Environmentalist of the Month-Tackles Invasives by Hand

  Gaithersburg, Md Sunday, February 17, 2013 By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Concern for one’s environment moves people to take action in a variety of ways, and for Ken Bawer it is getting rid of invasive plants that otherwise would drown out native plants in Montgomery County Md. parks and trails. Bawer is …

Cheryl Kollin, December’s Environmentalist of the Month

By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Gaithersburg, Md December 14, 2012 Cheryl Kollin was selected as the Green Gaithersburg.com December environmentalist of the month. Kollin came up with an innovative program called “Farm to Freezer”, a  way to reduce food waste by freezing excess fresh organic vegetables and having the veggies then incorporated …

Environmentalist of the Month Improves Your Watershed and Water Quality

                    Gaithersburg, MD January 20, 2011 By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Jennie Howland is improving the local environment she lives in.   Over the past year, Ms. Howland has helped set up and run the Muddy Branch Alliance, a new non-profit in Gaithersburg, Md. …

Environmentalist of the Month

  By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Gaithersburg, MD Gaithersburg is a city that takes climate change seriously, thanks in large part to resident Karen Rainbolt. Rainbolt was moved to action in by reading about cities throughout the United States that were adopting climate change policies and enacting gas emission standards laid out …

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Commute with Someone

September 16, 2011 Green Blog No Comments

Commuting by car these days in the DC metro area is time consuming and exhausting.  Depending on when you hit the beltway, you can amble along and sit in gridlock for what seems like forever, especially when you are expected at work by a certain time.

More and more people in the area are turning to organized commuting services like Commuter Connections or to the practice of “slugging”, whereby Virginia commuters look for occupants to fill their car in order to take advantage of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

“We’ve seen a 50% increase in applications for carpooling from February through June of this year,” says Commuter Connections Director Nicholas Ramfos.  Ramfos speculates this jump could be due to the region’s increase in gas prices.

The non-profit Commuter Connections was established by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in 1974 in response to the 1973 oil embargo that raised the price of gas in the U.S.  The premise was to match commuters with each other in order to share commuting expenses.  Over the years Commuter Connections evolved to provide commuting options such as guaranteed ride home programs and van pools.  The organization’s current mission is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in the region by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

According to Ramfos, 30,000 people are registered and use the Commuter Connections services in the DC Metro area.  Registered users go on the Commuter Connections website, enter employment destination information and then request a ride match view list.  Users can choose rides from a list of eligible carpools based on proximity to home addresses and work destinations.

“Slugging” is another option for commuters who are coming from Northern Virginia locations.  Initiated in 1975 when HOV van and car lanes were built in response to the 1973 oil crisis, this informal free ride sharing program is still going strong.

There are 27 designated  pick-up and drop-off points in Northern Virginia and DC where “slugs” stand in line morning and evening to catch a ride.  The name “slug” comes from the term bus drivers used to describe people who used dummy coins to try and catch a free bus ride.  In carpooling context, “slugs” first began lining up at bus stops with the intention of joining carpool rides rather than taking buses, confusing the bus drivers.  Now bus stops and other locations are designated as “slug” lines on the website  www.slug-lines.com.

Check out www.mwcog.org/commuter2 or www.slug-lines.com if you are willing to share a ride and want to reduce your carbon footprint and possibly your commute time.


Green Gaithersburg Introduction

September 13, 2011 Green Blog No Comments

Welcome to GreenGaithersburg.com. 

Living in one place, Gaithersburg, MD, for more than six years has made me acutely aware of how we are connected to our immediate environment.  We become healthy and create sustainable ecosystems by eating locally grown foods, nurturing and taking care of the landscape, water sources, trees and the natural wildlife that live in our backyard and neighborhoods. 

Previous to living in Gaithersburg, I spent  years reporting from conflict zones throughout the world. I have learned firsthand that access to natural resources is one of the main reasons countries are at war.   Natural resources such as oil and clean water are finite. We need to learn to consume less natural resources, reduce our carbon footprint, and in the process, be less dependent on other countries while developing alternative energy resources within our own country.  Alternative energy sources that do not pollute our ecosystems are essential for our children’s health and future. 

GreenGaithersburg.com will serve Gaithersburg,Montgomery County, Maryland and the greater DC metro area as a source for interesting and educational environmental stories.  I hope kids and adults alike will watch videos, look at photographs, read about local environmental issues and concerns and what people like you are doing to improve our environment.  Contributors from other parts of the world explain how other countries address their environmental issues so that we can learn about their concerns and how they address their own sustainability issues. 

New stories will be posted on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The website provides quite a bit of information. With gasoline close to $4.00 per gallon in the DC Metro area,  I’ve included a tab that links to Commuter Connections,  a nonprofit in the DC metro region that provides a list of potential car poolers in your area. Reducing traffic will reduce C02 emmisions and save you money. 

Green Jobs links to a  green list  jobs website in the DC metro area.

The Green Calendar  list green events in the City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County and DC Metro area. 

The Green Directory will list non-profits as well as businesses that sell products or services that help reduce your carbon footprint. Other categories include:  ec0-friendly painters, eco-friendly designers that use recycled paper and eco-friendly inks, LEED Certified architects and designers, to name a few. 

Welcome to Greengaithersburg.com.  I hope you support me by reading and using the website to find useful information and use it as a place to voice  your questions, concerns and thoughts about our environment.

Thank you to all of you that have listened to me and supported me along the way to make this website come to life.

Many thanks,

Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin

Founder, GreenGaithersburg.com

A Mother Duck’s Life

September 12, 2011 Green Blog No Comments











April, 2011 and September, 2011

Location: Gaithersburg, MD

Reporters: Eight-year-old Pierre Zeineddin and seven-year-old Sebastien Zeineddin

April, 2011.

Pierre writes:

A month ago, I saw a mother duck that had laid 13 eggs in a planter in the shopping center near Hallmark in the Kentlands, Maryland. What  I  saw was unusual because  I never saw a duck near people. On Monday the eggs hatched. I was excited when I saw the ducklings. That night, the family was moved to a lake near my home. I can’t wait to see the mother duck!

Update, September, 2011

Mom and ducks were brought by Gaithersburg’s Animal Control officers to Inspiration Lake in the Kentlands the day the eggs hatched. Gaithersburg animal control officer Jorge Esmieu says it was easy to move the mother and babies as mother duck was “domesticated” by spending so much time near people in the flower pot. Esmieu checked twice to make sure that the mom and baby ducklings were doing well in the lake.  “I saw them by the fishing deck, all the babies and her mother,” said Mr. Esmieu.

Sebastien writes:

One day I went shopping with my mother, father, and brother.   We walked by a flowerpot and saw a duck lying there.  We walked in the wine store and asked them why was there a duck lying in a flowerpot.  They said that the duck is lying on thirteen eggs.  They said the shops have been giving the duck food and water.  The duck was not scared when we saw it.  But, they said that the duck gets really scared when you get close to her.

Today, we went back to the flowerpot and the duck was gone.  We asked the shop owners what happened to the duck.  They said that the eggs hatched and that Animal Control took the mother and ducklings to a lake in the Kentlands.  That’s near where we live.  I feel happy that the duck and its babies finally got back to their natural habitat.

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Meatless Monday Recipes

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan Croutons

19 Nov 2013

A good friend, Denise Clark, sent in this vegetarian seasonal recipe.   1 3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes (5-6 cups) 2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 teaspoons of  kosher salt Pinch of freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 large onion, diced 1 tablespoon …

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Meatless Monday Butternut Squash Ravioli

4 Nov 2013

From Chef John at allrecipes.com Ingredients  Original recipe makes 6 servings 1 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 pinch cayenne pepper 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 1 egg yolk 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 (16 ounce) package round wonton wrappers 2 …

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Meatless Monday Proclaimed by Montgomery County Council

22 Jul 2013

July 22, 2013 Gaithersburg, Md By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin I was so pleased to find out that Montgomery County Council has officially endorsed Meatless Mondays, a nationwide effort to choose more plant-based foods. For more information about this news read Compassion Over Killing’s website.  Also, Naomi Bloch sent in a Meatless …

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Meatless Monday Recipe- Roasted Cauliflower

17 Jun 2013

  This recipe sounds delicious and I am going to try it tonight because I have a cauliflower sitting in my fridge and I need to cook it! Will let you know what it tastes like!- Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin Recipe is from BonApetit Ingredients Roasted Cauliflower 2 1/2 cups dry white …

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Meatless Mondays-Caramelized Onion Tart

20 May 2013

Here is a vegetarian recipe for an Onion tart. I just read up and now understand that a tart is made in ribbed dish, the bottom part of the pan can come out, and the tart can be all sorts of shapes vs. a quiche is in round pie dish… …

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