Will Hackman, DC Resident
Combatting climate change and spreading awareness and knowledge about it is one of my primary purposes in life. I've tried to do this through a variety of different published articles, podcast interviews, academic research, and now I'm writing a book on the subject. But my passion towards the environment, especially the ocean, was developed years ago, as a commercial Alaskan salmon fisherman during the summers while in college. In 2013, I joined the public sector conservation community as a marine fisheries conservation advocate and have worked to advance public policies related to ocean and land conservation as well as energy and the environment. I also represented Georgetown University at the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Morocco and Germany.
As DC is surveying residents on how we can all safely re-open the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ideas have been submitted. One of my favorites is to create "slow roads." This essentially means limiting a small percentage of roads throughout the city to just foot and bicycle traffic, which is not only something that can provide more outdoor spaces for residents, but is the type of idea included in many visions of future city plans in connection with combatting climate change, improving air quality, and making cities truly pedestrian-friendly. Given the climate benefits of this idea, we should do all we can to make it a long-term reality.
Here are a few things I do to try and make a difference as an individual.
- I recently switched over to Arcadia energy for the generation portion of my electric bill. Arcadia (3rd party supplier of electricity) provides community solar and wind to meet all my energy needs. It's a great option for those who want to switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy, even if you are renting an apartment in a building (as I am). It also comes with a smart thermostat that is easy to install and easily programmable to help minimize the amount of daily energy consumption, which also saves a lot of money.
- To fight climate change as a community, we have to have leaders who understand the scope and severity of the challenge we face. The best single thing you can do to fight climate change is to vote.
Current times, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, have been extremely challenging and have reminded us, especially those living in big cities, how taking walks and riding our bicycles can meet many of our transportation needs. We've reconnected to nature as something essential to our physical and emotional health. We've reduced our carbon footprints and reduced some of our daily unnecessary consumer consumption and waste. I hope we can take some of these lessons with us and make long-term changes to our daily habits that will build a more sustainable future. I encourage everyone to always remember how important spending time outside has been to us during the pandemic, how essential clean natural environments are, and how the destruction of our environment makes us unhealthier and more susceptible to pandemics in the future.