by Alison Wentzell

Maryland updates Bike and Pedestrian PlanBGnews_logo

A little over a decade ago Maryland adopted the 20-year Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  Now at the half way point, it is time for the Department of Transportation to update the plan.  While the plan does not establish any specific projects, it does set goals and outlines what we will see over the next 10 years.

A lot has changed since the plan was originally drafted, and the number of Maryland residents who choose to bike and walk has increased, with a concurrent demand for more infrastructural supports.  Bike lanes are popping up in communities that never had them before, and programs that support bicycling are growing.

The state of Maryland has budgeted $151 million over the next six years, and once the plan is complete officials can start making decisions on which projects get funded.

To see the full article published in the Gazette, click here.

Residents push back on rapid transit proposal

To improve long-range transportation options, be more environmentally friendly and support local business, the Montgomery County Planning Board recently approved a proposal to dedicate two lanes for rapid transit buses along Wisconsin Avenue from Friendship Heights Metro to the Rockville Metro.

However, according to a report published in the Gazette, many residents attending a May 28 meeting challenged the plan, especially in the Green Mile corridor between Friendship Height and downtown Bethesda.

See the Gazette article here.

CO2 Emissions Rose 1.4% in 2012     

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4% in 2012, warning that if  we don’t change by 2020, there will be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than we can reasonably deal with.

IEA representative Fatih Birol warns that “climate change is slipping down in the political agenda in many countries.”  To keep this issue at the forefront of our global leaders’ minds the IEA is urging countries and companies to implement four drastic measures by 2015.  This includes implementing aggressive energy efficiency measures, limiting coal output from inefficient plants, reducing the release of methane in gas and oil operations, and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.

Click here to read the complete article published in the Washington Post.

Upcoming Events Bethesda Green Events

Come out and see entrepreneurs practice their pitch for our panel of investors, and get helpful feedback!

Join Bethesda Green for a great baseball game.  Tickets are free and available while supplies last. Email

Upcoming Partner Events

Join GreenWheaton for their 3rd anniversary!  The night includes appetizers, beer, wine, refreshments, green vendors, and door prizes!  Tickets are $30.

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 

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

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

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.

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.