Green News & Events, Week of July 11 – 17, 2011

by Dan Rudt

Deadline Tomorrow: Nominations for Bethesda Magazine 2011Green Awards – Nominate local individuals, businesses, non-profits, neighborhoods, school organizations, condo associations or faith-based organizations from Montgomery County or NW DC by Tuesday, July 12. Winners will be profiled in the November/December issue of Bethesda Magazine and recognized at the Bethesda Green Gala on October 5, 2011, at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda.

Maryland, DC and Virginia Create New, Green Jobs Database – The Mid-Atlantic Regional Collaborative’s (MARC) Green Consortium last week announced their new green jobs portal, available at The MARC Green Works Jobs portal provides free, real-time job search and recruitment tools for DC, Maryland and Virginia jobseekers and employers. In addition, the portal provides real-time labor market data (area profile, occupation profile, industry profile, and labor market facts) to help jobseekers and employers make real-life decisions.

Bethesda Avenue Restaurant, Cava Mezze Grill, Goes Zero Waste – Unlike many restaurants, where food scraps end up in a dumpster, Cava Mezze Grill separates its scraps and other recyclables, which are picked up daily by EnviRelation and transported to nearby composting facilities. All the restaurant’s bowls, drink cups, cutlery, napkins, and paper bags are compostable as well. Even the insulated foil used to keep sandwiches warm is gone, replaced by EcoCraft Biodegradable Deli Insulated Paper. Rob Gresham of Cava Mezze Grill, remarks, “We are proud to implement a program that not only has a positive impact on the environment, but empowers our customers. Our zero waste initiative fits perfectly with our ‘big flavor, small footprint’ motto.”

Montgomery Parks Foundation Invites You to Join the “Friends of Montgomery Parks” – The non-profit foundation is appealing to local residents and businesses to help counter county budget cuts that are hurting our parks. According to the Foundation website, “Over the past 10 years, the total acreage managed by M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks has increased by 11% to over 35,000 acres….Over the same time period, the staff available to support the work program has decreased by 22% and funding has been declining at an alarming rate for the past three years.” Membership is $35 and includes an invitation to a special, members-only night at Brookside Gardens “Garden of Lights,” Wednesday, November 23, 2011. WUSA9 story here. Foundation website here.

U.S. Production of Renewable Energy Surpasses that of Nuclear – The Takoma Park based Sun Day Campaign has crunched the numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s most recent “Monthly Energy Review” and the EIA “Electric Power Monthly.” Here are some highlights from the Sun Day Campaign analysis:

In the first quarter of 2011, renewable energy sources (biomass/biofuels, geothermal, solar, water, wind) accounted for 11.73% of U.S. energy production or 5.65% more than energy produced from nuclear power. The 11.73% represents a 15% increase from first quarter 2010 and a 25% increase from first quarter 2009. Biomass/biofuels accounted for half, hydropower for one-third and wind for one-eighth of the renewable energy, while geothermal and solar provided 2.45% and 1.16%, respectively.

Renewable energy sources, according to the Sun Day Campaign, accounted for 12.94% of first quarter U.S. electrical generation — up from 10.31% in first quarter 2010. “Solar-generated electricity increased by 104.8%, wind-generated electricity rose by 40.3%, hydropower output expanded by 28.7%, and geothermal electrical generation rose by 5.8%. Only electricity from biomass sources dropped — by 4.8%. By comparison, natural gas electrical output rose by 1.8% and nuclear-generated electricity increased by only 0.4% while coal-generated electricity dropped by 5.7%.”

Upcoming Green Events

Scaling Up Residential Biomass Heating: A Stakeholder Symposium, Wednesday, July 13, 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Free symposium “explores the opportunities for policy makers to maximize the potential of residential wood heat to reduce fossil fuel use…” Location: US Forest Service, 201 14th St. SW (14th & Independence) in the Yates Training Room. RSVP is required.

Bethesda Green Education, Outreach and Marketing (EOM) Group Meeting, Thursday, July 14, 4:00 – 5:30 pm. This team of volunteers meets on the second Thursday of every month to discuss Bethesda Green’s marketing and communications needs. New members are encouraged to join.

Green Wheaton, 2nd Annual Green Drinks Networking Happy Hour, Thursday, July 14, 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Come to the Royal Mile Pub, 2407 Price Avenue, Wheaton and meet friends from Green Wheaton and the Wheaton & Kensington Chamber of Commerce. Register to attend.

Greening Our Sanctuaries: An Interfaith Workshop and Expo, Sunday, July 17, 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm. Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light hosts this event at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation, 7727 Persimmon Tree Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817. Local congregations can learn to form a green team, save energy, green their grounds, go solar, and commit to greener procurement. Register here

Forest and Tree Conservation – Forest Conservation Advisory Committee, Tuesday, July 19, 7:00 – 9:00 pm. This meeting of the Montgomery County Dept. of Environmental Protection is open to the public. See the DEP Calendar of Events for address and contact information.

Mid-Atlantic SPROG, July 31-Aug 7.  The Sierra Club Student Coalition annual summer training program for student environmental leaders is accepting applications. High school and college students will spend the week at the Hard Bargain Farm in Accokeek, Maryland, learning to organize and manage environmental campaigns. They will also meet like-minded students from around the mid-Atlantic area and most likely have a great deal of fun.