Climate & Environment Committee

Mission Statement

The mission of the Climate and Environment Committee is to inspire and facilitate energy conservation and environmental stewardship by the Town and its residents through education, government policies, and incentives.

The Climate & Environment (C&E) committee is establishing a C&E Advisory Group that will provide occasional email feedback on committee initiatives. Whether you have a wealth of expertise in sustainability or just an interest in making the Town greener, we would love to work with you on activities that mean the most to you! If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the form below or email

Volunteer Form

2020 Committee Priorities Survey

From November 1 to December 13, 2019, the committee conducted a Town-wide resident online survey of climate & environment priorities that the committee should pursue in 2020.   The results were presented during the Town Council meeting in February.

Shades of Green Resource Pages

We’ve done lots of the legwork for you! Shades of Green helps you assess your daily decisions from how you travel, to what you eat or buy, to how you fix up your house or tend your yards. Become more aware of the environmental impacts of those decisions and choose greener options.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are posted prior to each meeting. Minutes are posted upon approval at a regularly scheduled committee meeting.


  • Joel Rubin, Council Liaison
  • Daniel Clohossey, Co-Chair
  • Lydia Graham, Co-Chair

  • Landscaping Noise Task Force
    • Simma Kupchan, Chair
    • Sheila Blum
    • Christina Files
    • Paul Magnusson
    • Stuart Sessions
    • Julie Trocchio
  • 3 R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Task Force
    • Betsy Johnson, Chair
    • Julia Craighill
    • Matilde Farren
    • Kirsty Little
  • Composting Task Force
    • Ronni Joles, Chair
  • Dennison Garden Task Force
    • Bridget Hartman
    • Sally Kelly
    • Thornton Matheson
    • Kathy Strom
    • Vicky Taplin
  • Events (i.e. Green Town Fair)
    • Daniel Clohossey, Co-Chair
    • Michael Whelan, Co-Chair
    • Jessica Langerman
    • Steve Seidel

Lee Wick Dennison Sustainable Garden 

Come visit the new Lee Wick Dennison Garden.  The initial installation of the Lee Wick Dennison Sustainable Garden at the southern end of Zimmerman Park was completed in October 2019.  The garden honors the bequest that Ms. Dennison gave to the Town for park beautification within Town.

The grand opening of the garden will take place during the Fall of 2020.  In the meantime, we request that care be taken to protect the fragile plantings by staying on the path. 

Links to all related documents are included here for quick access.

Bringing Climate Solutions Home Online Panel Discussion - April 30, 2020

This year, for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we in the Town had the opportunity to reflect on the current state of our world and commit to building a better tomorrow. The Town Climate & Environment Committee hosted an online "Bring Climate Solutions Home" panel discussion.  It featured presentations from some Town residents discussing hyperlocal solutions for home gardening, home energy, recycling, composting, and urban food gardening techniques that make a difference!

Edamarie Mattei, Backyard Bounty - Habitat Changes that Help Pollinators
Michael Whelan, Live Green - Increasing Home Energy & Efficiency
Betsy Johnson - Better Recycling Habits
Ronni Jolles - It May Not Be Trash! Start Composting
Rich Matheny - Raised Garden Beds: Easy, Fun & Rewarding

A full audio recording of the panel is available here and the accompanying presentation is available to view here

Climate Discussion with Congressman Jamie Raskin & Jessica Langerman – October 10, 2019

The goal of the session was for attendees to discover the core ideas and challenges for how the Green New Deal addresses climate change by creating jobs while simultaneously expanding the use of clean energy. Attendees would also understand how bipartisan state and federal proposals for Carbon Pricing is a strong first step for decreasing pollution while increasing innovation.

The event had a large turnout with four speakers. Sisters Rosie and Eleanor Clemons-Cope discussed why they as middle and high school students, respectively, founded MoCo Students for Climate and why it’s important for adults to act. Jessica Langerman explained in detail about Carbon Pricing and how ClimateXChange state initiatives are moving the needle. Ms. Langerman also recognized Climate Citizens Lobby (organization that was tabling at the event) as the federal version of Carbon Pricing from which ClimateXChange was born. Rep. Jamie Raskin discussed the Green New Deal explaining how pricing fits into as it’s a foundational component that will allow the other objectives of the resolution to be achieved. You can view the handout from the event here. 

Lastly, a “What You Can Do” handout with 42 practical suggestions for decreasing climate impact stressing that individual actions were no longer enough. Another organization that tabled at the event was

You can view the presentation here



Landscaping Noise Session & Workshop – September 28, 2019

Including presentations by Dr. Jamie Banks, Executive Director of "Quiet Communities" (see the Quiet Communities Fact Sheet) and Mr. Chuck Elkins, J.D., Washington ANC3D Commissioner (see the Quiet Clean DC Powerpoint here). If you were unable to attend the informational meeting:

3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Task Force

Sorting and disposing of household waste appropriately can be confusing, even for recycling enthusiasts! In addition, China’s recent waste management changes have resulted in a <1% acceptance rate of and dramatic price decreases for US recycling materials. In response, the Town of Chevy Chase’s recycling contractor, Goode Companies, has changed its policies for acceptable recycled materials. We are therefore writing to provide you with a brief refresher course in how to dispose of your household waste.

  1. Only include authorized items in your recycling. This is a visual depiction of acceptable recycled items. If an item is not included on the list, it should be either composted (see below) or disposed of in the trash.
  2. No plastic bags! This means you should neither enclose your recyclables in plastic bags nor include bags among the items to be recycled. Instead, recycle plastic bags and plastic films in the bag recycling bin in front of most grocery stores. Cut off any paper labels prior to recycling. Stuff one bag full of other bags, tie it up and pop it in!
  3. Clean all items before recycling. Dirty items, including dirty bulky items, cannot be recycled. Also, dirty items often contaminate other items and prevent their recycling as well. Washing out recyclables including plastic lids, caps, aluminum foil and pans, and metal containers, also helps keep your recycling bins clean.
  4. Separate paper and cardboard. Although we have single stream recycling, loose paper easily becomes contaminated, and small scraps get lost in the shuffle. Putting papers inside a cardboard box or paper bag helps prevent this. Ideally, shredded paper should be enclosed in a paper bag. You can recycle corrugated carboard that does not contain a wax coating, junk mail, magazines, newspapers, books, and wrapping paper.
  5. Do not include glass in your curbside recycling. Goode Companies is no longer accepting glass, which is easily broken and can harm workers and machines. The Town has a temporary solution: residents can bring their glass recycling to the Lawton Center and place the glass in one of the many containers in the rear of the center where the trash and composting is located – it is accessible from 44th street near the corner of 44th and Elm St.
  6. Sign up for free curbside composting! A wide variety of organic materials are collected every Tuesday by our composting contractor, the Compost Crew, including pizza boxes. Every household can receive one composting bucket free of charge. You can sign up for this service through the Town’s website.
  7. When in doubt, throw it out. Items not specified on either the recycling or the composting list, including cans or bottles of paint, chemicals, motor oil should be put in trash.

And remember, the best way to minimize waste is to reduce purchases, particularly of single-use plastics such as disposable cups and cutlery, and reuse items whenever possible.