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7th Annual Sustainability Champions Awards Ceremony

On June 6, we celebrated our 7th Annual Sustainability Champions Awards Ceremony at Unity of Fairfax. Thanks to our community’s nominations, we recognized seven awardees who have made significant contributions towards FACS' mission of creating moral and equitable solutions to climate change in Northern Virginia.

Data Centers: A Looming Threat That’s Coming Fast

“Data Centers are a direct threat to FACS’ mission of net zero carbon by 2050.” 

FACS Co-Founder Rev. Dr. Jean Wright moved to a Loudoun County senior center, later realizing she was living in “data center alley.” A giant data center hums continually just across the garden fence. Wright is a supporter of land use setbacks and other restrictions; however, she is even more concerned about data centers’ voracious energy use. Dominion Energy utility says it will need to break the promises it made as part of the Virginia Clean Economy Act to produce 100% renewable electricity by 2045 in order to power new data centers in Northern Virginia that are in the construction pipeline. That means Dominion will double planet-warming Greenhouse Gas emissions. We’ll have much more to say about this soon. Photo by Hugh Kenny / Piedmont Environmental Council.

Major Climate and Sustainability Progress at Arlington Public Schools

On June 20, the Arlington School Board adopted its 2024-2030 Strategic Plan. For the first time, the plan includes goals (a.k.a Performance Objectives) explicitly tied to climate and sustainability. By 2030, Arlington Public Schools (APS) will improve environmental sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint in collaboration with the county government by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, achieving 100% renewable energy, transitioning a portion of the bus fleet to zero emissions, and reducing natural gas consumption. APS plans to convene a cross-functional team of APS staff, students, parents, community members and Arlington County government staff to develop a Climate Action Plan for carbon neutrality aligned to the Arlington County community energy plan.

None of these objectives or strategies would have been included without the advocacy and technical input from FACS, Sierra Club Potomac River Group, EcoAction Arlington, and the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability.

Staff Spotlight: Andreana Jinjue Lin

FACS is excited to welcome Andreana Jinjue Lin as our new Communications & Outreach Manager! Andreana will be leading our community outreach, digital communication efforts, and the Tree of Life campaign. She strives to engage Northern Virginia's diverse communities and invite them into the conversations about conservation, sustainability, and clean energy. Andreana is an active board member with the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia where she leads their community engagement efforts, Commissioner with Arlington County's Parks and Recreation Commission, and in training to be a certified Virginia Master Naturalist. She has a strong background in event organizing, outreach, and digital communications with nonprofits from her time working at the Virginia Conservation Network. She also has a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from George Mason University.


Faith in Action – Facing the Heat

“Over 30% of Fairfax residents come from other countries, and more than 1.5 billion humans have been coping with deadly heat already this summer. We’re insulated here by reliable cooling and electricity, but anyone who works outdoors is at risk of heat exhaustion and death. This is devastating to face, especially knowing that this may be the coolest summer the future will know. It can be hard to focus on solutions when grief or fear for the future smacks us,” but these strong-willed emotions will alert and push us towards finding new, innovative solutions.


Nature Corner – Surviving the Heatwave: Critical Questions We Need to Answer

With over 100 degree heat the past month, we need to take action to make our homes, businesses, and communities sustainable. Fortunately, there is a surge of faith-based action and advocacy for the environment. We urge you to read and reflect on the questions and actions we can take together in this war against climate change.



Be sure to visit our online calendar to see when Hub monthly meetings happen, what FACS events are on the horizon, and what community events are being planned by other groups.

City of Alexandria Hub Updates

In early June, the FACS Alexandria Hub and local green building organization Build Our Future published the results of their Alexandria City Council Candidate Questionnaire. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, FACS did not endorse any candidate. With the sole purpose of raising awareness of local climate policy issues for city council candidates and the public, the questionnaire was a success and received local press coverage from ALXnow. Six city council candidates responded, expressing varying levels of support for taking action against climate change: Sarah Bagley, John Chapman, Abdel Elnoubi, James Lewis, Kirk McPike, and Jesse O’Connell. Of the six respondents, four made it through the Democratic primary and will be on the ballot in November.

Important Notice: Due to Independence Day following their regular meeting time, the Hub will convene the following week instead. The Hub typically meets on the first Wednesday of the month. Please check future Hub emails for more details.

Arlington County Hub Updates

In June, they welcomed Rabbi Amelia Wolf from Arlington's Congregation Etz Hayim. Wolf spoke about scriptural texts that drive Jewish climate action. They discussed ancient thinking about the impacts of anthropogenic agriculture on the weather, earth, and our personal well-being. They also talked about the concept of continuity—our collective responsibility for protecting and conserving resources that will be passed onto future generations.

Hub advocates are ensuring that Arlington Public Schools include meaningful climate and energy goals in their updated Strategic Plan. They will provide suggestions to the County Board on making the most of new climate funds in the 2025 budget. 

Important Notice: This month’s July meeting will be replaced with FACS’ Power of Faith webinar on Thursday, July 11, at 7 PM and is intended for clergy, staff, and congregants who want to upgrade their houses of worship to optimize energy and natural resources.

Fairfax County Hub Updates

Despite the heat, FACS has been showing up at outdoor events, and helping people see that there are solutions we can advocate for.

One of the ways we support change is by participating in it ourselves. Returning uneaten food to nourish the earth, aka composting, is an essential way of life. Did you know you can drop off food scraps at the Farmer’s Markets? So convenient! Buying local fresh food supports a local food supply, and dropping off the scraps encourages a circular resource flow. 

Sign up to get updates on Plan Forward, Fairfax County’s effort to include all of us in designing the next 30 years of plans. This is one of the opportunities we can take to shape the future together.

Loudoun Hub Updates

On June 20, Friends Acting for Climate Group (FACT) invited Lawrence MacDonald, author of Am I Too Old to Save the Planet?, to share ways we can all make a difference, regardless of age, during this climate emergency. (Watch the presentation

Recently, Hub members attended a meeting where several Loudoun County organizations presented on the major impacts of data centers and transmission lines on Northern Virginia residents. For an overview of the critical issues, check out the Piedmont Environmental Council’s video—"The Hidden Costs of the Cloud: Data Centers in Virginia." (Watch the video

Keep an eye out for their upcoming training on "How to Talk to People About Climate Change."

Central Valley Hub Updates

The Hub held a mixer for Creation Care and Green Teams from area congregations on Saturday evening, June 22. Twenty-five congregation members from eight different congregations connected and got to know each other on a warm evening under an outdoor church pavilion. They took turns sharing the inspiring initiatives of each congregation, such as: 

  • Several congregations installing solar panels on top of their church buildings.
  • Planning to install EV chargers.
  • Creating a meditative nature path while also having a community garden with 30 individual plots.
  • Organizing climate advocacy and tree planting events. 
  • Leading an adult education class on climate change and printing children's materials about caring for the earth.

Church leaders were energized and are already making plans for a follow-up event later this year.

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FACS' Monthly Sustainability Tip

Synthetic textiles account for almost 35% of ocean microplastics, with a single laundry load releasing up to 18 million microfibers. Installing a microfiber filter in your washing machine can cut up to 90% of microfiber pollution from your laundry—a simple, effective step you can take at home. (See more reducing microplastic pollution tips)

Inspired to give beyond time and talent? Donate today and support FACS' work.


Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
PO Box 2012  | Reston, Virginia 20195
703-239-3748 | info@faithforclimate.org

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