April 16, 2014
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The Green Team

The fourth annual Bethesda Magazine Green Awards, held in partnership with Bethesda Green.

(page 4 of 5)

Brian and Kate Detwiler unload groceries from their electric car at their Chevy Chase home, which is partly powered by solar energy. Photography by Darren HigginsBrian Detwiler

2013 Green Awards Category: Individuals who are actively promoting and living a green lifestyle

Brian Detwiler’s friends and family say he’s just a regular guy who loves playing soccer and enjoys adopting new technology, like his Honda Fit EV electric car. But the 34-year-old corpo-rate lawyer takes recycling so seriously that they also playfully refer to him as “Recyclo”—their version of a recycling superhero.

The Chevy Chase resident says he’s fine with good-natured ribbing if it leads others to join him in trying to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

“There are only a couple of people who call me that,” he protests. “It’s kind of a playful thing, but it gives me hope that my actions may inspire other people to see that recycling is not that much trouble. It takes such a little effort to change your lifestyle.”

Detwiler, whose interest in environmental protection began in college, avoids ingredients that have been linked to water pollution, such as the sodium lauryl sulfate found in most shampoo and toothpaste. He uses a push lawn mower, and walks or bicycles to work at Riverbed Technology in downtown Bethesda.

Soon after moving into their home two years ago, Detwiler and his wife, Kate, installed solar panels despite a real estate agent’s warning that the panels might lower their property value. And earlier this year they took possession of the first Honda electric-only vehicle on the East Coast and installed a charging station in their garage.

Kate, who nominated her husband for this award, says she has come to enjoy the couple’s role as adopters of “green” technology. “He’s converted me and we’ve converted our friends,” she says.

Mike Roswell, 32, of Fairfax Station, Va., came up with the “Recyclo” moniker when he and Detwiler lived together nearly a decade ago. He says Detwiler has broadened his image of an environmentalist.

“He’s not hugging trees or wearing hemp clothing,” Roswell says. “He’s a regular, mild-mannered guy.”  

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