January 2010

“Green and the Economy — Make it work for you,” the new message topping the Bethesda Green website, is a particularly timely theme, given the political emphasis evident from President Obama’s State of the Union address.

We offer a unique take on the question, Is Economics a Green Issue?  Much more so than you might suspect, according to Susan Belchamber, who submits a thoughful feature essay for your consideration.

Belchamber explores the interrelationships among “four forms of capital”:

  • Financial — cash, stocks, bonds, intellectual property
  • Physical — buildings, roads, infrastructure, ports, bridges
  • Social — community/family, social networks, quality of life
  • Natural — clean water & air, biodiversity, renewable resources

Read the article then come back and submit a comment.

Rabbi Warren Stone (seated, right) with part of a Bethesda Green group discussing the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference.

Rabbi Warren Stone from Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD, led a fascinating lunchtime discussion Jan. 19 at Bethesda Green about his experience as an official delegate at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

While his presentation touched on some of the troubling outcomes of climate change — rising ocean levels, leading to loss of arable land and resulting evacuations of small island nations in Micronesia to much larger threats in densely populated areas such as Bangladesh — Stone sounded a note of optimism.

In fact, one of the highlights for Stone was the opportunity to sound an awakening call with a shofar, a ram’s horn, in a symbolic gesture at the world’s largest offshore wind farm — a call to action for all to consider how they can do their part to address global environmental issues.

Bringing it back to the local level and our efforts to build community around sustainable living practices, one of the key pieces of advice Stone offered was to include a “joyful component” in our activities and events.

Sounding the shofar at an offshore wind farm in Denmark.

Having fun, according to the rabbi, is an important part of any learning experience.  We couldn’t agree more.

For more information about Copenhagen and Stone’s experience there, see the blog posting from Lee Chottiner, executive editor of The Jewish Chronicle.

Here’s an easy way to help the environment.  Rather than throwing out your old, worn-out athletic shoes for a date with the landfill, you can recycle them at Bethesda Green.

As a community partner with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, Bethesda Green is collecting old tennis shoes which will be

Leave your old athletic shoes in the recycling container located in the lobby of Bethesda Green.

turned into new, high-quality sports surfaces like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds for young people around the world.

We’re introducing the program over the next four weeks, through Feb. 12, to assess interest and response.  Old shoes can be left in the container found in the Bethesda Green lobby, next to the recycling display.

We’re located at 4825 Cordell Avenue in Bethesda, at the corner of Woodmont and Cordell, second floor above the Chevy Chase Bank branch.  Please send an email to info@bethesdagreen.org to let us know you’re coming by to drop off shoes.

Toast in the New Year!  Join Bethesda Green today, Thursday, January 7, 5 – 8 pm at the Redwood Restaurant, one of the new Bethesda Row restaurants within the Bethesda Lane pedestrian mall, 7121 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Enjoy casual conversation, social networking, learn about upcoming programs and events, and help support Bethesda Green.  Redwood is donating 10% of sales.

See you this evening, or at a First Thursday Happy Hour in the future.  Check our Events page for updates.

We just posted a great article by Kristin Finley, who provides a new twist on the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ theme. Find out how you can break bad habits and get into a new green routine that’s better for your home, your body and your life!

Once you’ve read the article, post your comments and ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ tips here!