by Susanna Parker

Litter Prevention Contest Deadline Extended!BGgreennews_logo1

The Alice Ferguson Foundation has announced that the deadline for their Litter Prevention Video Contest has been extended to June 15th. If you’re interested in testing your marketing skills and showing your support for clean land, safe water, and healthy lives in your community, don’t delay! Entrants are competing for a chance to win $1,000 and have their video used as a PSA for the Regional Litter Prevention Campaign. For contest and entry details, please visit the Alice Ferguson Foundation.

Invasive Beetle Attacks Ash Trees Across the Northeast

First spotted in Michigan in 2002, the Asian emerald ash borer poses a serious threat to native ash trees and the people that live near them. The invasive insect feeds solely on the inner bark of all 22 species of native ash tree and has destroyed more than 100 million trees in 15 states – including Maryland and Virginia. Urban areas with fewer species diversity are at particular risk; Baltimore, for example, has a tree canopy comprised primarily of ash trees and could see major losses if the emerald borers establish a foothold within the city.

Studies of the insect have shown a correlation between tree death and human mortality rates. A recent study showed an increase of deaths from cardiovascular and lower respiratory illness that coincided with the decreasing population of ash trees. While the study’s authors refrained from any direct cause-and-effect relationships, they did cite previous studies that demonstrated health benefits of trees, including improved air quality and temperature moderation.

Preventive measures against the insects are mostly comprised of targeted pesticide usage. However, some biological control measures, such as introduced parasitic wasps, have been successful. In Michigan, where the wasps have been widely established, emerald ash borer populations have been reduced by one-third. People who spot emerald ash borers are encouraged to report the sighting. In Maryland, call 410-841-5920; in the District, dial 301-313-9327. For more information on the emerald ash borers, please read the full Washington Post article in Urban Jungle.

Upcoming Bethesda Green Events

  • First Thursday Happy Hour at Ri-Ra Irish Pub, Thursday, June 6, 5 – 8 pm, 4931 Elm Street

Join us for casual conversation and social networking. This month’s highlights include a presentation by Mike Hunninghake of MD Smart Energy Communities, a meet-and-greet with members of the Bethesda Green Business Incubator, and information on ways to make a difference in your community. Discount drink prices and complimentary appetizers courtesy of Ri-Ra. For more information, and to RSVP, please visit the Bethesda Green Meetup.

  • 2nd Annual Reel Water Film Festival, Saturday, June 15, 1 – 9 pm, Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, 7719 Wisconsin Avenue

The Reel Water Film Festival aims to educate the community about local and global water issues through the use of film, expert presentations, and networking with environmental and humanitarian organizations. At least 50% of all proceeds are donated to water projects in developing countries as well as right here at home. This year, we’re excited to present the film Chasing Ice, a breathtaking film that portrays the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit ReelWaterFilmFest.org 

Upcoming Partner Events

  • Montgomery County Green Business Certification, Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 – 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 help community members 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 Acensus Law, and Gary Skulnik of Clean Currents.

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

  • Green Drinks Networking Happy Hour, Thursday, May 23, 5 – 8 pm, Hollywood East Cafe, 11160 Veirs Mill Road

Join GreenWheaton and the other community Greens for Green Drinks with others who want to thrive in environmentally sustainable communities. Eat, drink, and be Green!

  • Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo, Wednesday, June 12, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Cannon House Office Building, Independence Ave. & New Jersey Ave., SE

Join the Sustainable Energy Coalition for this expo that will bring together businesses, sustainable energy trade associations, government agencies, and energy policy research organizations to showcase the status and near-term potential of the cross-section of renewable energy. This free event will discuss the role sustainable energy technologies can play in meeting America’s energy needs, as well as issues of national security, high energy costs, and more. To learn more about the event, please visit the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

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.

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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.

BG.GreenHome_logoby Jennifer Roe

Are you interested in greening your home?  Do you want to save money and create a healthier environment for your family?  If so, plan now to attend Bethesda Green’s 4th annual Solar & Green Home Expo, Saturday, May 11, 10 am – 3 pm.

The event will be held at the Bethesda Green offices, 4825 Cordell Avenue, 2nd floor above the Capital One Bank. All are invited to attend this FREE community event, explore and participate in workshops, and discuss practical ways to green your home.

Representatives from the Montgomery Department of Environmental Protection Energy and Pepco will answer questions about costs, benefits, tax credits, and other incentives.  Learn about the advantages of going solar in your home!

Local green businesses will showcase products and services that can help homeowners go green.  Participating companies and organizations include: Solar Energy World, Standard Solar, ecobeco, Growing SOUL, Savenia Labs, A.I.R. Lawn Care, Bethesda Systems, Energy Squad.  Click here to see a complete list.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Composting 101: In Your Home or Backyard
  • Deep Green Homes, Living in Harmony with Nature and not the Utility Company
  • Community Solar Power Purchasing: Solar Power for the other 80%
  • County, State and Federal Tax Benefits for Energy Efficiency and Solar Power
  • Efficiency Incentives: Pepco Rebate Programs for 2013

Learn more about the Solar & Green Home Expo and see a detailed program schedule here.