holidays


BGnews_logoCut your own Christmas tree from the several tree farms around the D.C area

As you decorate your homes for Christmas consider visiting your local farm stand to pick up a fresh, Christmas tree. You can take your family to pick up a pre-cut Christmas tree or cut down your own! Not only will you be supporting your local farms, but you’ll be helping the environment, as well. Real Christmas trees are 100 percent environmentally friendly unlike artificial trees, which may contain harmful lead toxins and plastics and last centuries in a landfill after thrown away. Real trees naturally decompose over time and provide wildlife habitats for your little critters.

Check out the Washington Post to find out where the tree farms are!

Take care of your home during the winter season

Make sure to pay attention to your home during the busy holidays. If you tackle these tasks now, you may prevent problems later. Here are some quick and easy household tips:

  • Clean your kitchen vents whether they have an over the range microwave or a hood that is vented to the outdoors. Before the holiday cooking starts, clean or replace the grease filter in a dish washer or in a sink.
  • For better freeze-protection of outdoor faucets, replace standard frost-protected faucets with ones that have a built-in pressure relief valve.
  • Periodically watch the snow to  pinpoint maintenance issues you might otherwise never notice.

To see more details and more tips check out this article!

Events

  • Bethesda Green First Thursday Happy Hour, today, Dec. 5, 5 – 8 pm at Parva in Bethesda.  Hear from Interfaith Power & Light  about what local congregations are doing to save energy and go green. For more details and to RSVP, go to the Bethesda Green Meetup website.

 

           

by Susanna Parker

Lester Brown and the Crisis of Peak Food 

Peak oil is a term we’re all familiar with, but it is looking as though the most worrying shortage of the 21st century will not be petroleum, but food. Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute and the Earth Policy Institute, goes into detail in his new book, Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity. Anca Novacovici of The Huffington Post discussed these potential shortages with Brown, who argued that we’re going from an era of food surplus to food scarcity. Some of the causes include ethanol production competing for a share of the world grain output, aquifers being depleted faster than they can replenish themselves, rice and wheat yields plateauing, and the continuing erosion of topsoil. Brown states that, to combat this scarcity, nations must work on increasing water productivity, improving access to family planning, increasing energy efficiency, and investing in renewable energy. To learn more about food scarcity, visit the The Huffington Post for the full article.

Bethesda’s Navy Exchange Is LEED Gold Certified, and Looks Out For Electric Cars

The Navy Exchange’s new store in Bethesda will serve military families all over the Metro area, has achieved LEED Gold Certification, and will provide four ChargePoint electric vehicle charging stations, the first at a Navy Exchange facility. Located in the two-level parking garage adjacent to the Navy Exchange, these spots are specifically reserved for eco-friendly, low emissions vehicles. Sold and installed by Green Power Technology, these ChargePoint stations are a crucial part of the Navy Exchange’s efforts to be more efficient and environmentally friendly. Pat Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint, praises the Navy Exchange for this decision, stating that “Offering EV charging services… is an important endorsement for the future of electric vehicles.” For more information about the ChargePoint, Green Power Technology, and the Navy Exchange, please visit Herald Online.

Upcoming Green Events

If Black Friday got you down, and the prospect of visiting the mall in December leaves you cold, check out the 14th Annual Takoma Park Alternative Gift Fair. This yearly fair features 14-18 charities striving to make our world a better place, highlighting their work and providing the community easy opportunities for charitable donations. Last year the fair raised over $25,000 for local, national, and international charities! This year the fair will also feature live music, raffles, kids activities, a bake sale, and refreshments. Come by, get in the holiday spirit, and help your community!

Come join us next Wednesday as a panel of Montgomery County and metro area leaders discuss emergency preparedness in the DC area. Learn what items your family should have stocked in case of a weather or human-caused disaster, the role of local, state, and federal governments during an emergency, what plans the County has in place for situations like Hurricane Sandy or derecho storms, and much more.

Please RSVP to Sharon D’Emidio at sharon@bethesdagreen.org if you plan to attend this important and informative event.

Kick off the holiday season with our monthly networking happy hour! This month, we are excited to host this event along with Interfaith Power and Light, whose associated congregations will share their efforts to save energy and go green. Enjoy complimentary appetizers in the restaurant’s beautiful second floor lounge; donation requested at the door.

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.

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!