Archive for March, 2009

Stop by Fairlington Villages’ electronics recycling event on Saturday, March 28th from 10 am to 2 pm. It will be held at the community center’s parking lot located at 3005 S. Abingdon Street . The rain date for this event is April 4th.

There will be a $10 fee for computer monitors and TVs. All other items are free (printers, fax machines, keyboards, mice, speakers, cables, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, cell phones, empty ink and toner cartridges, etc). We cannot accept alkaline batteries or light bulbs.

Computer hard drive destruction will be available for $15 on-site (while you watch) or $10 off-site.


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I received a wonderful email over the weekend from the President of the Condo Association at Boston House, 1711 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036. He shared with me some of the wonderful improvements that his association has made to “green” the Boston House building.

I’ve included his story below! If you own a condo or a coop and can help your condo association ‘go green,’ now’s the time! See if these tips can help you and your building!

From Robert’s email:

Building components

From 2003 to about 2005 we engaged in a $3.5 million upgrade (funded by a special assessment that the members have fully paid). It included new double-pane windows to replace the circa 1950 single-pane windows that were very drafty. That resulted in a 17% reduction in natural gas used for heating in the winter. We have also installed new hot water heaters that are showing similar reductions in gas usage for domestic hot water. We have replaced the incandescent bulbs in the hallways with compact flourescent light bulbs.

We are in the process of shopping for a new a/c chiller to replace one that is nearing the end of its useful life as stated in our capital component reserve study.

We have from time to time studied the prospect of solar panels for domestic hot water. This big ticket item remains an object of study, but it is not dead. We are constantly learning more about how this technology could be applied to our building. We have also talked about green roofs, and the idea has met with some favor, but is also a down the road project.

Community activities
Tomorrow, I am going to host a discussion for the residents of the building in which they can share their ideas and concerns. (When my turn comes to share, I’m going to talk about phantom power and how putting 6 electronic devices on a power switch that is turned off when the devices are idle would save about $4 per month per unit. For perspective, if everyone in our building did this, we could shave $13,000 off the annual electricity bill.)
The day after, a small Meet-up group will convene in my apartment for the second of a four-part program on reducing carbon footprint. (The program uses WeightWatchers as an analogy: the slogan is “Lose 5,000 pounds in 30 days.”)”
If you have specific questions for Robert about the changes they’ve made to the Boston House, I’ll be happy to put you in touch!
Congratulations, Boston House, on leading the pack!

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Green Condo Workshops – copied text

Check out some of these Green Condo workshops and please pass the information along to anyone who might be interested…

Appliance Energy Use Demonstration. Saturday, April 11th, 3 – 4 PM. Compare the energy use of various everyday household appliances, and see how much “vampire” energy is being used by some of those appliances. This demonstration will be taking place as part of Arlington’s Home Show and Expo! At the Home Show and Expo, come and get your questions answered about home improvement projects, building permits, zoning, home ownership, and related topics from County agencies and more than 50 businesses. The Arlington Home Show and Expo takes place from 10 AM – 4 PM. For more information, please call 703-228-3827. Walter Reed Community Center, 2909 S. 16th St. Arlington, VA.

Composting Anywhere! Monday, April 20, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Special techniques for composting in apartments, condominiums, and other small spaces. Location – Whole Foods Market, 2700 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 22201. The class will also include an overview of vermicomposting (worm composting). Instructors: Joe Keyser, America’s Compost King, and Christine Simpson with Arlington County Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources. Sponsored by Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Whole Foods Market. Registration is required. To register, e-mail Jackie Zovko at Whole Foods Market at jackie.zovko@wholefoods.com or stop by the Whole Foods Market customer service desk.

Greening Your Apartment or Condo! Wednesday, April 22nd, 7 – 8:30 pm. Come to this Earth Day workshop to hear from residents from Arlington Oaks, Stoneridge Knoll and 888 N. Quincy who have been catalysts to help their apartment or condo buildings go green, by expanding recycling, installing raingardens, rainbarrels, composting with worms, or reducing energy consumption! Get ideas and resources to use at your own complex! For more information or to register, call 703-228-3610 or email awinquist@arlingtonva.us . Shirlington library, Campbell meeting room. 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, VA.

Rain Barrel Workshop. Saturday, April 25. 11 am – 12:30 pm. Walter Reed Community Center, 2909 16th St. South, Arlington, VA. Cost: $50 per barrel (two barrels per household limit). For more information, to register for a workshop, or see the FULL list of rain barrel workshops, check the Rain Barrel Workshop web site.

Speed Greening. Thursday, April 30th, 7-9 pm. Forget speed dating – come to this “speed greening” session to learn about several green topics at one event! Topics include Top 10 Ways to Go Green at Home; Review of Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency, and Going Green to Sell your Home. Attend one session or all three! For more information, or to register, please email hreinecke-wilt@arlingtonva.us or call 703-228-4792. Walter Reed Community Center, 2909 S. 16th St., Arlington, VA.

Bike Maintenance 101. Saturday, May 2nd 10:30-11:30am. Does your bike shake, rattle, and roll? Dust off your bike just in time for Bike to Work day on May 15th. This FREE bike maintenance class at Conte’s Cycles in Ballston will help get your bike rolling! You’ll learn hands-on basic bicycle maintenance for road bikes and mountain bikes, and how to patch and change your own tires, service your drive-chain, and perform preventative maintenance that will prolong the life-span of your bike. For more information or to register, email Adam or call 703-228-3066. 3924 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

Bike to Work Day. Friday, May 15th. Join thousands of area commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work! Meet up with your neighbors at one of 27 pit stops all over the region. Find out more or register for the event!

Composting Essentials. Saturday, May 30th. 11 am – 1 pm. Come to this workshop to learn how to transform leaves, grass, and weeds into compost — the prized Gardener’s Gold. This session includes a hands-on compost demonstration featuring several types of compost bins. Free. Reserve your seat now by calling 703-228-4797 or email Sarah. Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Rd, Arlington, VA.

Green Home and Garden Tour. Sunday June 7th, 1 – 5 pm. Take part in this tour to see homes and condos with solar elements, green roofs, recycled materials, and energy efficient technologies. Some homes will feature gardens full of native plants, raingardens, rain barrels and cisterns, permeable pavement, wildlife habitat, and other environmentally friendly features. Check the ACE web site at www.arlingtonenvironment.org for the tour brochure after May 1st.

Aileen Winquist
Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 710
Arlington, VA 22201

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I’ve just discovered a few excellent sites for those of you who want to find fresh local produce! I’ve posted these sites under a new category called “Local Produce and Pick Your Own Groceries” at the GreenLiving+Design site http://www.greenlivinganddesign.com/living_green.aspx.

For Virginians, two great sites are:

http://www.buylocalvirginia.org (which features an excellent search engine to find the farms closest to you) and http://www.pickyourown.org/va.htm.

For Marylanders, the University of Maryland has launched a wonderful site for fresh, local produce from Maryland farms:


Happy hunting!

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The fact that make-up products are unregulated goes over the head of so many women and girls. Lead, which is stored in women’s bones, is present in LEADING BRANDS of lipsticks. On http://www.greenlivinganddesign.com, I’ve added a link to http://www.SafeCosmetics.org.

If you want to check out if your products contain lead, go to http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=223.

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Read this report and take action! Baby bath products, often advertised as “natural,” contain harmful chemical substances. See below!


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OUT NOW! See what fruits and veggies are safe to buy conventional, and which you should buy organic.

Free report here: http://www.foodnews.org/

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