Join Club

What’s Next: Meeting Our Community Energy Goals

What’s Next with Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solelyย the author’s.

From the local to state to federal level it finally feels like there is momentum to make an impact on climate change. In order to meet our collective goals, it is incumbent upon us all to take responsibility for these aspirations in our everyday actions.

Arlington released bold energy goals in the 2019 Community Energy Plan. The county resolved to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025 for government operations, achieve 100% community renewable electricity by 2035, and become carbon neutral by 2050.

In 2020, Governor Northam signed the Clean Economy Act (sponsored by Arlington’s Rip Sullivan) that directed sweeping environmental standards. It set a path to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, required Dominion Energy to supply 30% of their power from renewables by 2030 and close all carbon-emitting power plants by 2045, made it “in the public interest” for generation of that 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind and 16,100 megawatts of onshore wind and solar, expanded net metering for solar credits on Dominion electric bills, required expanded energy storage capacity for solar by Dominion, among many more provisions.

Today on Earth Day, President Biden pledged to cut US emissions of greenhouse gasses in half by 2030 — a goal twice as ambitious as what President Obama originally agreed to upon the initial signing of the Paris Climate Agreement. A significant amount of funding will be found in the upcoming Infrastructure Bill for improvements to the grid, public transportation, and other items.

What Arlingtonians can do to personally make an impact on our environmental goals

  • Join the solar co-op. If you are a resident or business that has the ability to install solar you can join a collective of members from Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudon, Prince William, and Manassas to negotiate reduced rates for installing solar. There is a similar program for EV chargers.
  • If renovating or building a home, use the free green home choice program. The free consultation helps with designing a better home for the environment including utility optimization, energy efficiency, stormwater management, and other factors that can help improve both your impact on the earth and your home value.
  • Participate in an Earth Day event any day this month, including the Green Valley Earth Day Clean Up event at various clean up sites.
  • Upon your eventual return to work, resolve a return to taking public transportation when possible. Reducing the number of single occupancy driving trips from a significant portion of our community will help our greenhouse gas reduction efforts.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle! Return to basics and keep this in mind as you participate in our consumer economy. From reducing the number of boxes you use for Amazon orders, to reusing glass jars for alternative purposes, to getting a quick refresher on “where does it go” for disposal of recyclable goods.
  • Advocate for energy efficiency improvements in the Virginia Legislature and thank or donate to legislators who are making this a priority. Join the Sierra Club, apply to be on the Climate Change, Energy, and Environment Commission, lobby your legislators in Richmond.
  • Bring young Arlingtonians to our parks to have them learn and appreciate our natural environment. I will never forget the unique experiences that the Outdoor Lab and trips to Potomac Overlook had when I was a student in APS. To this day I spend a significant amount of free time in our national and state park system and I attribute a lot of that to these types of trips in my childhood.

Happy Earth Day.

Nicole Merlene grew up in Arlington County and has been a civic leader in both policy and political arenas. She has been an Economic Development and Tenant-Landlord Commissioner; Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee, Pentagon City Planning Study, Rosslyn Transportation Study, and Vision Zero member; Arlington County Civic Federation and Rosslyn Civic Association Board Member. In 2019 she sought the Democratic nomination for the 31st District of the Virginia State Senate. Professionally Nicole is an Economic Development Specialist where she works to attract businesses to the region. She lives in an apartment with her dog Riley and enjoys running and painting.

Recent Stories

Hamid Habib Zaba tabla photo

When Hamid Habib Zada and Negin Khwalpak fled Afghanistan with their daughter Maram two years ago in hopes of escaping the Taliban, all they brought to America was a backpack…

Interested in Italian wine? Join the Arrowine team this Sunday, June 11 to learn and taste wines from Italy’s most prestigious regions.

When the pandemic hit, Arlington resident Matt White, like many others, could not get a haircut. He noticed his hair grew quickly and, rather than cut it, he decided to…

As your senator, I promised to bolster public education, make health care more affordable, pass climate change policies and make Virginia safer with common-sense gun safety measures.

Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.

To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!

We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!

Submit your own Announcement here.

๐ŸŒฟ ๐„๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐š๐ฅ๐ ๐Œ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ๐š๐ ๐ž ๐‚๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ: ๐‘๐ž๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐๐จ๐๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐’๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐ŸŒฟ Local business is the heart of a strong community, and at Emerald Massage Center, we’re proud to be a vital part of that heartbeat. Our passionate team of Licensed Massage Therapists is dedicated to providing you with a sanctuary of relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal.

๐ŸŒŸ ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐–๐ž ๐Ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ ๐ŸŒŸ

Our wide range of massage services includes Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, sports massage, hot stone, aromatherapy, and more โ€” all tailored to your individual needs. Whether you’re seeking relief from stress, muscle tension, or chronic pain, our skilled therapists will help you achieve total wellness.

๐Ÿ† ๐Ž๐ฎ๐ซ ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ข๐ญ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐Ÿ†

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Homebuying 102: Contract Closing and Beyond

You’ve found the perfect house and you’re under contract, now what? Navigating the closing process can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers on June 21 at 5:30pm for part two in our first-time

Explore Archery

Our archery classes start with the Explore Archery program. This is a six week course, with 60 minute classes for new archers ages 8 to 12.

Our indoor archery program is fun, rewarding and developmentally progressive. These classes are focused


Subscribe to our mailing list