Communities east of the Anacostia River are going “green” thanks to the efforts of Project Dream Green, a group of local youths dedicated to environmental conservation.

Ranging from 14 to 21 years old, the 72 young people—who come from Northeast Washington communities most impacted by pollution and other environmental degradation—are distributing energy-efficient light bulbs throughout their neighborhoods, educating residents about conservation, picking up trash along the Anacostia and engaging in entrepreneurship and advocacy training.

“I’m excited to be a part of Project Dream Green, because we all need to go green for the future of our children and grandchildren,” said Shawnte Smith, 21, a member of the Project Green Team, in a press release. “Everyone can take action by recycling, cleaning up their rivers and parks, and using energy-efficient products. Going green is good for the planet, good for people, and good for your wallet.”

Project Dream Green, which was funded by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), aims to empower young people to address the environmental issues within their own communities, strengthening the community as a whole.  

“All communities should be green, healthy, and prosperous,” said Chris Bradshaw, executive director of Dreaming Out Loud, which developed the campaign along with another nonprofit, Groundwork Anacostia. “Dreaming green can start with just an energy-efficient light bulb. The end goal is to work to environmental sustainability and health for our children and grandchildren.”