Annapolis Green: When Cocktails Lead To Composting

By Shanteé Woodards
The Capital, Annapolis, Md.

Elvia Thompson and Lynne Forsman have long dreamed of an Annapolis greenhouse — for businesses.

They started out nearly a decade ago with Annapolis Green Drinks, a monthly networking opportunity for environmentalists. That effort continues, and together they formed the nonprofit Annapolis Green, which has spun off into a variety of sustainability efforts, including one that arranges for the funding of recycling and composting at area festivals.

Through the Responsible Events & Festivals initiative, they show organizers how to reduce waste and arrange for corporate sponsorship of these efforts.

Their organization is one of three nominees for the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce’s Green Business of the Year award.

This year, the program became an affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful initiative, which promotes beautification and waste reduction in communities.

“We kind of have a finger in every pie,” Thompson said. “We’re all over the place. Whatever has to do with making our community sustainable, clean, green, we have an interest in. So, we’re a mile wide and an inch thick.”

The Annapolis Rotary has been working with Annapolis Green for three years on recycling and composting at its annual Crab Feast at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

The first year, they started small by setting up bins in a section. For this year’s event, all of the material was compostable, so it could be rolled up and put it in the bin — and that made for easier cleanup, said spokeswoman Mary Felter.

“It went splendidly, and of course you learn as you go,” Felter said. In the past “some of us would even take anything that seemed to be recyclable and put it in barrels. This year, nothing. We just rolled it up and got it to recycling.”

This month’s Green Drinks event was at the Charles Carroll House in Annapolis. Annapolis architect David Miles has been attending the monthly gathering for about a year and it has enabled him to network and gain a few business deals.

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