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

Good for you, Good for Planet II: People Power Produces Electricity

With all of the gyms around, we’ve wondered about the potential for generating power to light the studio spaces or run the always on ESPN tuned TVs for awhile now. Rather than using electricity to run all the newfangled cardio machines, why can’t we channel our energy and put our calorie burning activities to use?

A little further investigation led us to the Green Microgym,  a Portland based outfit which bills itself as “the world’s first electricity generating gyms.” Through energy creation and conservation, they figure they generated 36% of their power needs and saved 37,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in 2010 — the equivalent of:

  • 74,000 pounds of carbon emissions
  • 81,400 miles NOT driven
  • 15 acres of trees planted

Pretty darn impressive, and when combined with their other sustainability-focused efforts (no bottled water for sale; purchase of quality lightly used equipment when possible; member controlled lights, fans, tvs; recycling program and focus on recycled products; high efficiency compact fluorescent lighting; etc), it makes one wonder the collective impact corporate fitness centers could make if they sacrificed a little green to Go Green…

For info about the equipment they use at GreenMicrogym, visit Plugout Fitness>>


Closer to home, some local students are having a bit of fun adn getting into the act. Check out the piece that recently ran in Philly.com:

GreenSpace: At Drexel and Temple, pedaling produces electrical power – Philly.com


Powering the Planet with Green Energy–within 20 years. Can it be done?

A thought provoking study by a pair of scientists from Stanford University and the University of California at Davis goes further than suggest 100% of Earth’s energy needs could be met by renewable sources by 2030: It maps out the hows, whos, and whats of a renewable-energy run world. The study, by Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi, is an in-depth analysis of a plan the pair put forth  Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist and professor of civil and environmental engineering, is director of Stanford’s Atmosphere/Energy Program and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy. Delucchi is a research scientist with a background in economic, environmental, engineering, and planning of transportation systems at the Institute for Transportation Studies at U.C. Davis.

CNET News published a piece last week with all sorts of links to the study and its various reference charts. Check it out here >>

Like any world changing concept, there are all kinds of barriers in the way, but it’s a pretty exciting proposition,don’t you think? A pretty cool Scientific American presentation of the plan brings the thinking to life:


With the Global Climate proving more wacked every week, the days of denial seem to be numbered. Can we shift course away from fossil fuels in this kind of radical way?

Check out Scientific American’s multimedia report of the Powering a Green Planet plan >>

New Years in Philly: Mummers Tackle “Fracking” for Gas

It’s pretty obvious that Mummers have no fear of controversy, but who knew one troupe would make a passion play out of the debate over drilling for natural gas? Check it out:

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.