green economy


BGnews_logoMaryland Showcase of Sustainability

Monday, Jan. 27
8 – 11 am
Weston Annapolis

This interactive and engaging event brings together change agents from across the state — including Bethesda Green Executive Director Dave Feldman and the team from Doo Consulting — who have created exciting and innovative programs in their communities, businesses or industries. Their work will be an inspiration to some, a beacon to others, and a call to action to the rest.  Click here for more info.

Montgomery County Sustainability Network

Tonight (Tuesday), Jan. 14
6 pm
Dawson’s Market Rockville

The newly formed Montgomery County Sustainability Network invites everyone to its first meeting this evening (Jan. 14), 6 pm at Dawson’s Market in Rockville.  For more information, click here.

Good Green Fun

Wednesday, Jan. 15
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Urban Butcher, Silver Spring

Silver Spring Green Happy Hour features “Salad Grazing: Healthy Livestock, People, & Planet” with a Tesla S on display.  For more information, click here.

News from GreenWheaton

GreenWheaton’s recent newsletter features 10 Green Tips compiled by Sara H. Brosnan: Use Less Energy When Heating Your Home and Other Winter Tips

savenia 2

Bethesda Green is proud to announce that Savenia Labs Founder John Jabara was named Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), an award that recognizes an individual that brings new technologies, products or services to the market in Maryland.

 

Founded in 2009 in the Bethesda Green Business Incubator, Savenia Labs has revolutionized shopping with its innovative energy ratings labels that inform consumers about the lifetime energy costs and environmental impacts of various household appliances.

 

“Congratulations to John and the Savenia team for bringing these breakthrough energy and environmental impact ratings to Maryland and beyond,” said Bethesda Green Incubator Manager Robert Snyder.

 

“It is an honor to receive this award, and I would like to thank all the people that have helped get Savenia Labs Energy Ratings into the hands of consumers so quickly across the region,” said Jabara. Participating retailers and enterprise customers can download energy rating labels on site, customized by zip code for energy costs and environmental impacts.

 

The full press release is here.

By Alison WentzellBGgreennews_logo1

Savenia Labs Gets Ready to Premier WaterSavvy Database

Savenia Labs announced today that they have put together a database that compares the price of water across the United States.  What they have found is that water prices are drastically different across the country.  For example, in Atlanta, GA the average family will pay $2,600 per year for water; whereas in Wilmington, DE families will pay approximately $260 per year.

The wide variation in pricing is due to diverse pricing strategies around the country, and they’re not exactly what you’d expect.  Water companies figure water bills based on either a fixed price or a price based off of a household’s water usage, but there are also administrative fees, sewer rates, block rates, and pricing tiers.  Savenia Labs has found that a majority of what we pay on our water bills isn’t actually for water, but rather sewer and administrative fees.  Most surprisingly, though, is that the pricing logic regions use for water doesn’t always make sense.  They found that water was relatively cheap in the Southwest, despite the arid environment, but in regions that are plentiful with water, it is expensive.  The difference being sewer costs.

Savenia Labs hopes that WaterSavvy-DB will inform residents across the nation about the price of water and will help them to purchase the most water and price efficient appliances for their region.  Catherine Norman of Johns Hopkins University praises the WaterSavvy-DB by saying, “Savenia WaterSavvy-DB empowers buyers to make smart choices that support conservation in their communities and helps raise awareness of local water costs.”  Savenia Labs plans to utilize the database to illuminate the hidden costs and environmental impacts of common appliances.

For more information and a sample of the WaterSavvy-DB, check out their blog.

Startup Maryland

The new organization, Startup Maryland has reached enormous success since its launch from the Startup America Partnership.  Their main concentrations are connection, celebration, coaching, and capital.  With all of these four initiatives they hope to help startup businesses ground themselves in today’s economy.  In addition, Startup MD strives to strengthen Maryland’s economy while fostering an economic climate in which companies can leverage the state’s Unfair Advantage.  Unfair Advantage refers to the fact that Maryland provides resources to entrepreneurs that have fueled startup innovations for decades, which no other state has been able to match.

Earlier this year Startup Maryland received even more validation to their success when they were invited to the White House to highlight how their efforts developed over the past year.  Since their inception they have become one of the top 5 startups per capita, and have worked with over 500 startup businesses.  Their successes boost Maryland’s local economy by providing easily accessible resources for startup businesses that might otherwise not succeed.

For more about Startup Maryland, check out their website.

Events

  • Pitch Across Maryland, September 18, 10 am – 1 pm, Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD

Join Bethesda Green as we host the second annual Pitch Across Maryland Bus Tour.  This event is open to all entrepreneurs seeking the opportunity to make pitches, and connect with potential investors.  For more information email Robert Snyder at robertgsnyder@msn.com and register at www.startupmaryland.org/get-on-the-bus-registration.

  • Food and Water Watch’s Perdue Fair Share Campaign Kick-Off Meeting, September 18, 7-9 pm, Heffner Center, 42 Oswego Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912

Come out and show support for the Poultry Fair Share Act, which would end Big Chicken’s free ride on pollution in the Bay and make them pay to clean it up.  This first meeting will provide further information about the campaign and what you can do to help.

  • Montgomery County Food Council General Council Meeting, September 18, 7-9 pm, Bethesda Green, 4825 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD

Learn 10 Easy Steps to Greening a Restaurant, which can help any business where food is packaged and consumed!

  • PARK(ing) Day, September 20, 10am-2pm, 7900 Norfolk Ave, Bethesda, MD,

PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists convert metered parking sports to temporary parks to raise awareness about the need for more urban open space and to spark conversations about how public space is created and allocated.  To learn more visit www.parkingday.org.

  • DC Green Festival, September 21-22, 10a-5pm, Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Come out to the showcase green event of the year, and say hello to Bethesda Green!

  • Norwood Park Day, September 21, 1-4 pm, Norwood Park, 4700 Norwood Drive, Chevy Chase, MD

Volunteer from 1 to 3 to help clean up Norwood Park and stay for the Little Falls Ramblers concert.  Make sure to bring clippers, loppers and gloves!  Free Food will be provided!

Alison Wentzell is a senior at American University and an intern with Bethesda Green.  Her interests in sustainability focus on the community, environmental politics, and cultural aspects of the environmental movement.

by Susanna Parker

Bethesda Green Introduces Energy Tool Lending LibraryBGnews_logo

In partnership with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Bethesda Green is proud to present our Energy Tool Lending Library. This program is intended to encourage members of the community to start thinking about energy efficiency in their own homes. These basic energy tools will be made accessible, with a refundable deposit, so county residents can explore the energy needs and waste that occurs in their homes. These tools are not intended to take the place of a full energy audit, but rather to encourage residents to start thinking about areas in their homes where energy losses may occur.

For more details on the program, including tool instructions and deposit fees, please visit BethesdaGreen.org. 

Cicadas Return to DC

They’re back! A population of the 17-year cicadas known as Brood 2 will emerge from the ground shortly, and dominate all conversation from North Carolina to Connecticut. Once the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees, which should happen within the next week, millions of cicadas will burst forth in a harmless, but noisy, invasion of the East Coast. All along the I-95 corridor, the song of cicadas will be heard, reaching sound levels of up to 90 decibels – the same level as many rock concerts. The males will emerge from the ground first; they’ll mature to adulthood within one week, latch onto trees, and begin to sing for mates. Male cicadas have been shown to sing both individually and in chorus, which no doubt contributes to the overwhelming volume of cicada song. Though many consider them an annoyance, scientists are fascinated by these noisy insects. Their timing, specifically, is the cause of much scientific inquiry – no one knows how the cicadas know when to emerge! Though some theorize that cicadas track time via the tree roots the larvae attach themselves to, there is still the question of how they time their movements so accurately – how do they know when 17 years exactly have passed? For those who are bracing for a miserable time, take some solace in the shortness of their presence above ground. They’ll mate, lay their eggs, and disappear for another 17 years, all in less than 2 months. Invest in ear plugs and look forward to July!

For more information on the cicadas, please watch the Washington Post video here.

Bethesda Green Events

  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: Investor Pitch Training Program, Friday May 17

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to hone your pitch and get expert feedback from our panel of investors. Open to green businesses in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, this educational program is part of Bethesda Green’s efforts to foster the green economy in the DC Metro region. The program is open to tech and non-tech early stage businesses that have both sustainable products/services and a growth-oriented business model. The deadline is this Friday, so don’t delay! For more details and to apply, please visit BethesdaGreen.org.

Upcoming Partner Events

  • Bike to Work Day 2013, Friday May 17, 6:30 am – 8:30 am, corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenue.

Biking in to work on Friday? Swing by the Bethesda Pit Stop, located at Woodmont and Bethesda Avenue. Presented by Bethesda Commuter Solutions, the pit stop will feature DJ entertainment, state and local dignitaries, raffle prizes & giveaways, bike maintenance checks, and plenty of food and drink to fuel your bike ride into work! Register at Bike to Work Day 2013!

  • 5th Annual Volunteering for Business Day, Saturday May 18, 8:30 am – 1 pm, Button Farm Living History Center, 16820 Black Rock Road, Germantown

Gather your colleagues, invite your clients, call on your customers, and join us for this incredible morning of networking and service. Come prepared to roll up your sleeves and get to work; you will be instrumental in providing much needed help to this historic venue in Seneca Creek State Park. There is no charge to participate in this great team-building event; a hearty lunch will be served. For details on the planned projects for the day, and to register, please visit the Corporate Volunteer Council.

  • Montgomery County Green Business Certification Program, May 22, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Crossway Community, 3015 Upton Drive, Kensington

Do you want to certify your business or organization as “green” but don’t know where to start? GreenWheaton and Silver Spring Green are proud to present this FREE Green Business Certification workshop to learn more. Offices, congregations, faith-based organizations, retail stores, and landscape companies are all eligible for County certification as a green business/organization. Featured speakers will include Doug Weisburger of the Department of Environmental Protection, Dave Taghipour of All Eco Center, Jon Widrick of Ascensus Law, and Gary Skulnik of Clean Currents.

Register for FREE at http://greenbuscertification.eventbrite.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.

by Susanna Parker BGnews_logo

Re-Inventing the Wheel for Studying Snakeheads 

Snakeheads, the invasive species that’s been the bane of the Potomac since 2004, have been granted a mild reprieve by local governmental agencies. While the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service still recommends that fisherman kill and report any snakeheads they capture, the Virginia Department of Game and Fisheries, along with its DC and Maryland counterparts, has begun a new monitoring program geared toward understanding the snakeheads’ impact on local ecology. The program, which covers four tributaries of the Potomac, sends out workers to capture, measure, tag, and release snakehead fish. John Odenkirk, biologist with the VA Dept. of Game & Fisheries, says that its been hard to determine whether the snakeheads actually have a negative impact on the Potomac watershed. He points out that the area is practically a fish factory, and has more than enough resources to feed the increasing number of new mouths. So while he does not advocate for the snakeheads, he finds it hard to strongly advocate against them without more conclusive data.

That’s where the monitoring program comes in. Because the snakeheads are native to Africa and Asia, many of the scholarly papers discussing their behaviors and life cycle are not written in English. Those few that have been translated are not peer-reviewed. Thus, there is little to no substantiated information about their impact on local water systems and ecological niches. The monitoring program relies on electrofishing to capture the snakeheads. This form of fishing involves electrified anodes whose currents shock, but do not kill, nearby fish, causing them to float to the surface and be easily netted. Typical of the snakeheads’ difficult nature, these fish do not succumb easily to the shock. Rather than float to the surface, snakeheads expel all the oxygen from their air bladders. While this gives off a tell-tale series of bubbles, the expulsion causes them to lose their buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the stream bed. Odenkirk says that this behavior means that he and members of the program have one shot to catch the fish before they’re no longer within reach.

Once the fish are captured, they are measured, tagged, and released. If the team catches a fish that has been previously captured, they record its growth. Odenkirk says that the team is gathering as much data as they can on the life cycle of the fish, including spawning cycles, spawns per year, average growth per year, and habitat differentiation between adolescent and adult snakeheads. The more information that Odenkirk and his team can gather, the better we will be able to understand the impact of this invasive species.

For more information on the snakehead monitoring program, please watch the video at The Washington Post.

Hurricane Sandy’s Impact Continues to be Felt

Though its been six months since the superstorm touched ground and devastated New Jersey and New York, Hurricane Sandy’s impacts are still being felt up and down the East Coast. A report released last week revealed that one of the major effects was the spillage of 11 billion gallons of sewage from East Coast treatment plants into streams, canals, and roadways. 90 percent of the spills occurred in New Jersey and New York, the states that were arguably hit hardest by the hurricane. Of the sewage, approximately 3.5 billion gallons was raw, untreated, and unfiltered. The remaining 7.5 billion gallons were partially treated.

Alysosn Kenward, researcher at Climate Central and author of the recently released report, states that the report has revealed “just how vulnerable the system is to floods, storms, and climate change,” and points out that, “our system isn’t designed to handle these kinds of storm surges and the sea-level rise associated with climate change.” According to Climate Central, the state of New York will need to spend about $2 billion to repair damages to the sewage treatment plants, while New Jersey plans to allocate $1 billion for repairs.

For more information, please read the full article on The Huffington Post.

Upcoming Bethesda Green Events 

  • Bethesda Green Education, Outreach, and Marketing Group Meeting, Wednesday May 8, 4 pm – 5:30 pm, 4825 Cordell Avenue

A team of volunteers, EOM supports all of Bethesda Green’s communication efforts. From recycling to energy efficiency, sustainability to green building/design, EOM expresses the organization’s various areas of expertise in a clear and concise manner via various media. New members are welcome to join; for information contact Bethesda Green’s Director of Communications Dave Heffernan at dvheffernan@bethesdagreen.org.

  • Bethesda Green’s Fourth Annual Solar & Green Home Expo, Saturday May 11, 10 am – 3 pm, 4825 Cordell Avenue

Join us for our 4th annual Solar & Green Home Expo, an information-packed showcase event featuring many green home expert services and solar providers. The goal of this event is to provide homeowners and other interested parties an opportunity to get the latest information about area services and incentives to green their homes. Local area green home businesses will display their services throughout the Bethesda Green office space while individual workshops related to greening your home will be conducted throughout the day. To learn more about his free community event, please visit the event page here.

Upcoming Partner Events 

  • Bike to Work Day 2013, Friday May 17 6:30 am – 8:30 am, Reed Street (Corner of Woodmont Ave & Bethesda Ave)

Get your wheels turning at the 2013 Bike to Work Day! Presented by Bethesda Commuter Solutions, the Bethesda pit stop will feature DJ entertainment, state and local dignitaries, tons of raffle prizes and giveaways, bike maintenance checks, and plenty of food and drink to fuel your commute. The grand prize in the raffle will be a brand new bike from Griffin Cycle! To learn more about the event and to register, please visit Bethesda Transportation Solutions.

  • Run for the Animals! Saturday May 19, 8:30 am, Wheaton Regional Park

Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary is holding its 10th Annual Run for the Animals! The 5k run and 1 mile fun walk is a fundraiser dedicated to supporting the lifesaving work Poplar Spring does everyday. From the warm up, running and walking on the scenic trails, the dog and people raffles, the prizes, and the abundance of food, a good time will be had by all. Register online at http://poplarspring.kintera.org/

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_logoby Susanna Parker

Bethesda Green is excited to present the Investor Pitch Training Program for entrepreneurs in the green sector. This event is the culmination of our six-month finance workshop series and will put highly qualified entrepreneurs in front of active investors to receive sophisticated feedback on their readiness to seek investment.

Approximately six tech and non-tech early-stage businesses based in Maryland, DC and Virginia will be selected to present. The companies applying should have sustainable products or services and a growth-oriented business model. The Investor Pitch Training Program is ideal preparation for those getting ready to seek financing or for participation in accelerator programs such as CleanTech Open. The selection process for participating companies will be based on feasibility, scalability, business model and sustainable criteria.

The application requirements are as follows: A one page “teaser” company profile; a 3-5 page executive summary including product/service description, competitive advantage, market, revenue generation, team and sustainability; financials; a pitch presentation of up to 10 slides. Because sustainability is a key component of our judging criteria, please be sure to describe the net positive environmental and social impact of your product or service.

This program is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to perfect their pitch through experience and expert feedback. Bethesda Green’s objective with this and our Finance Workshop series has been to promote the growth of the green industry sector in the region. Robert Snyder, Bethesda Green’s Incubator Manager, points out that a major part of that growth is preparing entrepreneurs to successfully access financing. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity — submit today!

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS IS MAY 17. For more information on applying, including application materials, visit the Bethesda Green website. For questions, email Robert Snyder, Bethesda Green’s Incubator Manager, at rsnyder@bethesdagreen.org.

Gov. O'Malley and Anthony Millin

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Bethesda Green board member Anthony Millin at the Annapolis Green Business Night, March 13.

by Jennifer Roe

The Maryland state capital was the place for local green organizations to gather Wednesday night, March 13.  The annual Annapolis Green Business Night, a networking event organized and hosted by Del. Tom Hucker, featured a presentation by Gov. Martin O’Malley.  The event was teeming with representatives from numerous green companies, including a few Bethesda Green Business Incubator Companies, such as John Jabara of Savenia Labs, Zack Kline of A.I.R. Lawn Care, and Peter Doo of Doo Consulting.

Bethesda Green board member Anthony Millin spoke on behalf of Bethesda Green and was joined by representatives from Annapolis Green and Silver Spring Green, discussing their mission and current programs. In addition to green business leaders, the event brought other community members such as students who are interested in learning more about Maryland green businesses.

Gov. O’Malley spoke about the importance of green job creation and congratulated the crowd for developing successful green businesses in the state.

Jennifer Roe is a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh where she received her Master’s in Environment and Development.  She is passionate about building a just and sustainable food system where every individual has the opportunity to lead a successful, healthy life.

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