Thursday, January 28, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eco Alley at this year's Garden Fest!!

GRINCH is partnering with the Chestnut Hill Business Assoc. at this year's Garden Festival to create a Green block of vendors called Eco Alley!
The festival attracts 30,000 visitors.
When: Sunday May 2, 2010 (rain date May 16th)
Time: 11am-5pm
Where: Eco Alley will be the West side of Highland Ave.
Price: A 10 x 10 space is... $150.00 (tent and tables are not included)
Please call Peggy Miller at the CHBA if you are interested (215) 247-6696 or

Conference on the state of composting in the Deleware Valley

Compost Matters is a one-day conference taking place on February 10 that will look at the current state of composting in the Delaware Valley. With a focus on new developments in food-waste composting practices, the forum will bring together innovators, policy makers, and visionaries in the field, examining current barriers to food waste recovery, public policy issues, and successful models from the region and around the state.

Participants will learn about current opportunities for composting food waste and how to include food recovery efforts in their operations. Tours of local composting sites will be offered on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning, February 13. Learn more and register to attend here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Future of Hope Lodge is open for debate

Public Meeting for Hope Lodge
There will be a public meeting to discuss the future of Hope Lodge on Wednesday January 20 at 7pm at the First Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem Pike and East Mill Road in Flourtown.
Hope Lodge was closed temporarily for public visitation last November 20 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission due to the reduction in funding under the new state budget. The Friends of Hope Lodge plan to reopen the site on some basis in the spring, and also want to establish a sustainable operating plan for the site. We believe the key to the future of Hope Lodge will be making the entire 40-plus acre site a more valuable community resource. The Friends will present some ideas for creating a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture, as well as recreational and educational opportunities.

We want your input, your ideas, and your involvement. Please come to the meeting on January 20.

Event Details
What: Public Meeting for Hope Lodge
Who: Sustainable Springfield
When: Wed Jan 20, 2010, 7-9 pm EST
Where: First Presbyterian Church
Bethlehem Pike and East Mill Road, Flourtown

Click on this link to learn more about Hope Lodge

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is GRINCH up to this year?

2010 seems to be the year when "green" moves to the forefront of our social consciousness. I have received more emails about GRINCH in the last couple weeks than in all of 2009! Suddenly our group has doubled in size, still small but with growing enthusiasm and optimism. Many hands make light work and so with the addition of new members and their unique talents we are excited to begin a new year with lots to do.
GRINCH's main focus over the past year has been on recycling and that will continue this year as we attempt to transform the Jenks School playground into a student-involved recycling pilot program, adding recycling containers based on student assessments.
In the spring, GRINCH will be hosting a green corridor of the Garden Festival. We are in the process of vetting 30 potential vendors which will be situated on West Highland Ave.
Our primary goal since our inception has been to have pedestrian recycling on Germantown Ave. We are hoping that with cooperation from the CHCA and the CHBA that this will be a reality this year.
Following the success of both the Weird Waste Day in November and the Christmas tree recycling/mulching just this past week, GRINCH will be making these annual events. Our next Weird Waste Day is tentatively scheduled for April 10th to kick off Earth Day/Week/Month/Always.
So there's lots to do and if you would like to help with any or all of these efforts, we welcome you! Drop me an email at to find out the location of our weekly meetings on Fridays at 10am.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Greening Your New Year

While trying to decide on my first Eco-Logic article for 2010, I found it difficult to both re-cap the past year and impart lofty resolutions for this year in 1000 words or less. The Green revolution is exploding, which is so exciting and hopeful, this past year having so many "green" firsts for Chestnut Hill (See Amy's GRINCH year in review), yet simultaneously we are at the epicenter of a political, economic and environmental perfect storm. I felt that giving advice such as changing out your regular light bulbs with cfl's just didn't cut it. Although my article is about taking baby steps towards a greener lifestyle, I can't help but think that bigger measures are needed now. Perhaps it's time to bang our drum louder and with more enthusiasm. The following list is about community more than recycling or conscientious consumerism. Community is what will pull us through the coming decade, hopefully into a more environmentally aware green economy. So this is a reprint of the top 10 things to green your new year from my article in the Chestnut Hill Local....

1. Walk more. It’s free, great for your health and while you’re out you can shop and support the local economy.

2. Change from your big, national bank to a small independent bank, Valley Green Bank for example. Let’s put our money where our mouths are and get rid of some of the banks here. See this link on how to “Move Your Money”

3. Host or attend a local food potluck. “One of the best ways to learn what foods are in season and how to prepare them is to invite others to teach you.”

4. Get out in nature more. The University of Rochester in NY has found that nature actually makes us nicer. Other benefits include more rapid healing, stress reduction and improved mental performance and vitality. Join the Andorra Tree House, for one of their guided walks, or the Schuylkill Center by attending their ongoing nature classes and events.

5. Learn how to garden. Look for free classes in the Spring at Laurel Hill Gardens on planting, composting etc. Plant some herbs in a window or fruit trees in your yard.

6. Buy or fix up a bike and start riding. You can walk to Wissahickon Cyclery! Google “Philadelphia bicycle map” to help you find safe bike routes.

7. Meet a new neighbor. Increasing our connectivity to one another improves our social capital, making our community closer and stronger. If you’re a parent and new to the area check out for meet-up groups.

8. Take public transportation more. “Public transportation produces on average 95% less carbon monoxide, 90% less volatile organic compounds, and about 45% less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide per passenger mile than if people were to travel by private auto.”-Transit Riders for Public Transportation.

9. Attend at least one CHCA meeting. Nothing changes unless we get involved to make change happen.

10. Think and re-think. How can you do what you do greener? For easy step by step help, check out

Very Successful Tree Recycling!

These two women from Mt. Airy brought in their year old Christmas tree from their back yard, which will be replaced by this year's tree.
Thank you to all those who came out and made that extra effort to save 260 trees from a landfill.
GRINCH and MABA were able to cover the costs of the chipper with a small amount left over to go towards future recycling efforts! We all look forward to an even more successful event next year as we make this an annual event.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Urban Sustainability Forum: Building Safer Communities through Sustainable Land Use

When: Thursday, January 28; Reception:6:00PM Program:6:30-8:00PM.
Where: The Academy of Natural Science 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Fee: Free

January's Urban Sustainability Forum will explore the intersection of safety and sustainable land use. Playgrounds, abandoned buildings, and well-maintained recreational parklands all variously impact individual and community safety across Philadelphia's neighborhoods. Even in statistically safe neighborhoods, vacant lots or homes, broken sidewalks, or poor lighting add the perception that those neighborhoods have higher crime rates, which results in disinvestment. The panelists will address the research associated with safety as it relates to land use and current efforts that are underway to green neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life.

Speakers Include:
Dr. Charles Branas, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania SOM
Nilda Ruiz, President & CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
Moderator: J. Blaine Bonham, Jr., Executive Vice President, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Wissahickon Environmental Center

retro kitchen

Natural Cleaning
February 6
10:00 - 11:30am
Join us for this hands-on program where you'll make your own Eco-friendly household products. You'll learn to make a natural pest repellant, cleanser, drain cleaner and an air freshener that are easy on you, your wallet, and the environment. Your house will be sparkling clean like this one!
Please register in advance for this program.
Adults Only

Programs provided by
Wissahickon Environmental Center
300 Northwestern Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

GRINCH year in review

GRINCH GreenINChestnutHill has been a group of tree hugging do-gooders for about a year now. And we are always looking for foot soldiers to help further our mission. So when Professor Fleming of Philadelphia University sent us one of his brightest grad students, we gleefully welcomed her to our weekly meetings.
She wanted to know what we were all about. We explained how we morphed from the Chestnut Hill Business Assoc. Green Committee to GRINCH, represented by business people and Chestnut Hill residents. The mission statement of GRINCH is to raise awareness of environmental issues with outreach programs and green initiatives as outlined on our Blog,
As we began to chronicle our achievements of the past year I realized we could generate a top 10 list. I always wanted to do a top 10 list! Starting with the most recent and looking back as 2009 comes to a close.....
#1 -Grinch, in partnership with the Mt Airy Business Association, will host a tree chipping event Sunday Jan. 11th from 10am-4pm. Bring your 2009 Christmas tree to Allen's Lane Art Center and we will turn it into mulch! No landfill!
#2 -With help from the Jenk's Home and School Assoc., Grinch organized a Weird Waste Day in November. Nearly 10,000 pounds of potentially hazardous Electronic-waste was collected for responsible recycling and reusing.
#3 -Members of Grinch toured the E-force Compliance facility to ensure that that the E-waste collection is dismantled by a responsible operation. (see Blog for report on our field trip)
#4 -Grinch organized two interactive recycling assemblies at the Jenks School for grades K-8 during America Recycles week. The kids loved it!
#5 -Grinch organized student recycling ambassadors for the Fall for the Arts Fest with sponsorship from many of Chestnut Hill's environmentally conscious businesses. Students schooled festival goers on Philadelphia's single stream recycling while collecting plastics, glass and aluminum.
#6 -Grinch organized a composting demo for businesses and residents held at Laurel Hill Gardens and hosted by
#7 -Kim Miller, President of the Mt Airy Business Assoc., and Grinch organized a trash and recycling seminar with panelists Maurice Sampson of Niche Recycling and City of Philadelphia Recycling Department.
#8 -Kim Miller, President of the Mt Airy Business Assoc., and Grinch organized an Intro to Sustainability seminar at Flying Fish led by Professor Rob Fleming.
#9 -Grinch organized a block of Green Vendors for the Garden Fest with signage sponsored by Valley Green Bank. Our student recycling ambassadors patrolled the fest, collecting recycling, as well.
#10 -Grinch created a blog for informative environmental info in your neighborhood and city. Become a follower!
And much more is planned for the New Year. From all of us at Grinch, happy holidays!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tree recycling event press!

Hill on the Avenue, a website dedicated to activities in and around Chestnut Hill, has written an article about the Mt Airy Business Association and GRINCH Christmas Tree Recycling event.
Read it here: