July 2009

This month we saw a marked increase in activity around Bethesda Green.  We officially opened our Green Incubator with six exciting companies confirmed and several more under consideration. The Incubator’s mission is to support the development of young growing businesses that have the potential to create jobs and bring new, innovative green products to market.

Friends of Bethesda Green gather at the Incubator Orientation July 14.

Friends of Bethesda Green gather at the Incubator Orientation July 14.

One of Bethesda Green’s key assets for new incubating businesses is the opportunity to network and share ideas.  A fine example was our July 14 orientation/social event, which attracted a large crowd to welcome the new companies.

As part of the larger Bethesda Green Education Center, the Incubator companies will have an opportunity to meet the public at our October 1 grand opening.  More details will follow, but we aim to kick off with a ribbon cutting Thursday morning, followed by a two-and-half day open house.  Once the Center opens, the public will be able to learn about the many programs that Bethesda Green currently offers.  In addition to containing our office space, the Center will serve as an education and events theatre, meeting venue for all our working groups, local “green” solution showcase, and resource Center.

The Incubator serves a diverse cross-section of green, socially responsible, sustainable companies that have a positive impact on our community.  The businesses, as well as other entrepreneurs and non-profits we hope to attract in the future, represent small local companies or larger green companies with a local presence.  The businesses are drawn from multiple sectors, including software development, finance, technology, agriculture, architecture, consulting and distribution and address such issues as energy efficiency, green transportation, planning, design, neighborhood revitalization, and recycling.

For more info about incubators in general and the Bethesda Green Incubator specifically, click here.  For a listing of the businesses in the Bethesda Green Incubator, click here.

Piles of electronic debris -- dropped off for recycling -- lines the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School parking.

Electronic debris -- dropped off for recycling -- lines the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School parking lot.

Bethesda Green’s second e-cycling event in partnership with Montgomery County Division of Solid Waste Services June 7 drew over 700 people, disposing nearly 90,000 lbs of electronic debris at the Bethesda Chevy Chase High School parking lot.  Electronics scrap recyclers E-Structors, under contract to the county, filled more than two 18-wheelers with e-waste.

Electronics recycled included small electronic appliances, computers, copiers, cords and cables (including chargers), fax machines, microwave ovens, printers, telephones, televisions and much more.

E-Structors assures the absolute destruction of all sensitive data and guarantees environmental compliance with 100 percent recycling of processed materials.  For more information, see the Bethesda Green interview with Michael Caulfield, VP Sales for E-structors,  after the December 14, 2008, e-cycling event at Walt Whitman High School

Bethesda Green and Montgomery County plan to host another e-cycling event in the fall.  Stayed tuned for details.

A bit late in touting this, sorry to say, but the July/August issue of Bethesda Magazine includes an interesting article by Bob Guldin that considers what Bethesda will be like in the year 2020.  Despite the scary-sounding title — “Paradise Lost? By the year 2020, will a growing population and increased urban development hurt the quality of life in the Bethesda area?” — Guldin’s article explores reconciling Bethesda’s New Urbanism with its traditional bedroom community lifestyle.  The article quotes a number of people from the Bethesda Green community, including Executive Director Dave Feldman, County Councilman and Board Member Roger Berliner, and neighborhood leader and Board Member Ilaya Hopkins.  The piece starts on page 85.

BG AD 3Also be sure to check out an item featuring BG Board Co-Chair Seth Goldman and the staff of Honest Tea (page 194 of the “Coolest Companies” article by Hillary Jackson), and last but not least, the Bethesda Green ad executed in kind by Nasuti + Hinkle Creative Thinking and published pro bono by Bethesda Magazine.  The tag line of the ad (pictured) reads “Alternative fuels can come from lots of places.  Even cooking oil.”