Philly Takes another step towards being the Greenest City in America

From US EPA Region 3 Press Office

EPA Welcomes Philadelphia as its Newest Green Power Community Partner

PHILADELPHIA ( June 20, 2012) – Today, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin welcomed the City of Philadelphia as a new member of EPA’s national Green Power Communities initiative, showing that a major metropolitan area can reduce its carbon pollution, improve public health, and help expand the nation’s renewable energy supply. The announcement came during an event at Citizens Bank Park, where Garvin also praised the Philadelphia Phillies and other organizations whose efforts for a cleaner environment are helping Philadelphia achieve its clean energy goals.

“As EPA’s largest Green Power Community, Philadelphia is among the elite local governments that have met or exceeded their pledges to our nation’s clean energy future by purchasing green, renewable power,” said Garvin. “I commend Mayor Michael Nutter for his continuous pursuit of numerous, practical ways to make Philadelphia a model green city.”

As EPA Green Power Communities, Philadelphia and 33 other towns and cities across the U.S. collectively buy more than 4.2 billion kilowatt hours of green power annually, an amount that would otherwise produce carbon dioxide emissions from the conventional electricity of more than 367,000 average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower – environmentally-preferable resources that produce no net increase of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2006, Philadelphia joined EPA’s Green Power Partnership, a launching pad for becoming a Green Power Community. As part of Philadelphia’s Greenworks plan, the city pledges that by 2015, 20 percent of the electricity used in Philadelphia will come from alternative energy sources. The city’s municipal operations have already met this goal, using more than 127 million kilowatt-hours of green power, including generating solar electricity onsite at the city-owned Southeast Water Pollution Control facility.

Last week, the Phillies announced its agreement to purchase 100 percent of its electricity usage from local wind and solar generation providers. Other major contributors to the city’s green power purchase success include EPA Green Power Partners such as the Eagles organization, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Philadelphia University, the Academy of Natural Sciences, Yards Brewing Company, along with residents choosing green power. Philadelphia organizations and businesses, including members of the Philadelphia Green Power Community Collaborative are also actively committed to helping Philadelphia maintain its standing as a leading Green Power Community and increase its use of renewable energy.

More information on EPA’s Green Power Communities: www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities
More information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program: www.epa.gov/greenpower
Philadelphia’s Green Power Community Collaborative: www.PhiladelphiaGreenPower.com
Green power providers in Pennsylvania: www.papowerswitch.com

The Link between the Environment and Our Health

From the Scientific American, January 28, 2011…

Would people care more about the environment if they had a better understanding of how it affects them personally?

No doubt many of the ways we harm our environment come back to haunt us in the form of sickness and death. The realization that the pesticide-laced foods we eat, the smokestack-befouled air we breathe and the petrochemical-based products we use negatively affect our quality of life is a big part of the reason so many people have “gone green” in recent years.

Just following the news is enough to green anyone. Scientific American reported in 2009 that a joint U.S./Swedish study looking into the effects of household contaminants discovered that children who live in homes with vinyl floors—which can emit hazardous chemicals called phthalates—are twice as likely to develop signs of autism as kids in other homes. Other studies have shown that women exposed to high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants common in cushions, carpet padding and mattresses—97 percent of us have detectable levels of these chemicals in our bloodstreams—are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant and suffer from other fertility issues as a result. Cheaply produced drywall made in China can emit so much sulfur gas that it not only corrodes electrical wiring but also causes breathing problems, bloody noses and headaches for building occupants. The list goes on and on….

Follow the dialogue here >>

If you think you can’t do anything about it, wise up! Check out this segment from Protecting our Children’s Health:


New World Order: Electricity Choice is full on in PA

We take electricity for granted, but how often do we think about where it comes from, its environmental costs, or what we can do differentl

Here at GreenTreks, we’ve followed the renewable story for more than decade and we’ve said for awhile that consumers do have a choice; but, until now, we’ve had to pay more. With the expiration of rate caps on electricity generation, the free market has taken over–and new options abound. You may be able to save go green for less, save some green, or both!

Check out the article from the Philadelphia Inquirer on choosing renewable energy >>

Go to the PA Public Utility Commission (PUC) site on making a switch >>

If you think you’re in tune with your energy use, Check out the following video. It’s from our Energy Thinking DVD, which is available now at our Shop.


Energy Aware from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

DID YOU KNOW in the United States, coal fired power plants generate the majority of our electricity?

Coal extraction destroys landscapes, pollutes rivers, and creates tons of waste “spoils”, while its use emits tons of CO2 and dangerous particulates that affect  human, animal, and environmental health.

Find the connection between your power and coal.

Then take a look at how one man in Southeastern Pennsylvania gets a real handle on his home energy use:

Energy Aware from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.



DID YOU KNOW polls show that Americans believe our quality of life would be better if we had more transportation options?

Many people say they drive because they have no other choice, and support better public transit systems and safer walking and cycling routes.

Check out a great study on what people think>>

Next time you get directions, why not look for options other than car: you can find public transportation, walking, or bike.