March 2009


The front page of today’s Washington Post caught my eye.  Opposite the lead story about swelling deficits, was a feature photo of the White green-shovelHouse pastry chef shoveling ceremonial dirt at a kick-off event launching the creation of a new vegetable garden on the South Lawn.  Both the story in the Style section and a preview article in Friday’s paper tout the benefits of home gardening and healthful eating.

Reinvigorating the simple pleasures of home-grown fruits and vegetables is also part of the Bethesda Green mission.  Just this month, we launched the Sustainable Food Working Group, chaired by Rana Koll-Mandel from Edible Chesapeake Magazine.  The working group, which includes Master Gardeners and local farmers, meets the first Tuesday every month.  

Among an ambitous set of goals outlined by the working group is educating the public about Montgomery County’s Agricultural Land Preservation Programs.  Like all Bethesda Green Working Groups, anyone is welcome to attend monthly meetings or get involved in some capacity.  Check our Calendar for more details.

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Alan Pultyniewicz, Recycling Coordinator for Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services, demonstrates recycling do's and don'ts.

Alan Pultyniewicz, Recycling Coordinator for Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services, demonstrates recycling do's and don'ts.

Last week, Bethesda Green hosted one of the first of what will be regular opportunities for the community — both residents and businesses — to learn more about Montgomery County’s recycling services. Alan Pultyniewicz, MC’s point person and expert on all things pertaining to recycling, and his colleague Ana Arriaza led a “Recycling 101” session to help folks understand the “dos and don’ts” of the county’s recycling program.

The two Recycling Coordinators for Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services regularly speak to groups to spread the word.  In fact, Alan was part of the community networking meeting Bethesda Green recently organized and is scheduled to do his thing yet again as part of the “Bethesda Goes Green!” series of events hosted at the Bethesda Library.

We’re fortunate to have such great resources available to help educate all of us about ways to improve and promote recycling efforts throughout the community.

shamrockOn the day we celebrate Ireland and all things green, it seems appropriate for Bethesda Green to claim a bit of a holiday as well.  So, today, we toast our supporters, volunteers, and friends.  Thank you all — Bethesda Green would not exist without  you.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Erin Go Bragh!

Last weekend’s climbing temperatures and snow melt-off got me started poking around the yard, cleaning up debris, turning soil, and enjoying the first sprouts of daffodils.  But March is always a month of tease and retreat, as the weather again chills, pushing me back indoors.

March is also Greening and Cleaning Your Home theme month for Bethesda Green, which gives me the opportunity to highlight and recommend a recent Organicmania posting on the topic.  Lynn Miller offers various tips, including one of my favorites to use basic, homemade cleaning concoctions derived from baking soda, castile soap, vinegar, and lemon (with some recipes available here).

It also gives me the chance to expand a bit on my previous post about community networking.  At the Brookmont green cafe gathering, Elena Lomicky from Ecobeco recommended using eco-friendly cleaning products for those disinclined to mixing up their own from natural ingredients.  A good reference to check for more information is National Geographic’s All-Purpose Cleaners Buying Guide.

I also endorse Brookmont resident Sandy Robinson’s approach to cleaning: a little water and elbow grease goes a long way.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

Bethesda Green is spreading the good word about local green initiatives, sharing information, and helping neighbors connect through numerous community events, two of which took place last weekend.

On Saturday, over 30 community leaders attended the “Greening Your Community” forum organized by BG Board Member Ilaya Hopkins, with featured presentations about programs and services offered through the B-CC Regional Services Center and Montgomery County’s Division of Solid Waste Services.

Judy McGuire from the Town of Chevy Chase speaking on her community's environmental initiatives. On right: Forum moderator, Ilaya Hopkins, and panelists Ken Hartman of the B-CC Regional Services Center, Dave Feldman of Bethesda Green, and Alan Pultyniewicz of Montgomery County’s Division of Solid Waste Services.

Judy McGuire from the Town of Chevy Chase speaking on her community's environmental initiatives. On right: Forum moderator, Ilaya Hopkins, and panelists Ken Hartman of the B-CC Regional Services Center, Dave Feldman of Bethesda Green, and Alan Pultyniewicz of Montgomery County’s Division of Solid Waste Services.

On Sunday, we visited the Brookmont neighborhood’s green cafe and joined about 20 people in discussions on storm water management, home energy audits, and earth friendly household cleaning products.  Thanks to Brookmont resident and community leader Sandy Robinson for the invitation and the chance to share a platform with folks from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Ecobeco.

Coming up later this month and into April, the Friends of the Library, in partnership with Bethesda Green and other nonprofits are presenting Bethesda Goes Green! — a series of program on the environment.  Plan now to attend one or more of the five Saturday afternoon programs at the Bethesda Library on Arlington Road.


beth_green_ad_bottle25A few weeks ago, we posted our new ad created in kind by Bethesda newcomer Rick Kourchenko with Nasuti + Hinkle Creative Thinking.  For a number of reasons, we pulled down the post until the March/April issue of Bethesda Magazine in which the ad appears hit the newsstands.  The ad features an image of a bottle topped with a light bulb socket with copy that reads: “Recycling 1 glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for 4 hours.  And a six-pack takes it around the clock.”

Some people love it . . . others, not so much.  But it does get a reaction, and that, as Nasuti co-owner Woody Hinkle would tell you, is what advertising is all about.

The ad appears on page 126, opposite the cover of Bethesda Magazine’s premier issue of Business, its third “magazine within a magazine.”  As always, thanks to publisher Steve Hull for the generous donation of space and to the folks at Nasuti who pull it all together.

Bethesda Green is pleased to announce its association with the upcoming Go Green America Expo, March 28-29 at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center in Gaithersburg, an event expected to attract over 10,000 visitors.
 
gogreenexpoVisitors from around the DC Metropolitan area will:
·         Learn about new green products, services, resources, and technology
·         Shop in the Green Marketplace
·         Be inspired by many remarkable speakers, including authors and politicians
·         Enjoy delicious organic food
·         Expect fun activities for children.
 
As the leading community-based green nonprofit in the Washington area, Bethesda Green was asked to take an important role in this event.  We are creating an Eco-Community, an aggregation of local green businesses, nonprofits and government programs that will showcase the best of what a community has to offer (like our Be Green Showcase last year at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda). 
 
On Friday, we sent an email blast to our friends and sponsors, soliciting participation in the Eco-Community.  Less than five minutes after the email was sent, we received a response from our good friend Tracy Bloom Schwartz, owner of Creative Parties and her newly launched associated business, Green Paper Studios.

Home of Creative Parties and Green Paper Studios, across the street from Bethesda Green at the corner of Cordell and Woodmont Avenues.

Home of Creative Parties and Green Paper Studios, across the street from Bethesda Green at the corner of Cordell and Woodmont Avenues.

We want to thank Tracy for being the first business to respond and commit to joining our Eco-Community.  If you’re interested in getting more information about participating in the Bethesda Green Eco-Community, send a note to info@bethesdagreen.org.