Washington Gardener Magazine

Washington Gardener is the gardening magazine published specifically for Washington DC and its MD and VA suburbs — zones 6-7. The magazine is published monthly online and delivered to your email inbox as a PDF. YOUR area gardening magazine including gardening tips that apply specifically to your climate and weather zone.

Why read anything else? If you are a DC-area gardener, you’ll love Washington Gardener! The magazine is written entirely by local area gardeners. They have real-world experience with the same problems you experience in your own gardens. They’ll be sharing their thoughts on what to plant in deep shade, how to cover bare spots, which annuals work best throughout the humid DC summers, and much more.

Phone: 301-588-6894

Corcoran Caterers

Corcoran Caterers is certified as a 3 star Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA). Receiving 227.15 GreenPoints on the GRA’s certification scale, and having implemented 78 environmental steps, Corcoran Caterers has gone 127.15% above and beyond the minimum requirements necessary for certification.  Here are some of the efforts Corcoran undertakes to help protect the environment:

  • Energy Star Ovens, Freezers, Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Steamers, Lightbulbs, and Printers
  • More than 66% of all monthly food purchases are vegan
  • Compost pre-consumer waste
  • Donate to local food banks
  •  Use <1gpm pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators to conserve water
  • Use green certified cleaning solutions
  • Utilize recycled furnishings within office
 

Ecoprint

Ecoprint was founded in 1977 in the back of a bus as the in-house print shop of various grassroots environmental organizations. From the beginning, we searched for ways to avoid toxic chemicals and find papers that preserved forests. Since then, we’ve private-labeled our own line of environmentally sound Ecoprint papers along with our own vegetable-oil based and metal-free Eco-inks. We’re the first printer to buy 100% of our electricity from wind farms, as well as the first carbon neutral printer in the U.S.

Ecoprint is committed to managing, measuring and improving the environmental performance of our products, processes, services and employees as an integral part of our mission. We strive to be a responsible company and community partner.

Green America Gold

Snyder Cohn

Snyder Cohn,  founded in 1927, provides a wide range of accounting services, including compliance, tax, audit, and financial statement services. We have dedicated divisions that specialize in medical practice consulting, retirement plan administration, and outsourced accounting. Our clients include start-up and small and medium-sized businesses, as well as those with revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  We have a global reach as the result of our affiliation with BKR International, a worldwide network of top accounting firms. 

We are distinguished by our approach. We support our clients in their life cycle from inception through succession. We instill a culture of listening and learning to make sure we understand our clients’ needs. 

Founded on the principles of integrity and trust, Snyder Cohn CPAs and Business Advisors understands the importance of doing what’s right – for our clients, employees, community and planet. That means ensuring that the things we hold dear are here for future generations to enjoy.

As a Montgomery County Certified Green Business, Snyder Cohn has demonstrated our dedication to preserving and protecting community assets—social, economic, and environmental. Our accounting firm has spent the past year with a focused intent on practices that reduce our carbon footprint.  

With our office move to North Bethesda, we created the opportunity to build sustainability into the design of our new space.  From lighting to appliances to furnishings, the space utilizes eco-friendly products that reduce both resource consumption and costs. Similar results were achieved by adopting new business practices, such as responsible purchasing, electronic communications, and recycling.

As an organization and as individuals, the people of Snyder Cohn embrace sustainability on all levels. Leading by example is a longstanding company tradition and a quality that our clients respect and appreciate.

For more information about Snyder Cohn, please visit our website at www.snydercohn.com or call 301-652-6700.

Junk in the Trunk

Junk in the Trunk Removal Services has been simplifying the lives of residential and business clients in the Washington, DC metro area since 2003. We remove almost anything that clutters your life including: appliances, furniture, donation items, construction material, and landscaping debris.

We pride ourselves on being a little different than our competitors:

Friendlier

Our award-winning, customer-focused staff will work to ensure your satisfaction. If our pink trucks don't make you smile, our staff certainly will!

 

Greener

We were the first Green America certified junk removal company in the DC area. We recycle and donate items to keep excess junk out of landfills. We'll send you receipts for any items we donate.

 

Cheaper

Larger trucks plus a lower minimum price equal lower rates for you. We consider ourselves the best value in the junk removal industry.

Green-America-Gold

Pioneer Building Services

Pioneer Building Services (Pioneer Services) is committed to contributing to the efforts of environmental awareness, conservation and healthier indoor environments. To that effort, Pioneer Services has initiated a green, healthy cleaning policy following guidelines that comply with the Green Seal Standard 42 (Environmental Standard for Cleaning Services) as well as LEED O&M Standards for High Performance Cleaning and Custodial Effectiveness. Green, healthy cleaning procedures and policies are based on the following principles:

  • To reduce, as economically and technologically possible, the environmental impacts associated with the use of products and equipment utilized during the cleaning of interior spaces.
  • Cleaning for health without harming the environment.
  • Environmental stewardship: shared responsibility among building management, occupants and building service providers in reducing impacts on health and the environment.
  • Green, healthy cleaning to provide a safer, healthier environment that promotes productivity, decreases absenteeism and increases feelings of well-being and comfort for building occupants and employees.
  • Sustainable policies and procedures to insure continued programs that promote healthy cleaning and reduced environmental impact.

 

Core Practice Requirements

To accomplish these goals, we have instituted the following items as core practice requirements:

  • Training
  • Planning
  • Maintenance and use plan for powered equipment
  • Products and supplies
  • Cleaning procedures and requirements
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Monitoring and Inspection
  • Employee Health and Safety

 

About Pioneer

Our first account (which we still service today) was 1325 East-West Highway, a 285,000 square foot commercial office building and headquarters to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) in Downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Pioneer has grown from a small service provider operating one account into a midsized contractor with 90+ accounts stretching all across the Washington Metropolitan Area. At Pioneer, every client is unique and special. Our focus is to grow each relationship and account, one at a time. We remain committed to building on our culture of excellence for the benefit of our clients, our employees and our buildings.

green-seal

Founding Farmers

“We’re a business that is working to improve our community, influence positive environmental trends in our industry and provide great food and drink.”

 – Dan Simons, Concept Developer and Managing Partner, Farmers Restaurant Group

 

The Founding Farmers name represents a combination of ideas. Primarily it is a celebration of the land and the American Family Farmer. Next we nod to the founding fathers of our country, many of whom owned and farmed the land that surrounds Washington, D.C.; and finally, it is a place where true, sustainable, farm-grown and harvested American foods reminiscent of traditions from across the land are brought to our guests.

The rich history of American cooking tradition is celebrated through the menus at Founding Farmers, with a philosophy to promote sustainable agriculture and the ways of the American family farmer at every turn, and to offer new seasonal choices to reflect the best of what is available from our farm sources. For more than 400 years, America’s independent family farmers have been both the foundation and the pillars of their communities. They grow high quality food, they are active in civic life, and are essential to the economic vitality of both their hometowns and the nation. As stewards of the land, family farmers work to protect the soil, air, water, and biodiversity, in addition to producing high quality, healthy food for everyone. Thus, the Founding Farmers philosophy to operate, serve, and live green is the heart of the American Family Farmer.

Our logo captures many related ideas. The two “F’s,” one facing backwards with an eye to history, the other facing forward with an eye to the future of food and farming; the rows of corn kernels, representing food but also representing people gathering at the community tables that we have in the dining rooms; the seven shades of color of these corn kernels representing the coming together of people from all seven continents.

We walk the talk when it comes to buying food

At Founding Farmers we believe that everyone benefits by all of us knowing about the source of our food and its journey from seed to harvest to table. We exist to promote the products and services of farm families, ranches and fisheries and to educate the public about the long-standing connection between farmers and their historic stewardship of natural resources.

While most restaurants buy from large companies and corporate food factories, at Founding Farmers we stock our kitchen and bar with the freshest ingredients from sustainable farms from across the country. When animals and vegetables grow in their natural environments free of chemicals, the result is better tasting food and drink. Using and sourcing sustainable food is not a new, trendy idea; the best chefs in the world, and certainly here in Washington have long known the secret to a great dish is regionally or locally grown seasonal produce and naturally raised meat. In fact, cooking with fresh, natural ingredients has been an old American tradition that began with our founding farmers.

Buying directly from farm sources not only allows us to deliver the highest quality food to your table but also helps transform the food economy. Sustainable food production engages methods that produce healthier food, preserve the environment, respect workers, treat animals humanely, and support farming communities. By contrast, the current industry standard for food production is not sustainable because it prevents independent farmers from earning a reasonable living, destroys the environment, and delivers low quality food to the American public. The movement for sustainability in the food industry has developed as a direct result of these problems and is quickly becoming a popular alternative to industrial food choices.

Our Key Values:

Reclaim, Reuse, Recycle

  • More than 75% of construction waste was diverted from landfills and recycled.
  • Wood flooring downstairs was reclaimed from a textile mill in Georgia, cleaned and sealed.
  • Whitewashed wood at front door and the barn wall are from a razed barn in West Virginia that has been cleaned and sealed.
  • Other materials containing more than 50% post-consumer recycled content include: the carpet, gypsum board, structural steel and wall coverings.

 

We Use Locally Sourced Materials 

  • Reduction of the carbon footprint through construction and beyond with high-quality products that last longer than typically mass-produced furnishings.
  • All tabletops and chairs are made from walnut extracted from nearby Harrisburg, PA and manufactured in High Point, NC (within 500 miles of the restaurant)
  • Jars of fruits and vegetables are from a farm in West Virginia, canned by the farmer himself.
  • High quality produce and meats are locally sourced when possible (Maryland).

 

We Operate as a Certified Green Restaurant

  • Energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen and office to reduce water and energy usage.
  • Utilization of an energy efficient water purifier in house for mineralized and filtered water to eliminate bottled water waste and carbon footprint from shipping.
  • Use only recycled disposable products that are biodegradable.
  • Strict recycling standards
  • Composting all of food waste.
  • Biofuel program reuses and recycles the oil from the fryers.

 

We Know Where Our Food Comes From

  • We provide transparency of Food-to-Table sourcing *
  • Goal is to bring us closer to the source of our food
  • The open Pastry Studio allows guests to view chefs preparing our scratch-made cakes, pies, and other desserts

*see the seasonal Crop List for more information

 

Pending LEED Certification

  • Potomac’s Founding Farmers has been designed to meet Bronze level Commercial Interior LEED level certification standards.  Certification is pending.
  • There was strict adherence to LEED requirements during building phase
  • Certification is based on efficient electrical, water and heating/cooling systems, and the types of materials that were used in the design.
  • All other energy use is offset by carbon credits we purchased to make our usage 100% carbon neutral.
  • The restaurant is 100% wind powered.

 

Potomac Design Elements

  • The host stand and bar front are finished with reclaimed shoe shipping boxes.
  • The stone top at the pastry station is soapstone salvaged from an old building on the University of Maryland campus.
  • The wallcovering in the restrooms are by Designtex.  The images are printed on a substrate made of recycled material.
  •   The chairs are custom made by a small shop in Ohio called Objeti.  The wood used was all sourced locally (within 500 miles).
  • The large communal tables were custom made by Dunbar in North Carolina, and wood was sourced locally as well.
  • The flooring in the kitchen pass-through and work areas is by Oscoda Products and is made up of 100% recycled materials in a composite form.
  • Counter tops in the restrooms are made of Paperstone, which is made of 100% post-consumer content recycled and pressed composite paper.
  • The large mural was printed on a substrate that contains rapidly renewable content.  The image is by a New York based artist that teamed with manufacturer Maharam, to help create unique digital projects. This piece resembles the American heartland.

Copper Canyon Grill

Our mission is to serve delicious comfort food which is made daily in-house by our chefs. We follow sustainable practices and source your food locally whenever possible.  Your dining experience in this restaurant will also be friendlier to the environment because we have taken steps to limit chemical, electricity, and water usage.  We also meet strict standards for recycling and lowering impact to landfills.  EAT WELL. 

Copper Canyon Grill received 136.35 GreenPointsTM on the Green Restaurant Association’s rigorous certification scale and having implemented 45 environmental steps, Copper Canyon Grill has gone 36.35% above and beyond the minimum requirements necessary for certification. Copper Canyon Grill has met the standards of the GRA under six categories; disposables, energy, food, pollution and chemical reduction, waste, and water.

Contributor’s to the restaurant certification:

  •  Eliminated all Styrofoam products
  • Install faucet aerators that reduce the amount of water used
  • Replace paraffin candles with all-natural beeswax and soy
  • Implemented composting and recycling                                               

Copper Canyon Grill has implemented a staff training program on its green initiatives. See Copper Canyon Grill detailed green label and all their environmental steps.

Copper Canyon Grill has several locations in Maryland and Florida. Each location offers a personal dining experience that is warm, inviting, friendly, and satisfying, that keeps guests coming back.

Restaurant Locations of Cooper Canyon Grill:

  • 928 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD  -  (301) 589-1330
  • 100 Boardwalk Place, Gaithersburg, MD  - (240) 631-0003
  • 9300 Taj Lane, Lanham, MD  - (301) 322-8600
  • 9101 International Drive #1220, Orlando, FL  -  (407) 363-3933

What are the environmental benefits?

Restaurants who meet the GRA’s rigorous certification standards are true leaders in the industry and have shown their commitment to decrease the environmental impacts of the restaurant industry. Check out some of these stats:

  • Some of Copper Canyon Grill’s appliances consume more water in one day than an entire household would use in a year.
  • The restaurant industry is five times more energy intensive than other retail, office, and lodging industries.

CF Services Group, Inc.

CF Services Group, Inc. is an independent financial services company since 1981.  The innovative approach to socially responsible impact investing that the advisers of CF Services Group, Inc. utilize is having profound, worldwide effects.  These strategies have a focus on shareholder activism which allows retail investors to participate as agents of positive change for the environment and social justice.

Green-America-Gold

CEM Design

Architects designing green, sustainable buildings since 1981.

At CEM Design we focus primarily on historic restoration and renovation, and environmentally sustainable “green” design.  While these may seem to be very different areas of expertise, we believe they are essentially complimentary.  The most sustainable building conserves and reuses the embodied energy of an existing building.  We are corporate members of the USGBC, Energy Star Partners, Green America, and Maryland Green Registry.

The practice of architecture is an inherently paper intensive profession.  In 2009, we made a commitment to utilize quantifiably less paper.  We now use FTP protocols for sending documents to engineers, consultants, contractors, and reviewers whenever possible.  We email clients PDF files for contracts, billing, and plan review, and maintain an on-line plan room with limited access.  Our production of waste paper has been reduced by more than 50%.  All paper we use must have 50% or greater recycled content.

We have an on-going program to reduce the carbon footprint of our office by utilizing high efficiency electronic equipment and lighting, and purchasing carbon offsets for interstate travel.

Our corporate culture of sustainability extends back to 1986, when we designed our first passive solar home in Potomac, MD, long before it became popular.  Since then, we have designed numerous passive and active solar buildings, both commercial and residential.  We designed a home powered by photovoltaics in Leonardtown, MD under the Million Solar  Roofs program, that was partially funded by the SMEC.  We designed a high-tech passive and active solar home in Gunnison, CO, and a passively cooled home in central Florida.  We designed our first geothermally heated and cooled building in 2002. 

In 2001, we designed a community center for the City of Rockville that was the first building in the city designed to LEED Certified standards.  This was not a requirement of the City, but we felt it was the right thing to do.  I serve as a volunteer on the City of Rockville Historic District Commission, which is charged under the State of Maryland code with preservation of the historic resources of the City.  Our employees are encouraged to participate in local preservation and environmental projects.  We regularly teach seminars on energy conservation and alternative energy utilization to community groups and the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  We are course reviewers for the USGBC Greenbuild convention educational programs.

We converted our office heating system to a 98% efficient natural gas fired boiler.  It was a 1930’s vintage oil-fired boiler.  The air conditioning system is a new, 19 SEER rated system. Our electricity is purchased from a wind power provider.  Even our website host is wind powered.

Whenever possible, our employees are encouraged to work from home.  We provide bicycle storage, and shower and changing facilities on site for bicycle commuters.  We are within 100-yds. of a bus route, and less than a mile from a subway route.  We use teleconferencing for weekly meetings on all of our remote clients or projects.  This eliminates the need for physical meetings, and can eliminate the need for project site visits.  Our office car is a gas/electric hybrid.  Our building is on approximately ½-acre, but our office footprint is a mere 600 sq. ft. The balance of the site is heavily vegetated, and serves as a local storm water absorption area.

CEM Design has built a reputation for excellence in providing award-winning design and management solutions to hundreds of commercial and residential clients.  Our primary areas of focus are historic restoration and renovation, and environmentally sustainable “green” design.  While these may seem to be very different areas of expertise, we believe they are essentially complimentary.  The most sustainable building conserves and reuses the embodied energy of an existing building.

Our residential commissions include numerous custom additions and renovations, including work on historic structures and accessible adaptations, through super-custom one-off houses.  We have won numerous awards and recognition for our residential work from very diverse groups.   A passive solar addition to a 1901 farmhouse in Dickerson, MD won an award from a local preservation organization, and was featured on Old Homes Restored, on the HGTV network.

Commercial work includes regional headquarters buildings for national corporations, general office tenant, professional office tenant and new construction, site analysis, and value engineering. We have also designed several restaurants and retail stores. 

Institutional projects include a regional drug and alcohol clinic, assisted living facilities, half-way houses and a high school for indigent teens, and two community centers for the City of Rockville, MD.

Industrial work includes the laboratory for the company that produces the color-shift ink for the new U.S. currency, and several warehouses.

CEM Design was selected to be the Resident Architect for a federally funded demonstration project for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. Design and construction of the renovations required to comply with the Act were filmed for a PBS broadcast special.

Construction has recently been completed on a complex mixed use restoration and addition to the 1764 Falling Green manor house as the corporate headquarters for the Olney Boys and Girls Clubs.  The building utilizes a geothermal heating and air-conditioning system.

CEM Design is committed to the principles providing comprehensive, personalized service; designing aesthetically appropriate, innovative projects that utilize state of the art materials and methods; and insuring that projects are completed on time and within budget.  We have received several awards for our thoughtful, innovative designs, and numerous accolades for the thoroughness and accuracy of the documents we produce.

We are licensed architects in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and Massachusetts, and we hold national certification (NCARB).

Green-America-Gold

Klockner & Company

Klockner & Company has been building green in Montgomery County since 1982.  As a family oriented business, we have assembled a long standing team of reliable, skilled workers and experienced construction managers.  We address each project with a deft problem solving approach focused on attention to detail and state of the art techniques blended with time honored durability practices.  We have experience in LEED for Homes, Passive House, or simply high quality, energy efficient building.

Green-America-Gold

Kit Gage – Gardener’s Adviser

Often people want to take care of or redo their yard and garden, but want guidance, advice, someone to talk through what they have, what they want to do, and how to get there.  I can help.  Starting with a questionnaire available from my website, we proceed to a meeting on site. I specialize in looking at how stormwater impacts peoples’ properties and how to better absorb it into the yard.  Together we look at the yard to combine peoples’ needs with what’s already there and healthy to come up with a plan on how to improve it.  I encourage the use of native plants, reduction in the use of turf and use of care techniques that help a lawn stay healthy without use of pesticides or fertilizers.  Typically I provide resources – suggesting possible plants, and helpful nurseries.  Sometimes we go to nurseries together to purchase plants.

The core of my practice is environmentally friendly.  I work to educate people about environmentally sensitive designs in yards and gardens, and facilitate their adoption.  I encourage use of native perennials, shrubs and trees to reduce the need for high maintenance and polluting practices.  Of course I recommend watering initial plantings to get them established but suggest allowing turf to go dormant in the heat of summer, and limited focused deep watering for trees and shrubs during periods of drought.

My outreach is word of mouth and electronic.  The questionnaire is filled out and emailed to me.  Many of the resources I forward are websites that require no printouts. 

While I have no public office, I use energy star office equipment, only recycled paper, green cleaning materials, high efficiency heating and cooling – including use of fans, windows, 100% wind sourced energy for electricity, air conditioning cutoff during peak usage, etc.  For consultations, I use a hybrid vehicle and carpool to nurseries.

Short Description

The core of my work is environmental: the advice I give includes saving water, using native plants, reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers, reducing turf and treating the remainder in ways that keep down weeds, keep cuttings on the lawn.  We look at how to handle stormwater in ways that will allow it to safely infiltrate in the garden, reducing pollution of streams and rivers.  I encourage the use of (especially native) trees, shrubs and perennials to cool buildings, absorb rainwater, and host pollinators and birds.

Matt's Habitats

Matt's Habitats works with clients to transform their yards into a beautiful habitat that supports the health of both people and wildlife. I work with clients in many ways including coaching, consulting, designing, and landscape implementation. From the founding of my business in 2003, my goal has been to be a small, environmentally friendly landscaping company that greens the world one yard at a time. Practices include:

  • Limiting my service area to a three-mile radius in Takoma Park, Silver Spring, and NW DC, to reduce gas consumption.
  • Using native plants to attract and support songbirds, butterflies, and other local wildlife.
  • Identifying and removing invasive non-native plants, which are the number two cause of habitat loss after new construction.
  • Using mulch, compost, and woodchips that are recycled from local yard waste as well as gravel recycled from waste concrete.
  • Avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Reducing the need for mowing and watering through designs that incorporate less turf and more drought-resistant plants.
  • Strategizing to keep rainwater in your yard – not in your basement, and not washing pollutants and sediment into local waterways.
  • Helping you grow fruit and vegetables to eliminate the need for transporting produce long distances – and because your own tomatoes just taste better.

I also lead guided nature walks that focus on foraging and learning to identify plants and trees. I hope to help spark a connection to nature that will ripple into the rest of people's lives.

Your MD, LLC

At Your MD, LLC, we not only pride ourselves on taking care of our patients, we care about our environment!  That’s why we became a Certified Green Business.

‘Doctors can be pretty formal and stuffy.  But I’m just Joe.’ 

Welcome to Concierge Plus: More Care, Less Trouble

Your MD is an innovative membership medical practice that places a high priority on your time and on the quality of your medical care. We offer you prompt appointments and highly personalized service with no limit on our availability. Call us as often as we are needed.

At Your MD, your appointment is not hurried so you can discuss all your health issues in depth and collaborate on the best course of treatment.

Your MD has removed the barriers found in traditional medical practices and replaced them with improved availability, increased communication and access to a wide range of specialists who can help provide you with the highest possible quality of life.

But we’re not only committed to our patient care, we are proud of our commitment on reducing our environmental footprint.  We started with getting everyone at Your MD on board.  From there on, it became easy.  With everyone’s buy-in, enthusiasm grew and everyone brainstormed on what we can do to accomplish our goal.

We didn’t reinvent the process, just adapted what would work for us.  It started with a collaborated effort on writing our Environmental Policy Statement.  From there we looked at our business and determined what we could do.  We communicate in our staff meetings ways to be more environmentally friendly, use vendors that share our commitment and ways to enhance our waste reduction and recycling program. 

We purchase only recyclable paper; we use an Electronic Health Record management system so we don’t have patient paper files; we email invoices and statements to our patients; use recycled toner and eliminated all paper plates, plastic drink cups and utensils.  We set up an area for all of our recyclable materials with posters showing what goes where.  All of our computers are EPEAT certified and our beverages we use to serve our patients are from fair-trade companies.  We are in the process of converting all of our halogen lights to LED for a huge savings per year to our company. 

We have challenged ourselves to constantly monitor our activity with a goal of measurably reducing our footprint each year.

Westover Consultants, Inc.

Our company began in 1984 as an affirmation of diversity and continues as one. We are a multidisciplinary professional services firm offering Information Technology, management, training, editorial and social marketing expertise to Government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. We offer our services through a variety of Government-wide acquisition contract vehicles (GWACs), as well as through traditional Federal procurements. We take pride in the varied backgrounds among our employees and consultants: clinicians with extensive field experience; researchers, trainers and facilitators; program administrators; journalists; graphic designers; and medical/behavioral experts. Overlaying this professional mix is a rich cultural tapestry of staff from across America, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

 More than two years ago, Westover began establishing and promoting more environmentally conscious practices through its Green Team.  The purpose of Westover’s Green Team is to coordinate and support efforts to increase awareness and understanding of environmental interrelationships and promote responsible environmental stewardship practices amongst its staff.  Members of the committee include staff representing the Office of the President and the Human Resources Department. However, Westover considers all staff an integral part of its Green Team through support and adherence of its green policies, procedures and initiatives.

 To emphasize its commitment to a cleaner environment and sustainable resources, Westover purchases recycled printer supplies, copier and letterhead paper, utilizes green cleaning products, and provides glass kitchen service ware and filtered water.  We have also partnered with our landlord to ensure energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling.  We are most proud, however, of our efforts to encourage other tenants to “go green” and implementation of employee benefits that encourage and promote more efficient use of energy and materials.  For example, Westover encourages use of mass transit commuting by paying 50% of transportation expenses for its employees.   

 With minimal adjustment, the office is already realizing the benefits of a comprehensive conservation plan. Westover intends to continue promoting its green message through communications and commerce with clients and partners.

URS Corporation

URS Corporation is a leading worldwide provider of engineering, construction, and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies. URS offers a full range of program management; planning, design, and engineering; systems engineering and technical assistance; construction and construction management; operation and maintenance; environmental sustainability consulting; homeland security and emergency management; and decommissioning and closure services for power, infrastructure, industrial, commercial, and federal projects and programs. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, URS Corporation has approximately 48,000 employees in more than 40 countries. Six-hundred of these employees work in the Germantown, Maryland, Infrastructure and Environment office.

In 2011, Engineering News- Record ranked URS the #1 Green Design Firm in the United States—up from #2 in 2010. The list of the Top Green Design Firms measures revenues generated from projects that have been certified for meeting sustainable design standards by a third-party organization, such as the U.S. Green Building Council. In the eight subcategories on the list, URS ranked #1 in Education and Retail, #2 in Multi-Unit, #3 in Industrial Manufacturing and #4 in Government Offices.

A 2010 report, “Green Quadrant Sustainable Engineering in the U.S.,” published by an independent analyst firm, Verdantix, lists URS as one of the strongest U.S. engineering companies with sustainable engineering capabilities. The rating is based on our strong track record across a wide spectrum of project types, our willingness to innovate, and our organizational approach to sustainability.

In addition to providing sustainability consulting, URS’ Germantown Infrastructure and Environment office employs experts in environmental management and remediation, civil and geotechnical engineering, water resources, technology solutions, cultural resources, homeland security and emergency management.

The URS Germantown Infrastructure and Environment office is committed to promoting a green workplace that places equal value on client service, employee unity and development, and sustainable operational efficiencies. Our move to a LEED Gold-Certified building in 2011 was the impetus to form a Green Team to pave the way for a more fully green operation. Our office and the building management have developed an excellent working relationship and have a common mission to make our operations environmentally friendly. Some of the highlights of our program are:

  • Recycling areas are located throughout the office for office paper, mixed paper, bottles, and cans. Plus a special collection area was established by our building manager for cell phones, batteries, and light bulbs.
  • Employees are encouraged to bring e-waste from home each year on Earth Day to be recycled by the building management.
  • Printers and copiers default to double-sided printing and copying.
  • Our management company uses reduced-mercury overhead lighting.
  • Our cleaning contractor uses environmentally safe cleaning products and is Green Seal Certified.
  • We are developing an interactive, online internal application that will allow employees to identify nearby colleagues for carpooling opportunities. Several bicycle racks are located in the office park.
  • The water usage in the building is reduced by 40% due to low-flow or motion-activated faucets, 1.3-gallons-per-minute toilets, and waterless urinals.
  • Our loading dock and parking areas are kept free from litter, debris, oil, chemicals, and other contaminants to reduce the potential of stormwater flushing these waste materials into Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

Standard Solar, Inc

Standard Solar, Inc. is a leader in the full-service development, construction, integration, financing and installation of solar electric systems. Dedicated to making solar solutions more accessible to businesses, institutions and governments, the company is leading the way to energy independence. Named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for four consecutive years by Inc. magazine, Standard Solar is one of the most trusted and respected solar companies.

Our residential division Standard Energy Solutions (SES) offers a variety of green home energy management solutions including energy audits and retrofits, residential solar installations, programmable whole home solutions, home generators and home surge protection.

As a Green Energy company, we are dedicated to being “green” in all aspects of our business. We are committed to reducing our waste, recycling and reusing materials to the maximum practical extent, and promoting other sustainability practices.

Highlights of Standard Solar’s green practices include:

  • Using recycled and recyclable paper products (paper towels and facial tissue).
  • Providing 100% recycled printer paper and encouraging staff to only print when necessary.
  • Successfully converting the majority of our departments to manage and communicate documents electronically.
  • Purchasing and using “Green” cleaning materials throughout the office.
  •  Offering incentives to employees who choose public transportation over personal vehicles.
  • Recycling all paper products and comingled materials, we recently encouraged our property manager to purchase a commingled dumpster for the building.
  • Ensuring that all computer monitors are turned off at the end of the work day.
  • Providing reusable dishes, mugs and utensils for staff use in lieu of disposable materials.
  • Using EPEAT and ENERGY STAR-certified electronics and enabling energy saving features.
  • Partnering with other local green vendors for catering and office procurement needs.
  • Utilizing video conferencing when employees are out of the office and offering telecommuting schedules. 
green-america-gold

Spark Experience

Spark Experience is a full service digital agency. We specialize in user experience research and design to create websites and campaigns that are usable, engaging, and persuasive. Our client list includes Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, including Pepsi, Fossil, AAA, and the National Institutes of Mental Health. SPARK’s services include digital strategy, user research, web design, mobile application design, social media, branding, and other core capabilities from search engine optimization to video production.

Our team is committed to eco-friendly practices and the desire to become a "green business" was important to each member of the team. We’ve incorporated green practices by:

  • Painting an office wall with whiteboard paint which fosters collaboration, while reducing environment impact.
  • Turning off lights when they aren’t needed. Our office is full of windows and we take full advantage of the natural light.
  • Turning off electronics including printers, our microwave, cable modem, router, and water cooler when not in use.
  • Using “smart strips” for all electronics which do remain plugged in, significantly reducing the phantom use of electricity.
  • Giving priority to vendors who also follow green practices. For example, all of our websites are hosted on servers which are designed with power conservation in mind and leverage energy efficient hardware and equipment.  We’ve also had staff retreats at places like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation which operates the first building to receive the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
  • Utilizing Apple computers which not only meet, but exceed the strict energy guidelines of the ENERGY STAR 5 specification, have a data center which is LEED Platinum certified, offer arsenic-free display glass, are BFR-free and PVC-free, and have been given an EPEAT gold rating.
  • Creating our own Sustainability Policy which makes all SPARK staff aware of our green practices in the office.
  • Keeping paperwork to a minimum by using Google Docs which allows for easy access and editing by staff and clients.
  • Reducing paper waste by paying all employees electronically with direct deposit.

Solar Mowing

Solar Mowing uses emission-free equipment to provide lawn-cutting and trimming services. Since 2009 — no emissions, little noise, and beautiful lawns at reasonable rates.

Highlights of green practices at Solar Mowing:

  • All battery-powered equipment is charged by solar panels or with kilowatts purchased from a wind energy source.
  • We mow according to the weather, specific grass conditions, and customers’ wishes — not according to the calendar.
  • We mow your grass so that it is 3-3½ inches high. This height prevents the germination of many weed seeds and fosters a large root system, which increases water/nutrients uptake.
  • We leave clippings, which serve as a natural mulch and help prevent weeds.
  • We sweep/blow grass clippings off sidewalks, driveways, and the street onto the grass or landscaped areas.
  • Our home office is wind-powered, and all invoices are sent via email rather than printed and mailed.
  • Solar Mowing received a runner-up award in the category recognizing businesses “selling an innovative green service” at the 2011 Bethesda Green/Bethesda Magazine Gala.

Sol Vista

VISION  To make environmental sustainability business-as-usual in the real estate industry. 

MISSION  To make commercial building efficiency simple and profitable.

SOL VISTA aligns the seemingly incompatible considerations of environment and capitalism by offering simple and innovative solutions that reduce operational waste in commercial buildings while also quickly and significantly increasing owner profits.

Our unique service model integrates diverse expertise in real estate, energy, and technology allowing us to offer comprehensive strategies as turnkey solutions. This makes reducing environmental impact not only simple, but also a financial imperative for prudent commercial building owners.

Our service model includes three distinct, but integrated, steps—assessment, implementation, and ongoing performance management. Each step feeds the next to ensure our client buildings are continuously performing at their best.

  • For our assessment services we gather and analyze building data to create implementation plans that prioritize low cost, high-return strategies.
  • Our implementation services put the implementation plans into action.
  • Our management services leverage myVista™ Building Performance Suite, our proprietary building performance management tool, to provide ongoing monitoring and reporting that delivers building managers actionable intelligence for continuous improvement.

Awards & Honors