Monday, August 31, 2015

Sustainability is blooming

If you don't know what it means to be sustainable, then the best advice I can offer you is to head over to the Flower Show on Monday, March 2nd, where the 12 finalists of the third-annual Philadelphia Sustainability Awards will be celebrated.

Sustainability is blooming

Larry Stier of the PA Horticultural Society speaks at the 2008 Sustainability Awards
Larry Stier of the PA Horticultural Society speaks at the 2008 Sustainability Awards

NOTE: This entry is cross-posted from Citizen Hunter.

Businesses are into it. Students too. Non-profits can’t talk about it enough. Even government is getting in on it.

It affects where we live and work, what we eat, and how we play.

Is it the economy? Of course. Is it the environment? Naturally!  But more than that - it’s sustainability.

If you don’t know what it means to be sustainable, then the best advice I can offer you is to head over to the Flower Show on Monday, March 2nd, where the 12 finalists of the third-annual Philadelphia Sustainability Awards will be celebrated.

Conceived by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards honor the region’s progress towards becoming the most sustainable city in America. 

Selected from nearly 70 nominees by a group of sustainability experts, the 12 finalists are nationally recognized green builders, innovative farmers, visionary organizers, and renowned businesses.

And yes, they’re all from the Philadelphia region.

According to the recent SustainLane City Rankings, Philadelphia ranks eighth among large cities, with high scores for commuter and metro transit and local food options.  To get to the top spot, Philadelphia needs more green buildings, better air quality and higher recycling rates.  The Philadelphia Sustainability Awards honor those who raise the bar in Philadelphia, and inspire others to do likewise and join the path to sustainability.

With the support of regional organizations including the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, PennFuture, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, The Reinvestment Fund, Delaware Valley Green Building Council and the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the awards have increased awareness of sustainability issues. 

Finalists are role models who demonstrate how to achieve sustainability in areas such as business practices, home energy and water use, transportation and recreation.  Many finalists have products or services to help us in the region live more sustainably.

This year’s finalists are a diverse and impressive group including: green builder Onion Flats, the Next Great City Coalition; Habitat for Humanity’s LEED pilot program; PECO; Drexel Green; the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware; Bob Pierson for Farm to City; Energy Coordinating Agency; GREENandSAVE; Mill Creek Farm; the Philadelphia Eagles Go Green program; and the Schuylkill Banks Greenway.

I’ll be there to see who takes home the honors.

You can go too! The event is free and open to the public.  Whether you’re the sustainability guru in your office or didn’t hear the word until today, you’ll be inspired by the leaders and innovators in the region. You might even learn a thing or two!

Registration is required by visiting Details on the finalists can also be found there.

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About this blog
Earth to Philly is a weblog focusing on earth-conscious technology, trends and ideas, from a Daily News perspective. We look at the "green" aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork. If you have a Philly-related story, Click here to let us know about it!

The experts at Philadelphia's Energy Coordinating Agency answer your energy questions in our regular feature Stay Warm, Stay Green. Send in your question or questions to

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man

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