Ask not what your community can do for you-ask what you can do for your community

We love sharing, borrowing, and/or paraphrasing quotable quotes, and there’s no better time than Earth Month to revisit the spirit of giving back that President Kennedy sought to instill during his historic inaugural address.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what can you do for your country.

President John F. Kennedy, Jan 20, 1961.

President Obama’s United We Serve initiative picks up on the theme — and a couple of weeks ago, highlighted a great story on the intersection of service, learning, and preparing our youngsters for the demands of the 21st Century. Check it out here >>

Closer to home, there are literally hundreds of opportunities to answer the call in the coming weeks, from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Great PA Cleanup events to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Plant One Million Trees initiative; from the Schuylkill Scrub watershed wide beautification efforts to a variety of events being hosted around the City of Philadelphia.

If running’s your thing (like ours), you can support the Clean Air Council’s work while hammering out a 5K on the Drives.

April 16: 30th Anniversary 5K for Clean Air >>

For change of scenery, venture out to the Cobbs Creek Parkway for the inaugural 5K hosted by the Darby-Cobbs Watershed Partnership.

April 23: Cobbs Creek 5K >>

Take the plunge and get Involved. Somehow, somewhere, you can start making a difference.

Do something TODAY.



Learn about Philadelphia’s plans to Go Green

If you’ve been following GreenTreks effort for any length of time, you know that being green isn’t about crunchy-granola or tree-hugging: it’s about jobs, the economy, and creating communities that will continue to grow and thrive with the environment in mind.

Greenworks Philadelphia is our city’s road map (or should we say “bike path”?) to sustainable success. In 2008, Mayor Michael A. Nutter created the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) to write and oversee implementation of Greenworks Philadelphia, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan. Greenworks sets 15 goals in the areas of energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement to strive to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States by 2015. To reach these ambitious but achievable goals, MOS coordinates and tracks progress on over 150 initiatives.

On Wednesday, February 16, as Sarah Wu, outreach and policy coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, will present an overview of each Greenworks target, an update on implementation progress made to date, and an introduction to planned next steps for each focus area. Philadelphia has made a strong commitment to becoming a green city. Greenworks Philadelphia is a key component of this effort.

To RSVP for this event, please call the Water Works Interpretive Center 215-685-0723 by February 14.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: We don’t think it’s a coincidence that GreenWorks was the name of our long-running television series: it portrayed ordinary people making lifestyle changes — both big and small — to reduce their environmental footprint and move the needle toward a more sustainable world…

Be Moved to Action: Stories that Change the World on DVD just in time for the Holidays

We’ve got our online Shop up and running just in time for the Holiday season, so you can now watch entire programs on your big screen television or give them as gifts to family and friends!

If you haven’t been following us for several years, you may not even know about some of the great programs we’ve put out! The fact is, we’ve been so focused on building our EcoExpress portal and helping bring municipalities and engineers up to speed on the state of stormwater management that we haven’t been promoting award-winning programs like Farming on the Edge and From the Bay to PA; beautiful documentaries such as Life on the Delaware and Raycing the Sun; and quirky thought-provokers such as Environmental Classroom and Enviro-Art. Many of the programs from our GreenWorks series continue to air on cable and public television stations in various parts of the country, but you can own them now on DVD.

We’ll be highlighting one of the programs right here, every week, but you can check ‘em out now (literally–Purchase ‘em and Check ‘em Out!) with a safe secure purchase, right from our shop. Go Stock up >>

Eco Arts Festival Hits Manayunk This Weekend

On Saturday, September 25th from 11-7 and Sunday, September 26th from 11-6, eco-minded artists, green businesses and ecologically-concerned community groups will gather at this free event to share resources and education about green and healthy living.


Location: Main Street Manayunk

Date: September 25th & 26th

Time: Sat. 11am – 7pm | Sun. 11am – 6pm

Highlights include:

  • the presentation of “EcoChampion” Awards to invited guests, musician Schooly D and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson;
  • the Philadelphia F/M Film and Music Festival presenting live music on Cotton Street;
  • the Art of Recycling Rain Barrel Design contest funded by Friends of Manayunk canal and showcased by Nicole Miller Philadelphia in partnership with Venturi Scott Brown Architecture;
  • the HYDRA which is the worlds only system that provides pure drinking water from 100% renewable solor and hydrogen power;
  • and Destination Schylkill River will have art displayed along the canal and towpath for people to enjoy.

Get Complete Details Here>>

Uncommon Heroes: Your Choice of Fair Trade Can Change the World

It’s hard to acknowledge that despite our current “economic hardships”, here in the U.S. we enjoy a standard of living that’s unheard of tin the rest of the world. How’s this for a bit of perspective:

Worldwide, more than 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day!


We’re all increasingly concerned with what our products contain and how they’re made because of the potential impacts on our own health and the health of the environment, but how often do we make the connection to the farmers, laborers, and factory workers involved in the production process in other parts of the world?

Understanding and supporting the Fair Trade movement is a very real and tangible way to ensure that when we spend our hard earned dollars, we are truly getting the most “bang for the buck”. This short film from the Skoll Foundation offers a great introduction to Fair Trade, and highlights Paul Rice, founder and CEO of Trans Fair USA.

For more information about Fair Trade, check out Trans Fair’s FAQ>>

And look into some of these other sources of Fairly Traded Goods:

  • A Greater Gift – a program of SERRV International, one of the first alternative trade organizations in the world and a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT).
  • Bead for Life – Ugandan women craft beautiful beads out of colorful recycled paper, “eradicating poverty one bead at a time.”
  • Fair Trade Federation – a membership association of retailers and importers committed to fair trade principles.
  • Fair Trade Sports – the first sports equipment company in the US. offering fairly traded soccer balls, sports apparel and more.
  • Global Exchange Online Store - shop online with Global Exchange, knowing the products you buy are entirely sweatshop free.
  • Mercado Global – a non-profit fair trade organization that links rural and economically-disadvantaged cooperatives to the U.S. market.
  • Pachamama, World of Artisans – Pachamama works to increase consumer awareness, build equitable producer relationships and bring beautiful fair trade products to the public.
  • Ten Thousand Villages – one of the world’s oldest and largest fair trade organizations, offering jewelry, home décor and gifts.
  • World of Good – Berkeley-based World of Good offers ethically sourced gifts, housewares and accessories.