virginia-Maryland areas that I eagerly picked up, and cutesy t-shirts from PETA, one of which had a chick with the caption “I am not a nugget.” All in all, the fest was a fun experience, although my friends didn’t convert their diets and I didn’t turn into a strict vegetarian. But the bottom line is this: any step you take to limit your intake of meat helps reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment.”


People gathering at the VegFest in D.C. - photo courtesy of

Michael Davidson- China Climate Fellow- Washington D.C.’s Sustainability Tour at UDC:

“I joined about twenty other environmental advocates at the campus of University of District of Columbia for Moving Planet. There, we learned about the local institution’s recent (Fall 2010) Sustainability Initiative, which is already picking up quite a lot of steam. Howard Ways, director, and Josh Lasky, manager, walked us through the year since the initiative began, such as rekindling a community garden, installing Brita water filtration systems around campus. They’ve doubled recycling rates through some smart low-cost methods such as replacing trash cans at each person’s desk with “mini-bins”. The idea – when you have less space to throw away, you'll think more about what your trash is made of – seems to be catching on.  Big plans on the horizon: the renovation of Dennard Plaza to add greenery and permeable pavement which collects rain water in huge bins below ground and reuses it around campus; and a LEED-certified student center. I look forward to following the progress of my local university’s sustainability work!”

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Introducing everyone to the newest addition -- a student-run community garden at UDC- Photo courtesy of Michael Davidson.

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Solar/wind hybrid streetlight at UDC- Photo courtesy of Michael Davidson.

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Behavioral change on campus: give everyone a "mini-bin". When you have less space to throw away (and the normal-sized recycle bin), you'll think more about what your trash is made of- Photo courtesy of Michael Davidson.

Many thanks again, to all NRDC folks who made Moving Planet a success. Feel free to check out Apollo Gonzales' blog to learn more about the event's purpose or send me your own stories- and stay tuned for more success stories to come.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

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