With a June 29 deadline approaching, now is the time to enter the 3rd Annual Green Awards, presented by Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Green. Nominations are being accepted here for the 2012 Green Awards.

Winners will be profiled in the November/December issue of Bethesda Magazine and recognized at the Bethesda Green Gala on October 11, 2012. The Green Awards recognize businesses, non-profits, communities and individuals that are leading the local fight to protect the environment.

Click here to read about last year’s winners.

by Dan Rudt                                                                                                                      

Redskins 22 – Arizona 21. Solar Power Wins the Day!

If you parked your car in the Platinum A1 parking lot at FedEx Field on Sunday (9/18), it would have been one of 850 vehicles parked in the shade. That shade was provided by 8,000 new solar panels built over the lot by NRG Energy, Inc. The largest solar power installation in the DC metropolitan area will provide 20% of the stadium’s electricity needs on game days and 100% on non-game days. Sunday’s game was dubbed “The Solar Bowl.” Go Redskins!

UMES Enters the Renewable Energy Business

University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced on September 13 the formation of a renewable energy development company, Eastern Shore Energy, LLC. The new company will create renewable energy projects at multiple sites on the lower Eastern Shore. The company’s goal is to develop systems capable of generating 100 to 150 megawatts from wind, solar and biomass projects. The regional initiative is the result of a partnership between the Maryland Hawk Corporation, (a non-profit affiliate of the university) and National Renewable Solutions, LLC of Minneapolis, MN, an affiliate of National Wind, LLC. More information here.

DC Wants Ideas about Improving Sustainability

Mayor Vincent Gray has launched a new Website called “Sustainable DC: Start in September”, and asks residents to, “Help make the District the greenest, healthiest, most livable city in the country.” The Website includes a discussion guide and invites users to share their feedback. It also includes a calendar of related discussions and events hosted by groups throughout the city.

Bethesda Central Farm Market Ranked Among Best in U.S.

Congratulations to the Bethesda Central Farm Market. In the “America’s Favorite Farmers Markets” contest, the local farm market was ranked 2nd best in the state of Maryland among markets of all sizes and 10th in the nation among medium sized farmers markets. The contest was put on by America’s Farmland Trust. Voting was online and open to all.

Upcoming Green Events

Savor Local Flavor: Four Course Dinner and Discussion with Chef Tony, Monday, September 19, 7:00 – 10:00 pm. Chef Tony’s, 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814. This is the third in the series On the Farm; Around the Table, connecting farmers, food and community in three meals. Chef Tony specializes in seafood and plans his menu based on what’s at its peak of ripeness that very day. During a fabulous four-course dinner, Chef Tony will talk about sourcing and cooking with seasonal and local ingredients. More information here.

Sustainable Office Seminar, Tuesday, September 20, 8:00-11:00 am, at Bethesda Green. Five sustainable office specialists offer concepts and practical tips to help people thrive in your office and make your company a “Best Place to Work.” Register here. For more information contact: sustainable.office.alliance@gmail.com.

Community Service Week Info Session, Thursday, September 22, 12:00 – 1:00 pm, at Bethesda Green. Learn more about Community Service Week and how your group can get involved as well as tips on planning a project. For more information about Community Service Week, visit www.montgomeryserves.org.

U.S. Dep’t. of Energy Solar Decathlon,  Friday, September 23 – Sunday, October 2, West Potomac Park, National Mall, Washington, D.C.  Competing collegiate teams (including University of Maryland) exhibit cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar-powered houses designed, built and operated by the students.  This free event includes tours of the solar homes, consumer workshops and award ceremonies for the winning teams.

Forest Glen Park Stroll, Saturday September 24, 2:00 – 4:00. A Conservation Montgomery event. Forest Glen Park in Silver Spring is surrounded by Rock Creek Park. The walk includes the grounds of historic National Park Seminary. More information.

BG101, Thursday, September 29, 4:00 – 5:30 pm, at Bethesda Green. Join us for an orientation about Bethesda Green, our history, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Taste of Bethesda, Saturday, October 1, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, at Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle. More than 55 restaurants and four stages of entertainment and a kid’s corner for face painting and arts & crafts. Information here.

Tour of Solar Homes, Saturday and Sunday, October 1 – 2, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  The 21st annual tour includes more than 50 homes in the greater DC area and highlights a variety of design, technology and sustainable living concepts. Tour Guides are available for $5 at My Organic Market (Mom’s) or online.

2011 Bethesda Green Gala, Wednesday, October 5, 6:00 – 10:00 pm, Round House Theatre. Come meet local folks from the businesses, non-profits, community organizations and individuals whose innovations, practices and lifestyles promote environmental sustainability — winners and runner-ups of the 2011 Bethesda Magazine Green Awards, who will be announced and recognized for their inspiring work in the environmental community. This promises to be an evening of sharing and connecting as a community where we celebrate our greener future. More information.

Montgomery County Community Service Week, October 16 – 22.  The Montgomery County Volunteer Center invites you and your group to participate. More information.

Green Home Expo, Saturday October 22, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Bethesda Green. Learn easy ways to green your home and save money.  Presentations will cover conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.  In addition to industry vendors, meet representatives from nonprofits and Montgomery County government. More information coming soon.

Community Forklift Fundraising Extravaganza, Saturday, October 22, 7:00 – 10:30 pm, 4671 Tanglewood Drive, Edmonston, MD. Entertainment by the DC Lady Arm Wrestlers, Silent auction, Wonky Dog food truck, DJ One HeART Muszik, and adult beverages! Must be 21 or over. Community Forklift is a low-cost building materials warehouse open to the general public and a project of Sustainable Community Initiatives, a 501c3 nonprofit. More information on tickets, sponsorships, or to donate a silent auction item.

by Dan Rudt

Net-Zero Development in Downtown Frederick

They start at $264,000 for a townhouse; even the freestanding homes are in the mid-$300s. And each home produces as much energy as it consumes. Nexus Energy Homes, a Stevensville, Maryland construction company, is building a community of 55 affordable, net-zero homes in downtown Frederick. Each home generates both geothermal and solar energy and is equipped with Energy Star appliances, LED and CFL lights and other energy saving and energy monitoring features. More information from the Washington Post, Mother Nature Network and Nexus Energy Homes.

Update on Hagerstown Solar Farm

The Herald-Mail reports the Hagerstown Solar Farm that received approval in July from the Maryland Board of Public Works is still not a done deal. The solar installation would generate about 20 megawatts, doubling the state’s solar power output. A hearing Thursday at the Maryland Public Service Commission headquarters in Baltimore went smoothly, with no opposition presented. The plan now faces a public hearing at Hagerstown Community College on Wednesday (8/24) and several more state and local government approvals before Maryland Solar LLC can make the plan a reality.

Baltimore Firm Developing New Floating Power Generating Station

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) announced it has issued its first Approval in Principle for a new ocean-based renewable energy design. Developed by OTEC International LLC of Baltimore, the approach converts liquid ammonia into gas in a heat exchanger using warm ocean surface water. The ammonia gas then drives turbines that turn generators to produce electricity which is then exported through a submarine power cable to a land-based utility company. The ammonia is condensed back into a liquid phase using cold ocean water pumped from 3,000 feet below the water’s surface and the process begins again.

Citigroup Puts Up $50 Million for Solar Leasing

Sungevity last week announced a renewable energy tax equity fund with Citigroup Inc. that will support over $50 million of new residential solar lease projects. Sungetivity has become one of the fastest growing solar companies in the country thanks to its innovative lease program that allows homeowners to install solar panels with no up front cost. The funding was arranged through Citigroup’s Alternative Energy Finance Group. Sungetivity says it plans to hire 200 new employees by the end of 2011, doubling its current workforce.

U.S. Military Developing Green Energy Solutions

CNN reports the U.S. military is becoming “a leading buyer of cutting-edge renewable energy technology.” The network reports a number of reasons why this is happening. One is cost. The combined U.S. forces consume 80% of the energy used by the federal government and spends $15 billion a year on fuel. The military has also had to overcome serious logistical difficulties getting diesel fuel to its forces in remote areas of Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of doing so has been heavy. One out of eight U.S. Army casualties in Iraq was sustained by soldiers protecting fuel convoys. CNN describes, in this online article, the steps being taken by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines to reduce costs and casualties through renewable energy technology.

Upcoming Green Events

Maryland Clean Energy Summit 2011, Thursday, August 25 – Saturday, August 27, Marriott North Bethesda Hotel and Conference Center. More than 60 speakers from business, government and energy non-profits will discuss how Maryland is “Investing in Energy to Generate Jobs.” Clean energy companies and those that serve them will exhibit. This is an excellent education and networking opportunity for those who are in the clean energy field or curious about it.

BG 101, Thursday, August 25, 4 – 5:30 pm. Bethesda Green’s monthly orientation session. Learn about Bethesda Green history, programs, upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Fertile Ground: Local Sustainable Farm Tour and Lunch, Saturday, September 10, 12:30 – 3:00 pm. Rocklands Farm, 14525 Montevideo Rd., Poolesville, MD 20837. Free shuttle transportation available from Bethesda Green. This is the second in the series On the Farm; Around the Table, connecting farmers, food and community in three meals.  More information here.

Savor Local Flavor: Four Course Dinner and Discussion with Chef Tony, Monday, September 19, 7:00 – 10:00 pm. Chef Tony’s, 4926 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.  This is the third in the series On the Farm; Around the Table, connecting farmers, food and community in three meals. More information here.

U.S. Dep’t. of Energy Solar Decathlon,  Friday, September 23 – Sunday, October 2, West Potomac Park, National Mall, Washington, D.C.  Competing collegiate teams (including University of Maryland) exhibit cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar-powered houses designed, built and operated by the students.  This free event includes tours of the solar homes, consumer workshops and award ceremonies for the winning teams.

20th Annual Tour des Trees, Sunday, October 2 – Saturday, October 8. The seven day, 500 mile ride takes participants from Virginia Beach through Williamsburg, Richmond, Charlottsville, along the Shenandoahs and over to Harper’s Ferry before winding back down the shores of the Potomac to DC and the National Arboretum. The annual ride raises funds for tree research and scholarships.

2011 Bethesda Green Gala, Wednesday, October 5, 6 – 10 pm, Round House Theatre. The gala recognizes Bethesda Magazine‘s Green Award winners for their inspiring work in the environmental community.  Mark your calendar now. More information to come.

Bethesda Magazine Green Award Winners

Dave Feldman (Bethesda Green), Steve Nash (MOM's Organic Market), Dr. Stewart Edelstein (The Universities at Shady Grove), Noah Katz, Dan Dozier (Little Falls Watershed Alliance), David Lublin (Town of Chevy Chase), Rabbi Fred Dobb, Steve Hull (Bethesda Magazine), and Joseph Chirico (Capital One Bank) at the Oct. 7 Gala.

If you attended the Bethesda Green Gala back on October 7, then you saw the seven winners of the first-ever Bethesda Magazine Green Awards—and heard their acceptance speeches, too.

You can read short profiles of the winners in “Green Giants,” a feature in this month’s Bethesda Magazine. The winners were:

– MOM’s Organic Market
– Little Falls Watershed Alliance
– Marriott International, Inc.
– The Universities at Shady Grove
– Town of Chevy Chase
– Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb
– Noah Katz

We’ve published a recap of Bethesda Green Gala highlights, with a link to photos from the event.

Bethesda Green Gala

Bethesda Green Gala

There are less than two weeks until the Bethesda Green Gala, Thursday, October 7 at Imagination Stage. Be sure to register by this Thursday, September 30; there will NOT be any refunds for registrations made after that date. Registering makes you eligible to bid in our green auction, which features green gifts, services and products!

Some more info:

  • You may claim $40 of the registration price as a tax-deductible donation to Bethesda Green.
  • We now have 24 items in our auction; register for the Bethesda Green Gala now to be able to bid! We’ll open online bidding for some items this week.

Don’t miss out on this special Gala event, which will feature emcee Bob Levey (former Washington Post columnist) and the presentation of the first-ever Bethesda Magazine Green Awards. We’ll see you there!

Bethesda Green Gala

Bethesda Green Gala

Here at Bethesda Green, our mission is to serve as a model for environmentally sustainable living and business practices — and to grow new green businesses in our Bethesda Green Business Incubator. We provide information to people and organizations about reducing waste, improving energy efficiency, and building cleaner, healthier communities; and we help guide the nascent green firms in our program.

Now we want to recognize the environmental efforts of the Green Champions in our community, those people, businesses, other organizations and communities that are walking the walk when it comes to green living and business practices.

Please join us for a celebration!

Bethesda Green Gala

Thursday, October 7

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Imagination Stage in Bethesda

“An evening of inspiration, celebration and recognition of local green champions, highlighted by the presentation of the 2010 Bethesda Magazine Green Awards.”

The evening will include the presentation of the inaugural Bethesda Magazine Green Awards, heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and a dessert reception. Plus we’ll have a silent auction of environmentally friendly gifts and services.

We received more than 120 nominations for the Bethesda Magazine Green Awards. From these, a panel of judges chose 7 winners in 5 categories:  People 18 and younger, people 19 and older, communities promoting and implementing green practices, businesses or non-profits that have created innovative green products or green services, and businesses or non-profits that have significantly incorporated green practices into their culture and operations.

Come out and celebrate green achievements! Visit the Bethesda Green Gala web page for details and registration information.

See you October 7!

Bethesda Magazine Green Awards nominationsDo you know a person, company, non-profit group or community that is doing great, green things in Montgomery County or Upper Northwest Washington, D.C.?

Then nominate them for the 2010 Bethesda Magazine Green Awards! Winners will be profiled in the November/December issue of Bethesda Magazine and recognized at the Bethesda Green Gala on Oct. 7, 2010.

You can nominate a regional green champion in one of 5 categories:

  1. Businesses or non-profit organizations in Montgomery County that have created an innovative green product, are selling an innovative green service, and/or are promoting a green lifestyle.
  2. Businesses or non-profit organizations that have significantly incorporated green practices into their culture and operations.
  3. Communities (neighborhoods, school organizations, condo associations, faith-based organizations etc.) that are promoting and implementing green practices.
  4. People, 19 or older, who are actively promoting and living a green lifestyle.
  5. People, 18 or younger, who are actively promoting and living a green lifestyle.

Nominations accepted through July 16 by Bethesda Magazine.

Let’s recognize and celebrate the businesses, non-profits, communities and individuals that are leading the local fight to protect the environment!