January 2013

by Susanna Parker

Public Comment Sought on New Fertilizer RegulationsBGnews_logo

In accordance with the recently passed Fertilizer Use Act of 2011, Maryland’s Department of Agriculture has created new regulations on lawn fertilizer applications. The regulations, along with some proposed changes to non-agricultural commercial fertilizer requirements, were published in Saturday’s Maryland Register. The regulations are part of the Department of Agriculture’s larger efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Those nutrients, often found in fertilizer, can cause algal blooming in water sources, and can eventually lead to dead zones like the one at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

If the regulations are adopted, they will be included in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Urban Nutrient Management Training Manual, and will take effect October 1, 2013. Seeking resident feedback, MDA has designated a 30-day public comment period, ending February 25th. For more information on the regulations, please visit the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

India Seeks to Turn Municipal Waste to Clean Power

Solving what might be India’s largest looming crisis, an Indian corporation has announced plans to build a power plant that will run on municipal waste. While the growing amount of waste generated in India is a problem, it is also a potential resource. India’s cities generate 55 million tons of solid waste, and 38 billion liters of sewage each year; a waste-to-energy plant could solve the problem of increasing waste while contributing clean energy to India’s power infrastructure.

Waste-to-energy power plants are still rare in India – however, they have seen success in European countries including Germany, where startup Angion Energy has developed a gasification process that can turn trash into energy. If India’s power plant succeeds, it could contribute clean energy to India’s growing demand, which will soon reach levels equal to Europe and the United States. For more information, please read the full Washington Post article here.

Upcoming Green Events

  • “What Investors Are Looking For & How to Pitch” presented by Bethesda Green Finance Workshop Series & Venture Forum, Thursday, January 31, 8 am – 10 am, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Second Floor, Bethesda MD

Bethesda Green is proud to present the second in a series of workshops aimed at developing the green business economy of Montgomery County. Designed to enhance access to financing, educate entrepreneurs, and bridge the gap between investors and entrepreneurs, Bethesda Green seeks to improve the likelihood of successful deals and new businesses. Thursday’s workshop will address what investors are looking for in an early stage company and how to effectively pitch to them, presented by a moderated panel with speakers from the local business community. General networking and light refreshments will be available at 8 am, the program begins at 8:30.

Tickets are $15, and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets.

  • Meet the Greens! Monthly Networking Happy Hour, Thursday February 7, 5 pm – 8pm, Chef Tony’s 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda MD

Join us for casual conversation, social networking, and presentations by representatives of green organizations in Wheaton, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Poolesville, and Annapolis – hear how they got started, and learn where they’re headed!

There is a $10 entry fee at the door; proceeds will be shared with the participating green organizations. Chef Tony’s will offer complimentary appetizers and a glass of wine. Please RSVP through the Bethesda Green Meetup.

  • Fields of Green Internship Fair, Saturday, February 9, 10 am – 2 pm, at Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Avenue, second floor above the Capital One Bank.

Looking for an internship or job in the environmental sector?  This is the event for you.  Numerous employers will be interviewing promising candidates on the spot.  More info can be found here.

Susanna Parker is a recent college graduate and volunteer with Bethesda Green. Her interest in sustainability leads her to look for green solutions in uncommon places.

Entrepreneurs looking for financing?GrowingBusiness_logo

Bethesda Green is presenting the second of its five finance workshops — What Investors Are Looking for and How to Pitch — on Thursday, January 31, 8-10 am. The panel includes two angel investors and an entrepreneur actively fund raising, who will share their first-hand experience about what it takes to impress investors.


  • Anthony Millin, Lerch, Early and Brewer, moderator
  • Casey Berman, Berman Ventures, Dingman Angel
  • Jason Shrensky, Dingman Angel in Residence
  • Greg Merril, CEO, Brain Sentry

LOCATION: Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Avenue, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814

FEE: $15, no charge for incubator companies. Click here for more info.

DATE/TIME: Thursday, January 31. General networking and light refreshments at 8 am; program runs 8:30 – 10 am.

CONTACT US: Email Robert Snyder at rsnyder@bethesdagreen.org or call at 240-396-2440 x103 if you have any questions.

Register here

The Finance Workshop Series is sponsored by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

sunflower-birthday-cakeFive years ago today, a passionate group of people came together at the Bethesda Theatre to kick-off a new initiative.  On January 23, 2008, Bethesda Green was officially born.

Many of you may recall that we had close to 400 people join us from all different sectors, many who still talk about being part of that special day.  We started as a group open to the community and today still see inclusiveness as one of our core strengths.  The seven core principles (from our initial proposal) were:

  1. Community engagement
  2. Scale up what works
  3. Identify opportunities
  4. Educate and market
  5. Leverage existing networks
  6. Sustain the initiative
  7. Phased approach

Thanks to all the board members who helped make Bethesda Green possible.

  • To Seth Goldman and George Leventhal, whose leadership and guidance gave the organization its birth.
  • To Ilaya Hopkins, Jeff Burton and Greg Rooney, whose leadership as board chairs propelled Bethesda Green forward.
  • To the Bethesda Green staff, whose commitment to excellence and efforts are gifts to the community.
  • And to Mike Mielke, my initial founding partner, whose purposefulness and enthusiasm for sustainability inspired me to build green, livable communities.

Our goals, when we launched were to focus, organize and accelerate the local sustainability movement.  In 2012, we instituted a three-year strategy around themes of incubate, initiate, and educate.  This year, we will begin the process of redefining our strategy post 2013.

We have made a huge difference to this community and the many people who have been part of Bethesda Green.  It may sound cliché, but our work is just beginning.  I hope you stay involved and recognize the impact this organization is having on our community and others following our lead.

Happy Birthday, Bethesda Green

by Susanna Parker

MD to study risk of hydrofrackingBGnews_logo

Responding to grassroots efforts across the state of Maryland led by advocacy groups such as the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), Gov. Martin O’Malley announced that $1.5 million of his state budget will be set aside to study the risks posed by hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. This is a big victory for those concerned about hydrofracking in Maryland and will ensure that the General Assembly has all the facts when the debate over its use begins in earnest.

CCAN urges the General Assembly to pass a fracking moratorium banning all drilling until the studies into the risks of all facets of the fracking process — water contamination threats, climate impacts, air pollution, and others — can be completed. Delegate Heather Mizeur and Senators Bobby Zirkin and Jamie Raskin will be introducing a moratorium bill this week. 

Mercury Emissions Treaty Adopted

On Saturday, after four years of debate and negotiations, more than 140 nations agreed to and adopted a new treaty to reduce harmful emissions of mercury. Mercury has been known to be a poison for centuries, but is still regularly released from burning coal and degrading electronics, and is used as a component in batteries and paints. Because mercury is an element, it cannot be created or destroyed, but its continued use and release into water and air has led to negative effects on human health and the environment.

Mercury is known to bio-accumulate in fish, so it becomes more concentrated as species higher on the food chain (such as humans) ingest it. Because mercury causes nerve damage, pregnant women and young children face the highest risks. The push for this new treaty began more than a decade ago, as Switzerland and Norway urged the international community to create and enforce regulations on mercury emissions. For more information on the treaty, please read the full Huffington Post article here.

Upcoming Events

  • What’s It All About Series: A Year in the Life of an Electric Car Owner, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Poolesville Town Hall, 19721 Beall Street, Poolesville, MD

Presented by Poolesville Green, this informative session will discuss the nitty gritty of owning an electric car. Local owners of Nissan Leafs and Chevy VOLTs will be there to answer questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly of owning an electric vehicle. Topics will include the differences between hybrid vs. full electric vehicles, specific information on where and how to charge electric vehicles, the impact on your electric bill, and all tax rebates and credits that are awarded to owners of electric vehicles. RSVP requested, visit PoolesvilleGreen.org or email your response to PoolesvilleGreen@gmail.com

  • 19th Annual CCE Legislative Summit, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Miller Conference Room, Miller Senate Building, Annapolis, MD

Presented by the Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, the Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit will include talks from Maryland’s top legislative leaders and environmental advocates about the priorities of the 2013 General Assembly Session. With pressing issues like hydrofracking on the table, 2013 will be a vital year for clean air and water legislation, so please come out to show your support! Together Marylanders can lobby for strong policy and a healthy and safe environment. Please register at www.marylandconservation.org.

  • Green Drinks Annapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, O’Brien’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant, 113 Main Street, Annapolis, MD

The Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit gets people talking, but there is no need for the conversation to end with the Summit — join environmentalists, scientists, local officials and interested citizens for drinks and conversation at Green Drinks presented by Annapolis Green. Green Drinks provides the environmentally minded the chance to chat, network, and get to know one another in support of an important cause: the health of the Chesapeake Bay. No RSVP required, cash bar. All electric eCruiser vehicles will be on hand to offer free rides from the Miller Building. For more information, visit annapolisgreen.com.

Susanna Parker is a recent college graduate and volunteer with Bethesda Green. Her interest in sustainability leads her to look for green solutions in uncommon places.

GrowingBusiness_logoPlans are under way for an exciting calendar of Bethesda Green programs and events for 2013. Here’s a sneak peak of what lies ahead:

Finance Workshop Series & Venture Forum
Bethesda Green has launched a series of workshops and a venture forum to help grow the green business economy in the region.  The  next workshop on the schedule, Thursday, Jan. 31: What Investors Are Looking for and How To Pitch.

Fields of Green Internship Fair
We will host our 4th annual Fields of Green Internship Fair on Saturday, Feb. 9. This is a great opportunity for young people to line-up internships with companies and non-profits offering job experience in the green business sector.

“Changing the Way We Eat”
Saturday, Feb. 16, we will once again host a TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” official viewing party — a day-long series of live-webcast presentations broadcast from New York.  A special feature of the event includes a presentation by Cheryl Kollin about Farm to Freezer by Full Plate Ventures and Bethesda Cares, a program Bethesda Green helped launch in 2012.

Solar & Green Home Expo
Saturday, May 11, be on the lookout for our 4th annual show connecting residents with vendors in the green service sector.

Reel Water Film Festival
A new addition of the Bethesda Green portfolio, the 2013 film festival will be presented in the heart of downtown Bethesda early summer.

Farm Tours
Later in the summer, around July and August, Bethesda Green will focus on local and sustainable food in the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve.

Bethesda Green Gala
As we round the corner into autumn 2013, we will celebrate our 5th anniversary with the annual Bethesda Green Gala in early October.

We hope to see all of our Bethesda Green friends at one or many of our upcoming events.

For more information about Bethesda Green plans for 2013, please contact Program Manager Sharon D’Emidio, sharon@bethesdagreen.org.

by Susanna Parker

Financing Clean Energy for Coppin State U.BGnews_logo

The Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), under its new Maryland Clean Energy Capital Financing Program (MCAP),will work with Coppin State University to finance six energy efficiency upgrades on campus. Coppin State University, a member of the University System of Maryland, has entered into a Shared Energy Savings Agreement with MCEC that will make Coppin’s payments contingent upon realized savings.

With the energy efficient upgrades installed and maintained by the Energy Systems Group, this agreement should ensure Coppin a positive cash flow for years to come. MCEC Executive Director Kathy Magruder says that MCAP is a tool that will allow all industrial energy users to reduce their energy and water costs without also reducing their debt capacity. MCEC Board Chair Jeffrey Eckel states that MCAP, “…has real potential to accelerate stalled capital projects, save Maryland institutions money, create jobs and reduce greenhouse emissions, all the goals for which MCEC was created.”

To learn more about the Maryland Clean Energy Center, please visit their website here.

Fracking Commission Issues Recommendations

Last month, we discussed the looming issue of hydrofracking, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s work against the introduction of fracking to Maryland. Last week, the Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Initiative Advisory Commission announced a series of recommendations geared toward protecting both landowners and the state from the risks of fracking. The commission has recommended a Surface Owners Protection Act, which will protect those landowners who do not own the mineral rights to their land from the health and environmental damage that can be caused by hydrofracking.

The commission’s recommendations will be presented to the Maryland General Assembly and could lead to legislation during the 2013 session, which began January 9.

For more information on the recommendations and the proposed drilling, please read the full Gazette article here.

Upcoming Green Events

  • Rock Creek Conservancy’s MLK Day of Service Events, Saturday, January 19, Rock Creek Park.

Join Rock Creek Conservancy and the National Park Service in honoring the MLK Day of Service by cutting back invasive plants and cleaning up Rock Creek. Bring your friends, family, and your willingness to work! Rock Creek Conservancy and National Park Service will provide gloves, tools, and training. There are 5 events occurring across Rock Creek Park on January 19:

  1. Soapstone Valley Site, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Invasive English Ivy Removal
  2. Normanstone Site, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Invasive English Ivy Removal
  3. Little Forest Site, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Invasive Periwinkle Pull (kid-friendly!)
  4. Piney Branch Site, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Trash Cleanup
  5. Beret Park Site, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, Trash Cleanup

Please dress for the weather, wear long pants and sleeves to protect your limbs. Layering is the best option. Feel free to bring your own gardening gloves and clippers. Participants must be 16+ to use tools; younger volunteers are welcome and may pick up trash and pull small vines out by hand. Students can earn SSL hours. Check out Rock Creek Conservancy for more details.

  • $5 Charity Hike, Indian Food, and Bookstore Afternoon, Sunday, January 20, 11 am, beginning at the Grosvenor/Strathmore Metro station, 10300 Rockville Pike, Rockville.

Join fellow nature lovers for a charity hike through Rock Creek Park. The beneficiary of the hike is Earth Sangha, and the proceeds will be used for a tree bank project in the Dominican Republic. Tree banks serve multiple important functions, including erosion control and fighting forest loss. The event will include a hike, an Indian buffet lunch, and a trip to a used bookstore. If you plan to attend, bring $5 or more for the charity, your SmartTrip card, water, and cash for lunch and the bookstore. RSVP at Nature Lovers’ Meetup Group.

  • Secrets of Scandinavian Sustainable City Planning, Wednesday, February 20 8-9:30 am, Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Avenue Bethesda, MD

As part of their Natural Capital educational series, Doo Consulting presents Chris Jakubiak, principal and owner of the town planning consulting firm Jakubiak and Associates, Inc. Jakubiak will present a report on sustainable communities in Malmo, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as current development plans in Scandinavia. The presentation will illustrate the best practices, techniques, and innovations used to transform old industrial areas into modern, sustainable, livable communities.

Tickets to the event are $15, and include breakfast fare. Seating is limited, so be sure to purchase your ticket ASAP!

Susanna Parker is a recent college graduate and volunteer with Bethesda Green. Her interest in sustainability leads her to look for green solutions in uncommon places.

Bethesda Green has launched a Finance Workshop Series & Investor Forum to help grow the green business economy in the region.  The series focuses on educating entrepreneurs about financing opportunities and preparing them to present to investors.

Next workshop:
“What Investors Are Looking For and How To Pitch”
Thursday, Jan. 31
8 – 10 am
Bethesda Green
4825 Cordell Ave, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD 20814

This workshop will address what investors are looking for in an early stage company and how to make an effective presentation to them.  The program panel will include both qualified investors and entrepreneurs who have extensive experience in what it takes to raise funding.  The discussion will go beyond the typical business plan outline to address the key points and approaches that will make your business attractive to potential investors.

Fee: $15 per workshop

General networking and light refreshments available at 8 am; program begins at 8:30.

Tickets available here.

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