November 2009

Maryland Greenhawks players and Bethesda Green staff and volunteersThe Maryland Greenhawks basketball team – the nation’s first “green” professional sports team — held its inaugural press conference November 18 at the Bethesda Green offices.

Formerly known as the Maryland Nighthawks, the team plays in the Premier Basketball League (PBL). This year the team embraced environmental conservation and changed its name.

Their uniforms will be made from environmentally friendly materials, such as bamboo or recycled plastic, and the team will work with to offset the carbon footprint created by its home games, travel and corporate headquarters.

In addition, the Greenhawks will conduct a sneaker recycling program with Nike. The public may be able to participate in this; stay tuned.

Maryland Greenhawks players and officialsAt the press conference the Greenhawks introduced their first two draft picks — Byron Mouton, a former member of the University of Maryland’s national championship team in 2002, and Travis Lay from American University – as well as players Scooter Sherrill and Daniel Artest.

League president and CEO Tom Doyle described the Greenhawks as the “first sports franchise that’s green,” and said the team will be going into the schools to bring the green message. Doyle said the team’s outreach to kids will go a long way to creating a generation of conservationists.

Mouton said kids seeing the Greenhawks on the court as a green team will help the youngsters realize environmental conservation is a priority.

The Greenhawks will play their games at Wootton High School; their first home game is January 16. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Bethesda Green volunteers help unload documents for shredding at Nov. 15 recycling event.

On a spectacularly sunny fall day, Bethesda Green celebrated America Recycles Day Sunday, Nov. 15, helping Montgomery County shred and recycle paper at the Walt Whitman H.S. parking lot.  A small army of volunteers assisted in directing traffic, distributing information and Honest Tea, and unloading boxes of paper documents and donated items.

Managed by Recycling Coordinator Alan Pultyniewicz, with Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection, the Shred and Recycle event was a huge success.  According to Alan, “ we served 421 vehicles, collected approximately 400 pounds of cardboard for recycling, shredded 13,710 pounds of paper for recycling, and filled 3 box trucks with donated clothing and household goods.”

Let me echo Alan’s thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make the event a success.

Last week Bethesda Green hosted a panel discussion about why it’s important to know where your food originates, featuring panelists Woody Woodroof of Red Wiggler Farm, Tony Cohen of Button Farm, and Marney Bruce from Grow It, Eat It. Each presented a different angle on that theme, from a historical perspective to how to grow your own food.

The conversation then turned to small farms in Montgomery County, which have declined in numbers in recent decades. For Rana Koll-Mandel, co-leader of Bethesda Green’s Sustainable Food & Agriculture team, the discussion reinforced what she’s learned during the past year.

“Local food and the support of local agriculture is really important because the issue is not demand. There are so many people who want to support their local economy. The problem is supply – we don’t have enough farmers,” she said.

To bring back some small farmers and produce more local food, Woodroof is working with the county’s Green Economy Task Force to explore creating a small-farm incubator in Montgomery. The idea is based on a successful small-farm incubator in Vermont.

The evening panel discussion at Bethesda Green drew a crowd of 25 or so people and sparked a vibrant discussion and plans for further collaboration. Want to be a part of the local and sustainable food scene? Come to our next food talk November 17; check our Web site for upcoming events; join our Facebook fan page; or drop us an e-mail and we’ll put you in touch with the Sustainable Food & Ag team.