December 2009

Bethesda Green proudly received recognition as one of the first businesses and organizations to be certified by Montgomery County’s Green Business Certification Program.  County Executive Isiah Leggett announced the program at a December 16 media event (see News Release).

“Many businesses are taking steps to incorporate environmentally sound practices into their operations, thus creating a greener environment and economy and improving their bottom lines,” said Leggett.  “With the Green Business Certification Program, the County is encouraging environmental responsibility, and customers will have a way of recognizing which businesses are going green.  Businesses are telling us that our comprehensive program is actually motivating them to further expand their green activities.”

Ralph Smith, a Bethesda Green volunteer and President of Smith Design/Construction, accepted the certification on our behalf.  Ralph and volunteer Cindy Powers took lead roles in guiding us through the process.

“This certification process has helped us to focus our attention on continuing improvement and to celebrate the achievements we have accomplished,” said Ralph during his acceptance remarks.  “Just as Montgomery County is leading the state to an important goal of sustainably operating businesses, Bethesda Green is leading the way as a model of sustainability for businesses and residents.”

Bethesda Green volunteer Ralph Smith (center) receives the county's Green Business Certification with (L-R) County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Council President Nancy Floreen, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce President Gigi Godwin, and Montgomery College Interim Dean Steve Greenfield.

Bethesda Green was among the first 11 businesses, nonprofits and organizations to be certified, a list that includes our friends from Honest Tea, Calvert and Clean Currents.

To view the online certification application and other information about the program, go to

Interested in becoming a green certified business?  Montgomery College is now offering courses to help you through the process.  For a listing of offerings,  click here.

The winter holidays are upon us and with them come many dilemmas for the eco-conscious: Real Christmas tree or fake tree? Are there alternatives to wrapping paper? If I receive new electronic gifts, how can I recycle my old ones?

Well, we have some answers for you in our Making Green Choices During the Holidays article. Plus we’ve added some info about local merchants offering green products.

So, if you’re still making some decisions for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, check out the story — and if you have some green holiday ideas you’d like to share, leave a comment on this post!

Happy Holidays!

Get rid of your old TVs, computers and electronics — e-cycle them this Sunday, Dec. 13, noon 4 pm at Walt Whitman High School, 7100 Whittier Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20817.

Recycle your old electronics including: Small electronic appliances, calculators, camcorders, CDs and floppy disks, CD players, cell phones, computers & computer-related items, consumer electronics, copiers, cords & cables (including chargers), digital cameras, electronic typewriters, fax machines, microwave ovens, personal digital assistant equipment, printers, projection equipment, scanners, telephones, small electronic toys, televisions and VCRs.

For more information, see our flyer or go to Montgomery County’s website.

Sorry, we cannot accept compact fluorescent lights or appliances containing Freon at this event. Please bring these items to the drop-off sites at the Transfer Station (16101 Frederick Road). Our program for electronics recycling is open to all Montgomery County residents and businesses.

Kick off the holiday season this Thursday, Dec. 3, with Bethesda Green.  Plan to join us at the Hard Time Cafe for our First Thursday Happy Hour — casual conversation and social networking — starting at 5 pm.

Learn more about our programs, upcoming events, how to get involved, and support Bethesda Green.  Hard Times Cafe is donating 20% of sales that evening to Bethesda Green.

Hard Times Cafe, 4920 Delray Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814.