October 2009

Concerned about climate change and growing energy costs? Together we can make a big difference!

Join your friends and neighbors in Bethesda Green’s GreenerLiving program and learn concrete, practical steps you can take to impact the environment by saving energy in your home and on the road.  Free spaces limited to first 50 enrollees.  RSVP with name, address and telephone to info@bethesdagreen.org.

The GreenerLiving Program is an educational program that can help you:

  • Measure and track your energy use
  • Learn how your energy use impacts the environment
  • Reduce your energy use
  • Save money
  • Gain control

It’s up to you how far to go. GreenerLiving can help you track your energy use automatically with online tools at EarthAid.net and offers discounts on home energy audits. With your individual energy profile in hand, you can do as much or as little as suits you. GreenerLiving can help show you the way through workshops, website information and other educational tools.

From replacing light bulbs to making energy efficiency upgrades or even installing a solar or geothermal system in your home, the GreenerLiving program will provide guidance to help you:

  • Understand your options
  • Choose a good vendor
  • Take advantage of tax and financing programs and incentives
  • Learn and share best practices
  • Obtain special discounts on products and services
  • Calculate potential savings, payback periods and environmental impact

Join us for the first workshop and orientation

At Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, second floor above the Chevy Chase Bank branch.  Please choose one workshop and RSVP to info@bethesdagreen.org.

— Saturday, October 24, 10-11:30 am, or
— Wednesday, October 28, 7-8:30 pm

Ongoing classes on Saturdays, Nov. 7, 21 and Dec. 5, starting at 10 am.

John Spears, President of the Sustainable Design Group

John Spears, president of Sustainable Design Group

Ecological pioneer John Spears kicked off the first of what will be monthly Bethesda Green lunchtime discussions October 13 with an informative presentation about building energy self-sufficient homes.  Nearly 20 attendees learned about a variety of renewable energy sources and the financial paybacks for investing in them.

Spears, president of Sustainable Design Group, is an internationally recognized expert with 30 years experience in energy conservation, renewable energy systems, indoor air quality and sustainable design.  He provides design and consulting services in the areas of residential and commercial building energy conservation, renewable energy systems, “Green Building” design, indoor air quality and sustainable community development.

Bethesda Green is featuring a number of Upcoming Events in October on Energy Efficiency, including an introductory 101 workshop Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7-9 pm.

Bethesda Green's Solar Decathlon visitors

Bethesda Green's Solar Decathlon visitors

After the Spears presentation, a group headed down to DC to visit the Solar Decathlon, which runs until Oct. 18.  The Solar Decathlon, an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, presents the powerful combination of solar energy, energy efficiency, and the best in home design.  Set up on the Washington Mall, the event joins 20 college and university teams in a competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house.

The ribbon-cutting at Bethesda Green, October 1.

Cutting the invasive-species ribbon at Bethesda Green are, from left to right: Bethesda Green Executive Director Dave Feldman, Honest Tea TeaEO Seth Goldman, County Councilmember George Leventhal, County Executive Ike Leggett, Maryland State Senator Brian Frosh and Maryland State Delegate Susan Lee.

Our Grand Opening was a big success!

The festivities began with a VIP reception the morning of October 1, followed by a “ribbon”-cutting ceremony on Cordell Avenue. County Executive Ike Leggett gave a short speech, as did Honest Tea TeaEO Seth Goldman, Bethesda Green Executive Director Dave Feldman, County Councilmember George Leventhal and a few others. A representative from the governor’s office presented a proclamation declaring October 1 “Bethesda Green Business Incubator Day.”

The dignitaries then cut a “ribbon” made from an invasive-species vine donated by American Plant.

Several hundred people visited our newly renovated Education Center and Green Business Incubator that day and hundreds more came the next two days. A team of our student volunteers helped collect recycling at the Taste of Bethesda, October 3. Check out our news page for clips about the Grand Opening event.

Thanks to all the supporters, donors and volunteers who made the event happen! The large turnout reflects the huge amount of community support and interest we’ve received. And this is just the beginning!

Each month we’ll host a series of panel discussions, workshops and seminars around a green topic — October’s is ‘Energy Efficiency: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint.’ Our offerings include a Green Your Business seminar series and the GreenerLiving Bethesda educational program.

To see what else we have on tap, check our events calendar or the upcoming events page.

November’s programs will focus on the theme of ‘Healthy Harvests: Local and Organic Food Options.’ We hope to see you at Bethesda Green!

Recycling Team gathers before taking to the streets at the Taste of Bethesda October 3, 2009.

Recycling Team gathers before taking to the streets at the Taste of Bethesda October 3, 2009.

Among many of the wonderful highlights from the past weekend’s launching of the Bethesda Green Education Center and Green Business Incubator — a three-day celebration that included a ribbon-cutting ceremony October 1, hundreds of  visitors to our Open House showcase,  and recognition from Gov. Martin O’Malley — was the extraordinary effort by our Bethesda Green Recycling Team of high school volunteers.

Led by Volunteer Coordinator Rosalie Grazzini,  the team helped with recycling during the Taste of Bethesda street festival October 3, gathering discarded paper and cardboard in large laundry carts (pictured above) provided by Perfect Settings.   Moving their carts from block to block behind restaurant booths and weaving among the estimated 40,000 Taste of Bethesda attendees, the recycling team collected a flat bed truck full of paper and cardboard and 30 trash bags full of plastics — an enormous volume of waste detoured from the landfill.

The large turnout of students made an impressionable impact on both the vendors and the patrons, raising awareness of the commitment needed to sustain this important environmental movement.   Great job!