Classic American Arquitecture in Washington DC, View of 20th street from Connecticut Avenue

If there’s one thing for sure, D.C. has some amazing sustainable businesses.

Everywhere you look these days, you can see local businesses showing their environmental responsibility in little ways. Recycled packaging! Fair Trade certifications! Plastic foam-free packaging for takeout!

But with all this success, it can be hard to find businesses that are leading the pack—the local and regional restaurants and shops that are doing more than paying lip service to the “green” movement.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you: to help you find these true green pioneers in the District, we’ve collected nine great D.C. based businesses that we think are doing “green business” right. Each of these local businesses has demonstrated their commitment to sustainability in a serious, thoughtful, and unique way.

Celebrate these 9 businesses (shared in no particular order!) by taking a visit and encouraging them to keep up the awesome work!

1. Skincando

Inspired by the company CEO’s own passion for sustainable products, Skincando makes organic and environmentally-friendly beauty and skincare products at its headquarters in downtown D.C. The company also packages products efficiently and uses clean power with its business processes. Nice work!

2. Washington Nationals Ballpark

The Washington Nationals may be known for their top-notch athletes, but they should be praised even more for having the first U.S. baseball stadium ever to be LEED certified. From the roof and lights to the seating and the field, the architects for the Navy Yard sports arena made a conscious effort to make the least amount of impact on the environment.

And it’s paid off. The Washington National Stadium is expected to use “15% less energy, by cost, than a comparable conventional ballpark.”

3. Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co.

Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. (CBRC) sells high-quality coffees in various stores across the city and uses its profits to support social good projects. In addition, it strives to make its business practices as environmentally conscious as possible by incorporating clean energy into its business model and providing free coffee to community organizations who work toward green progress.

4. MOM’s Organic Market

MOM’s Organic Market was a pioneer in the early movements for local and organic food in D.C. and it continues as a pioneer for the movement to make D.C. green. With locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, it strives to spread the idea of community-based grocery shopping with the environment in mind. By combining quality local food offerings, green shopping and ethical business practices, MOM’s make choosing to go green an easy task for the D.C. resident.

5. FreshFarm Markets

Let’s face it: there’s no better way to spend a sunny Saturday morning in D.C. than to visit one of the city’s many farmer’s markets. Participating in the farmer’s market movement is a great way to be environmentally conscious, but FreshFarm Markets takes it one step further through its commitment to exclusively sourcing local foods and its programming to provide fresh local produce to lower socioeconomic neighborhoods in D.C. We salute them for their work in bringing good good and green living to every D.C. citizen.

6. Founding Farmers

Known as a popular tourist spot in D.C. (especially for its iconic beignets), Founding Farmers makes the perfect argument for green business that not only works, but is incredibly profitable. With locations all around the DMV area, Founding Farmers works to make eco-friendly dining the standard experience for D.C. foodies.

7. Community Forklift

The construction industry is one of the most significant contributors to landfill waste. Thankfully, D.C.’s own Community Forklift has stepped in with a model to fix it. Instead of dumping unused construction materials into landfills, Community Forklift accepts those throwaways as donations and then sells them back to the community at an exceedingly low price. Community Forklift also works with D.C. based nonprofits to make housing repair and renovations at no cost to residents of lower income levels. We applaud them for offering the combined benefits of green living with community equity in our city.

8. Busboys & Poets

In addition to being a powerhouse for arts and theatre community in the District, Busboys & Poets prides itself on its green initiatives. According to its website, Busboys & Poets recycles all of its glass, plastic, aluminium, and paper products, purchases the most sustainable and environmentally responsible products for its maintenance materials, and supplies its food inventory with only the most ethically conscious items. Busboys and Poets makes a strong case for dedicated businesses taking part in the greening of Washington, D.C.

9. Glen’s Garden Market

Glen’s Garden Market, just called “Glen’s” by local residents, is a grocery that provides “produce, meats, cheeses, breads, beers and wines” from local distributors within the Greater Chesapeake Bay area. Its strict adherence to providing locally sourced products is matched extensively by the organization’s own internal initiatives for promoting green living (read: it only allows reusable shopping bags and encourages employees to bike to work). We’re thrilled with Glen’s presence as a committed green business in the Capitol area.


For more tips on finding great green business within the D.C. community, follow us on Twitter @grndswell. We’re so excited to champion businesses that make environmental responsibility a part of everyday life.


Imani Lewis is an artist, advocate, and Editorial Fellow at Groundswell, currently living on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. When she’s not dreaming up ideas to change the world, you’ll find her perusing Soundcloud and pretending not to like Taylor Swift. Connect with her on Twitter at @imanirlewis.