Saving Green by Going Green
Late in the summer of 2012, a group of local community organizations, including members from Waste Not! Carroll, Sierra Club (Catoctin Chapter), Sustainable Living MD, and Venturing Crew #202 began developing a program to encourage and cultivate sustainable business enterprises in Carroll County, MD. The goal of the program would be to give businesses and entrepreneurs the tools they need to identify and adopt practices to reduce their environmental impact, improve their operational efficiency, and enhance their business reputation.
How the Program Works
At the heart of the Green Business Network is a certification process that evaluates the breadth and depth of a business' commitment to strengthening its efficiency, reducing its environmental impact and supporting a sustainable community.
The basis of the evaluation is the Green Business Scorecard. The Scorecard reflects the best practices in five areas of environmental and community stewardship: Solid Waste Management, Environmentally Responsible Purchasing, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and Water Conservation & Quality.
In order for a business to become certified, it must meet specified implementation goals from a minimum number of measures from across the best practices categories. Additionally, participants agree to take certain steps to encourage employee participation and raise the visibility of the program.
Following a self-assessment, an interested business pays a nominal fee and arranges for a site verification visit by a member of the Green Business Team in order to confirm adoption of best practices and implementation goals.
Based on the level of performance, a participating business is awarded a Level of Green Excellence of one, two or three stars. Each business will receive a decal sticker, an award certificate, mention and a link on the Waste Not! Carroll and Sustainable Living MD websites and a photograph with press release sent to the Carroll County Times.
Certification is valid for two years. During that period, businesses are encouraged to raise their level of performance for future evaluations.
Why Go Green?
Implementing environmental and community stewardship practices improves operational efficiency, enhances business reputation, and increases profitability.
As many of the measures save resources and reduce consumption, they result in lower operating costs, boosting profitability and freeing up capital for business investments. Furthermore, recognition of environmental and community leadership engenders existing customer loyalty and attracts new business.
Moreover, certified green businesses benefit through shared marketing and promotion, reductions in operating costs and increased profitability, market and product differentiation and recognition of environmental and community leadership.
We are currently finalizing plans for a new, community-based business recognition program that will highlight local entrepreneurs' efforts with sustainability and environmental stewardship by scoring them on topics like waste reduction, use of renewable energy, environmentally responsible purchasing, and water and energy conservation.
The program is called the Green Business Network, and we anticipate starting it in the Spring of 2013.
Please stay tuned for more information shortly!
First Place Entry by Marisa Hrbal
Our Other Winners: Gus Foley, Alyssa Roberts, Olivia Brundage, and Annie Brown
And the Judges Judging!
The Audubon Society of Central Maryland (http://www.centralmdaudubon.org/) plans to join the Earth Day event at Carroll Community College on Tuesday, April 17th and the Saturday morning, April 21st Panel Discussion displays at McDaniel College. The group will have a display, brochures and hopefully a volunteer to answer questions at each event.
The entertainers for our Friday, April 20th Concert at the Amphitheater at Carroll Community College are on board NOW!
Joining us on stage that evening, starting at 7 pm, will be local musicians Chuck Moosian (aka Chasmo - http://www.chasmo.us/) and Jerry Diamond. Also, The Friendship Valley Elementary School Green Team will sing their "Chesapeake" Song. And finally, the drama group from North Carroll High School will perform their version of The Lorax, by Dr. Suess.
This will be a fun-filled evening for the whole family that is free and open to all!
Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) presents free multimedia assemblies on climate science and solutions at high schools nationwide. ACE visits high schools nationwide to present climate science that sticks via a free, acclaimed multimedia assembly. After the assembly, ACE kickstarts student Action Teams (environmental clubs) and offers support including grants, scholarships, online project templates, trainings and more. Please visit our website, view our trailer and book your assembly now.
As a part of its continuing Community Matters Film Series, a film series to stimulate discussion about energy, self-reliance and the environment, Sustainable Living Maryland will screen the film No Impact Man on Thursday, April 19th, starting at 7 pm in Room K 127 at Carroll Community College. No Impact Man follows the true story a couple living in New York City who decide to live for one year without making a negative environmental impact. Relive their challenges, struggles and transformation then stay for a facilitated discussion of the issues and concepts they faced.
There will be an open discussion immediately after the film. Explore together how, we here in Carroll County, could reduce our footprint. There is no charge for the film.
Wednesday - April 18th
6:30pm - Room K100, Carroll Community College. BGE will giving a one hour presentation on ways to save money on your electric bill and in turn save energy.
7:30pm - Room K100, Carroll Community College. We will be showing the movie COOL IT! Climate catastrophe? The end of civilization as we know it? COOL IT is based upon the book of the same name and lectures by Bjorn Lomborg, the controversial author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner travels the world with Lomborg exploring the real facts and true science of global warming and its impact. Lomborg is the founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a globally respected think tank that brings together the world's leading economists to prioritize major global problems -- among them malaria, the lack of potable water and HIV/AIDS -- based upon a cost/benefit analysis of available solutions. Amidst the strong and polarized opinions within the global warming debate, COOL IT follows Lomborg on his mission to bring the smartest solutions to climate change, environmental pollution, and other major problems in the world.
Don Boesch, PhD - Professor of Marine Science and President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Michael Barbour, PhD - Vice President of Tetra Tech and Director of the Center for Ecological Sciences
Ned Tillman - Co-Founder of Sustainable Growth, LLC and environmental author
Dru Schmidt-Perkins - Executive Director, 1000 Friends of Maryland
Richard Josephson - Director of Planning Services for the Maryland Department of Planning
Nelson Widell - Co-Founder of The Peninsula Compost Group, LLC
For more information of the speakers, please click on the Bios section of our website.
We look forward to seeing you at the Planet Carroll Panel Discussion on Saturday, April 21, 2012, starting at 9 am at Decker Auditorium on the campus of McDaniel College in Westminster, MD!
The Maryland Native Plant Society (http://www.mdflora.org) has agreed to participate in two Planet Carroll events - the Earth Day celebration at Carroll Community College on Tuesday, April 17th and the Panel Discussion on Saturday, April 21st. The MNPS will be setting up a display at both events. Welcome to our event!
We have just added a new event to the Planet Carroll week, a special Tree Planting on Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day!), partnering with Boy Scout Troop #395 and Venturing Crew 202. It will start at 11 am at Freedom Park, 100 Raincliffe Road in Sykesville. For more information, contact Paul Kazyak at PKAZYAK@dnr.state.md.us.
This event is rain or shine!
Donald Boesch, professor of marine sciences and president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, has written an article for The Capital that is must reading for anyone concerned about the health of the Chesapeake Bay. We are proud that Dr. Boesch has agreed to join our event as one of our features speakers for our Saturday, April 21st Panel Discussion at McDaniel College. Please come out that morning to hear what these experts have to say about our local environment.