Green June Events Part Deux

Mark your calendar for another crop of green events this month, including a special film screening from The Environmental Film Festival, a garden fiesta to support City Blossoms, and more.

Film Screening: Climate of Change
June 16
When: 6:30
Where: Letelier Theater, 3251 Prospect St., NW (enter through courtyard next to Café Milano)
What: “Climate of Change” is about ordinary people around the globe, from London to Indonesia, who are taking action to save their local environments. The screening is hosted by The DC Environmental Film Festival, Cost is $20 per person and seating is limited. RSVP required to chris@envirofilmfest.org. A wine reception catered by Sweetgreen follows the screening.

Biking, Walking, Public Transport: Smart Mobility for the 21st Century
June 23
When: 6:30 pm
Where: Goethe-Institut Washington, 812 7th St., NW (Gallery Place Metro)
What: Part of the Institut’s 2010 event series Green Living, this panel discussion will look at what can be learned from cities across the world to improve the safety, convenience, and feasibility of non-motorized modes of transportation. There will also be a hands-on demonstration of how to change a bike tire by Daniel Hoagland, DC Bike Ambassador, Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

City Blossoms’ Garden Fiesta
June 24
When: 6-8
Where: The playground on the corner of 11th and Harvard St., NW (Columbia Heights Metro)
What: Enjoy music and delicious treats in a lovely garden setting. A $15 suggested donation will go toward City Blossoms. Please RSVP to Rebecca@CityBlossoms.org

Film Screening and Solutions Fair
June 30th
When: 6:00 reception followed by the film screening at 7:30
Where: Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (Archives/Navy Memorial Metro)
What: A wine tasting, green solutions fair, and film screening. “Local Warming” follows the fictional adventures of a stubborn suburbanite who sets off on an odyssey of proving that a few people can make a difference about global warming by gathering a group of locals to collectively reduce their carbon emissions by the same amount that the Harbor Energy Plant in Bridgeport, Conn., puts out each year. Film director Tom Reilly will be in attendance. A $10 donation is requested at the door, which includes a glass of wine. All proceeds go the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Register and more information.

Deals for Deeds: Q&A with Harrison Miller and Josh Hoffman

Get discounts on cool local products and services and give back at the same time. That’s the premise behind Deals for Deeds–a sort of Groupon for the socially conscious set.

Their latest initiative is Plant a Tree DC. For every 250 people that sign up for Deals for Deeds, they plant a tree in DC.

We sat down with founders Harrison Miller and Josh Hoffman to talk about the Deals for Deeds concept, the local angle, and what they’re doing to be green.

Why did you start Deals for Deeds?

Around the time that we graduated from Wharton, Josh and I saw social media popping up in so many different ways–Twitter was really booming. And the group-buying concept also started to become quite popular and would again find its way into so many of our conversations.

Deals For Deeds grew out of a small thought of how we can use some of this power to make a difference, fused with our love of DC and our feeling that there is so much to explore in this city, even if you’ve lived here your whole life!  For us, the company isn’t just about being environmentally conscious, or socially conscious, or being a part of the community, or promoting local businesses, or helping local charitable organizations, its about ALL those things, working together!

Have you featured any environmentally friendly businesses?

Yes, we’ve featured Freshii, Herban Lifestyle, Arganica Farm Club, and others.

What types of charities/non-profits benefit from Deals for Deeds? Any environmental/green ones?

We’re pretty open about the types of charities we feature.  Our main criteria at this point is that they use the money we donate locally in some fashion.  So, if the organization isn’t purely local, we want to ensure it’s going to the local chapter or for use on a local project.

How are you green in your day-to-day lives?

As individuals, we do the basics — recycling, carpooling, walking, etc. — whenever possible.  As a company, we’re committed to being sustainable as well.  Our office uses 100% wind power via Clean Currents, we print our advertising material on 100% recycled paper w/vegetable based inks, and our t-shirts are made from 69% recycled material.

Eco-Chic Fashion at the Corcoran

Who says fashion can’t be earth friendly? On Wednesday April 21 (the day before Earth Day, in case you forgot!), The Fashion Group International and the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran College of Art + Design will host “Eco Chic: Night of Stars and Rising Stars.”

The evening will recognize pioneers of the Eco Chic movement for their ecological and ethical design in fashion, art, beauty, architecture, and interior design.

Local rising star nominees include Nusta Spa, TranquiliT, Perfect Organics, and Skincando.

The cocktail reception will feature a fashion presentation that includes London Fashion Week “Eco Designer of the Year” winner, Jeff Garner of Prophetik , acclaimed designer Monique Péan, as well as rising star nominees Calamarie, Alberto Parada, and TranquiliT.

After the reception, guests will enjoy the Eco Chic awards ceremony emceed by NBC4 news anchor Wendy Rieger.

And what’s a swanky event without an equally swanky goody bag? The one at this event will be filled with eco-themed products supplied by the sponsors and members of The Fashion Group

Tickets: FGI and Corcoran Members $120. Non-members $150.

Earth Day-Inspired Fashion

Guest post by Heidi Strom Moon of the Closet Coach.

Armour sans Anguish

Every Earth Day, articles are written about “green” and sustainable fashion, from Bono’s Edun line to those totes that proclaim (perhaps a bit too loudly?) I Am Not a Plastic Bag”.

Many make a single green fashion purchase and consider it their contribution for the year; they’ve done their “duty.”

But truly eco-friendly dressing goes a deeper than that — and is almost as easy as tossing your recyclables in the ubiquitous big blue bin. In fact, if you’re already trying to live green, you can take a cue from the well-known 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Reduce

Listed first, in spite — or because — of being the most difficult to achieve, “Reduce” calls on us to use less stuff in the first place for multiple reasons.

So, the fashionista says with a tremble, does this mean you want me to … shop and buy less? It seems daunting, but think of it another way: all of the top stylists will tell you to transform your wardrobe by first editing (reducing) your clothing inventory, and then carefully supplementing the remaining pieces with a few, well-chosen, high-quality, classic items.

So this idea of reducing isn’t so new after all. The hardest part is focusing on key foundational items and ignoring the constant allure of the cheap, the trendy, and the on sale right now.

Reuse

Reusing takes a little more ingenuity. As you take stock of the contents of your closet, and remove the items you rarely wear, are there any that could be brought back to life? Are they in need of mending? Could your trusted tailor transform the silhouette into something more current? Could you rescue a boring or worn-out sweater with the artful application of buttons or beads?

Recycle

Recycle is a close cousin to Reuse when it comes to clothing. After all, you can’t place last season’s trendy top in the big blue bin.

But if you can’t reuse an item and make it wearable, can the fabric and materials serve another purpose?

Stockings with holes are often recycled by transforming them into practical applications. And Dad used to tear his old T-shirts into strips to use for waxing the car.

Going a step further, garments can be recombined and redesigned entirely. In addition to recycling your own garments, you can shop for new items that are made from reclaimed materials–such as the tops and dresses from Armour Sans Anguish and numerous other Etsy stores that embody the reuse and recycle ethos.

Finally, consider these principles not so much a new way to live, but a proud return to yesteryear. Ask any grandmother who lived through the Depression or World War II how they made do when materials or money was scarce. To them, the 3 Rs weren’t a slogan; they were a way of life.

Winter Farmer’s Market Finds

Guest post by Carrie Madren

Some of the DC-area farmer’s markets stay open year-round, giving locals an opportunity to sample fresh winter vegetables. In season are apples (stored in cool temps), beets, cabbage, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, and winter squash.

Among the best ways to prepare a cold-weather bounty is roasting it with savory dried herbs and spices, and with a flexible recipe such as the one below, you can throw together whatever vegetables you have on hand for a scrumptious side dish.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

6-8 cups winter vegetables: beets, carrots, onions, potatoes, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash (peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces or slices 1/2-inch thick)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dried or 3 Tbsp fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano

Directions: Toss ingredients together (keep onions separate, as they will roast faster; add them to the pan 10 minutes into the baking time). Spread in a single layer on greased baking pans. Roast in a preheated oven at 425 degrees until tender, about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with roasted garlic sauce (see below).

Roasted garlic sauce: Remove loose papery layers from outside of a whole garlic bulb but do not peel. Slice off top of the bulb, exposing the tip of each clove. Place on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil or just season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly and bake alongside the vegetables until tender. Squeeze soft roasted cloves into a small bowl, mash with fork, and stir in 3/4 cup plain yogurt.

Serves 8
(Recipe courtesy “Simply in Season” by Mary Beth Lind)

Arlington Farmers Market
North Courthouse Road and 14th Street (courthouse parking lot)
703-228-6400 (George Parish)
Saturdays, year-round: 9 a.m.-noon, January-April

Bethesda Central Farm Market
Elm Street between Woodmont Ave. and Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD
Sundays, year-round, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Clarendon Farmers Market
Wilson Boulevard and N. Highland Street, Arlington (Clarendon Metro Station)
703-812-8881
2-7 p.m. Wednesdays, year-round

Columbia Pike Farmers Market
South Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike (Pike Park in front of the Rite Aid)
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays, winter season

Del Ray Farmers Market
East Oxford and Mount Vernon avenues
703-683-2570 (Pat Miller)
9 a.m.-noon Saturdays, winter season
pmiller1806@comcast.net

Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market
20th and Q streets NW
202-362-8889
Sundays, year-round: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jan. 3-March 28

Eastern Market Outdoor Farmers Market
225 Seventh St. SE
202-698-5253 (Barry Margeson)
7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, year-round

Kensington Farmers Market
Howard Avenue (Kensington train station parking lot)
301-949-2424 (Shirley Watson)
8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, year-round

Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market
7155 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda
7 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, year-round

Takoma Park Farmers Market
Laurel Avenue between Eastern and Carroll avenues
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays, year-round

A Tree Grows in DC

Trees help improve air quality, reduce stormwater runoff, and can increase property value while lowering your utility bills. That’s why the District Department of the Environment is partnering with Casey Trees to help homeowners plant trees in their yards this coming spring for only $50.

A list of 10-12 tree species chosen for their environmental benefits will be available in January. Trees will range in size from small to large and include both deciduous and evergreen trees. If a homeowner decides to plant a tree that is not included on the RiverSmart Homes list of approved trees, they may choose to apply for the Casey Trees rebate.

In addition to shade trees, homeowners interested in reducing stormwater runoff from their properties can receive up to $1,200 in landscaping services for rain barrels, pervious pavers, rain gardens and BayScaping through the RiverSmart Homes program.

Ready to get started? Fill out this form and in the spring, a representative of Casey Trees will visit individual homeowners to determine the most appropriate trees and locations for planting in each yard.

Green Events: December

Still feeling the sour aftertaste of 2009? Get into the holiday spirit with these three fun eco-fab events.

Monday December 7th

Kickoff to Copenhagen 2009 Holiday Mixer

Join the DC Green Connection and CarbonfreeDC for the “Kickoff to Copenhagen” holiday mixer. Learn about what’s going on at the Copenhagen Climate Change discussions from climate policy expert Will Gartshore, enjoy Restaurant 1905′s  cocktails and food samples, and network with other greenminded Washingtonians.

There will also be a small silent auction with proceeds going to support CarbonfreeDC’s efforts to green low-income neighborhoods as well as to promote the DCGC mission of educating consumers and growing the green economy.

When:  December 7, 2009, 6:00-9:0o pm
Where: 1905 9th St. NW, upstairs (*Near U St. Cardoza Metro stop on 9th & U)
Tickets: $15 General, $12 DCGC Members. Includes one free drink, appetizers, and drink specials all evening. (Cash/check at the door)
RSVP: dcgreenconnection@gmail.com

Tuesday December 8th

Green Drinks

The monthly gathering is back–this time at Farmers & Fishers. Adrienne Spahr, Founder of Green Living Consulting will offering green holiday tips.

When: Tuesday, December 8th, 6:30-9:30 pm
Where: Farmers & Fishers (formerly Agraria) on the Georgetown Waterfront (Fountain Level), 3000 K St. NW
RSVP: Green Drinks on Facebook

Tuesday December 15th

DC EcoWomen Holiday Party

Join the DC EcoWomen (and men, this time) for a happy hour and networking event. Enjoy light appetizers and a cash bar at one of DC’s leading sustainable restaurants, Farmers & Fishers.

When: Tuesday, December 15th, 6:00-8:00 pm
Where: Farmers & Fishers (formerly Agraria) on the Georgetown Waterfront, 3000 K St. NW (in the Sunflower Room)
RSVP: Strongly encouraged through the group’s Facebook Event Page. If you’re not a Facebook member, RSVP to rsvp@ecowomen.org.

Grow Your Own

This post was written by Going Green DC contributing writer Alison Drucker.

Sometimes city life can leave you aching for fresh air – and fresh dirt. Not that grimy, stuck-to-the-bottom-of-your-shoe city dirt, but clean-smelling, produce-cultivating countryside dirt.

Get your hands dirty at Clagett Farm, a sustainable vegetable farm in Upper Marlboro, MD, owned and operated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Any able-bodied person can sign up to volunteer picking produce on the farm on Tuesdays through Saturdays. At least four hours of labor will get you the same full weekly share of fresh, local vegetables that a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) member receives.

The workshare is perfect for anyone who isn’t ready to commit to an entire season’s worth of harvest through a CSA membership, or who just wants to go learn about sustainable farming on a beautiful fall morning. Clagett Farm isn’t certified organic, but follows organic standards and doesn’t use genetically modified seeds.

In addition to doing good for the planet, the farm does good for the community. Almost half of Clagett Farm’s produce is distributed free or at a reduced cost to low-income DC communities in cooperation with the Capital Area Food Bank, expanding access to the fresh, healthy foods we all need in our diets.

Visit the Clagett Farm Web site to learn about participating in a workshare. Saturday workshares require calling ahead to sign up. Call 301.537.3038 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. a couple of days before the Saturday you want to work.

There’s still time to volunteer this season – September, October, and November bring broccoli, kale, cabbage, butternut squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, salad greens, carrots, turnips, collards, chard, spinach, and more.

If you’re adventurous in the kitchen and willing to explore new recipes as different fruits and vegetables are in season, purchase a 2010 CSA membership. Email clagettfarm@cbf.org to be notified when shares are available, and join the farm to get weekly batches of the season’s harvest.

Connecting Farms to Schools

IMG_0264This post was written by contributing writer Andrea Northup.

Imagine the following scenario:

Jenny is one of many schoolchildren in DC who receives free or subsidized meals at school every day.  One day, she finds a fresh, juicy slice of watermelon grown on a farm in Maryland on her cafeteria tray.  She meets the farmer who grew the fruit and learns about how the watermelon started as a seed, grew, and made it to her tray.  Jenny and her classmates participate in a cooking demonstration with a local chef using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

This scenario will be a reality during Local Flavor Week (September 21-25), when schools in DC will serve locally grown produce and offer educational opportunities for students, including produce tastings, cooking demonstrations, and farmer visits.

The event kicks off efforts to bring Farm to School programs to DC. The goal is to link schools with local farms in order to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition, provide health and nutrition education opportunities that will last a lifetime, and support local small farmers.

With the start of the school year, school lunch is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Farm to School programs are popping up across the country. It’s time for DC — with the White House Garden in our midst, and farms in the surrounding region looking for stable markets – to become a leader in the Farm to School movement.

IMG_0421Local Flavor Week is organized by the DC Farm to School Network in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, the National Farm to School Network, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Whole Foods, and other community partners.

Green Your Home Expo

english gardenCurious about solar energy for your home? Want to learn about carbon offset programs? Interested in yard sharing? Then stop by the Green Your Home Expo on Saturday, September 12,  from 10 am – 2 pm at UDC’s outdoor plaza (4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW in front of building 38 and 39; Van Ness Metro stop).

Find out how to  ‘green’ your home and neighborhood, enjoy live music, a farmers’ market, and bicycle eco-tours. There will also be two hour-long panel discussions–”Act Locally” and “Think Globally”–with experts on sustainability, climate change, and residential greening. The panels begin at noon in the Windows Lounge on the 3rd floor of Building 38.

Exhibitors include CarbonFreeDC, Clean Currents, DC Greenworks, District Department of the Environment, Eco-Green Living, Green Living Consulting, Sharing Backyards, Standard Solar, Switch Renewable Energy, Zipcar, and more.

Green Neighborhood Makeover

This post was written by Going Green DC contributing writer Alison Drucker

7029648The The Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover, an environmentally friendly home improvement project, will show DC residents in all neighborhoods and income brackets that energy-efficient, healthy homes can have economic as well as environmental benefits.

Thanks to a $20,000 National Geographic grant awarded to local grassroots organization CarbonfreeDC, 20 low-income families in the Deanwood and Shaw neighborhoods will receive green home improvements to trim their energy and water bills. Improvements could include compact fluorescent lights, programmable thermostats, weather-stripping, low-flow showerheads and faucets, power strips, and Energy Star appliances.

Ten homes will be randomly selected from qualifying applications in each neighborhood, and after an introductory orientation session for the families, they’ll receive environmental audits to identify how to get the biggest bang for the $1,000-per-home buck.

Deanwood, at the furthest-east end of Washington, is home to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and is the former home of Marvin Gaye and civil rights activist Nannie Helen Burroughs. Right now the neighborhood is being invigorated by several developments around the Minnesota Avenue metro station, as well as by green initiatives like Groundwork Anacostia River DC, which brings environmental education and restoration projects to the communities along the river.

Part of the U street corridor, Shaw was the center of African-American culture in DC through the 1960s. The 1968 riots destroyed much of Shaw and it was neglected for decades afterwards. Since the mid-1990s Shaw has been experiencing a renewal thanks to vibrant community organizations and a new influx of businesses and residents.

CarbonfreeDC hopes that the Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover will have a lasting impact on these neighborhoods, and on the rest of the city. Workshops and community events will educate residents about smart energy and water conservation strategies and 30 more homes in each neighborhood will receive free environmental assessments.

Want to help? The Extreme Green Gala on Friday, October 9, will feature speakers, organic food, drinks, music, and an art sale. If you’d rather roll up your sleeves and get involved in the makeovers, CarbonfreeDC is looking for consultants, electricians, plumbers, and assistance with marketing and outreach. Email Rhys Gerholdt for more information at rhys006 [at] gmail.com.

Contribute to Going Green DC!

LogoColorTextBelow

Going Green DC, Washington’s leading green blog, is looking for contributing writers. What we cover: sustainable living in DC, local green events, innovative small green businesses, sustainable local cuisine & restaurants, and green community projects.

Please send a short email to sachacohen [at] comcast.net with information about why you’d like to write for us. If possible, include links to writings samples or put a short writing sample in the body of the email (no attachments, please).

We are also looking for a PT web designer who has experience building on WordPress. Please note that these are unpaid positions at the current time.

What’s Your Favorite Eco Restaurant in DC?


Bees Thrive at The Fairmont

Bees and beekeepers at The FairmontHigh above the hustle and bustle of DC, 105,000 Italian honey bees are living it up on the rooftop of The Fairmont.

The bees, which were brought in as a response to the nation’s honey bee shortage, will enhance the hotel’s culinary program, which already features herbs such as chocolate mint, coriander and sage that are grown in the hotel’s courtyard garden.

Executive Sous Chef Ian Bens and Executive Pastry Chef Aron Weber will share the responsibility of Chief Bee Keeper.  They expect to retrieve 300 pounds of honey within the first year, and plan to use it in soups, salad dressings, pastries, and ice cream at the hotel’s restaurant, Juniper.

The Fairmont Bees came from Larry and David Reece in Germantown, Maryland. The Reece family has been keeping bees for over 150 years, and are widely respected among local beekeepers. Each of the Fairmont’s beehives house one queen bee and about 33,000 worker bees.

“Many pollinating bees have disappeared due to habitat loss and pollution.  Creating these new hives helps keep the bee population healthy and helps to ensure that plants are pollinated, which is also essential for insects, birds and animals to survive,” says Bens.  “Eventually, The Fairmont hopes to use the honeycomb to create candles, soaps and even lip balm,” he adds.

Although honey from the Fairmont’s bees won’t be harvested until the fall, you can try a “Beetini,” a Basil and Honey Daquiri, and other honey-infused cocktails in the hotel’s lobby lounge.

Contributors Wanted

It’s the beginning of a new year and time for Going Green to change along with the administration. As such, I’m looking for local contributors who are tapped into the DC green community and would like to be involved with this blog. Interested? Send me your contact information, writing sample and a little about yourself. Send the email to sachacohen [at] comcast[dot] net if you’d like to be considered as a regular contributor.

Thanks!