Monday, March 29, 2010

Weaver's Way in Chestnut Hill!!

From GRID Magazine Blog:

Weaver’s Way can always be counted on to go above and beyond the call of duty. The 37-year-old community institution has a new location opening in Chestnut Hill this May which will feature a storm water management system…even though they don’t have to.

To put it as simply as possible, because the Chestnut Hill storefront is located on the highly protected Wissahickon Creek Watershed, the designers of the store had to meet with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) to see if a storm water management system was needed. The answer was no, due to the small impact the building would make on the site and surrounding area. However, over achievers and environmental super heroes that they are, Weaver’s Way decided they wanted to include stormwater management in the design of the new building anyway. By doing so they are helping to prevent stream erosion, pollution from sediments and flooding.

The Academy of Natural Sciences presents....

The vast majority of agricultural, home, and native plants depend on insect pollinators. Native bees, including bumble bees, sweat bees, and leaf-cutting bees, are among the most important pollinators in our region—especially now that diseases have decimated domesticated honey bees.

Dr. Faith Kuehn, an entomologist with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, will provide tips on how to identify native bees and promote native bee conservation in your own garden. You will also make and take home a nest box for these important pollinators.

Dr. Kuehn has managed native bee surveys in Delaware’s vegetable production areas and has worked with farmers and landowners to implement pollinator conservation practices.

  • Saturday, April 10, 1:30–4:30 pm
  • $20/members; $30/non-members (admission included)
  • Space is limited to 25 participants. Call 215-299-1060 to register.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Philly, Clean Up Your Act!

Welcome to the
2010 Philly Spring Cleanup
The City of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Philly Spring Cleanup to be held Saturday, April 10, 2010 (rain date, Saturday, April 17, 2010). This year’s Cleanup, entitled “Keep Up the Sweep Up,” will be the start of our sustained effort to eliminate and prevent litter and illegal dumping—permanently. Check out their website at  

Clean up your basement, attic and garage as well from 1pm-4pm, also on April 10th, by getting rid of all your electronic waste.  Grinch is hosting it's second Weird Waste Day in Chestnut Hill, rain or shine, at the parking lot behind Valley Green Bank on W. Highland Ave.  It will cost you 40 cents/pound to dispose of your electronics in a responsible fashion.  Air conditioners are a flat $15.  Check back here for a complete list of what can be recycled that day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Urban Farm Plots available!

Philadelphia's Office of Sustainability Farming at Manatawna

The City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation is issuing a Request for Information to identify farmers and farm institutions that may be interested in responding to a Request for Proposal for operating and managing small plot commercial, chemical–free farms at Manatawna Farm.

The pilot ...urban agriculture program offers farmers the opportunity to operate and manage sub-acre plots. The program aims to foster sustainable, urban agriculture businesses in Philadelphia and enhance the direct, locally grown market of produce for the citizens of Philadelphia.

For more information and to download forms, click on the link.
See More

Weird Waste Day

GReenINChestnutHill aka GRINCH, a grassroots environmental organization in Chestnut Hill, is organizing its second Weird Waste Day. The event will take place on Saturday April 10th, 2010 from 1pm-4pm in the Valley Green Bank parking lot on West Highland Ave. in Chestnut Hill.
Residents and business people are encouraged to bring their electronic waste such as TV's, computers, cell phones and key boards that will be disposed of responsibly at a cost of 40 cents per pound. The electronics are then reused or recycled responsibly. Cash or checks will be accepted.
Any additional revenues will be used for future recycling events.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dishing Dirt at WHYY

"Dirt": The Movie

Wednesday March 24th, 2010
(doors open 6:30 pm)
WHYY Civic Space, 150 N 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

It’s under our feet and under our fingernails, but what is it? And how did it get there? Inspired by William Bryant Logan’s acclaimed book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, find out how industrial farming, mining and urban development have led us toward cataclysmic droughts, starvation, floods and climate change. Dirt is a part of everything we eat, drink and breathe. Which is why we should stop treating it like, well…dirt.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sustainable Springfield's 2nd Session in it's 2010 Information Series: Consumer Choices

Sustainable Springfield's 2nd Session in it's 2010 Information Series: Consumer Choices
10 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference
March 17, 2010
7:00-9:00 pm

Joseph Slapinsky will be our speaker. He will explain how simple consumer choices can make a big difference. Learn about 10 things you can do to help keep a healthy home, family, community and Earth.

Event Details
What: Sustainable Springfields 2010 Information Series 2nd Program Consumer Choices
Who: Sustainable Springfield
When: Wed Mar 17, 2010, 7-9 pm EST
Where: Springfield Township Building
1510 Paper Mill Road Wyndmoor, PA 19038

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Make Your Own BeeHive!!

3/13, RAISE BEES START UP HIVE WORKSHOP. Green St & Carpenter Lane, West Mt. Airy. 2:30-6pm. $200 includes your Amish-made hive kit. Reservations required: Come with a hammer, leave with a hive.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

GRINCH featured in GRID Magazine!

GRID Magazine's April issue features an article about the birth of GRINCH. Check out the online version here or pick up a free issue at participating stores including The Night Kitchen Bakery.

Fresh Food Visionary in Philadelphia

Creating access to fresh food where there once was a "fresh food desert" in underserved neighborhoods in the city, Jeff Brown seems to have established a business model that is both sustainable and humane. It can be done!

From SBN

Compost Matters
Sponsored by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance & Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
When: Friday, April 9th; 8:00AM - 3:00 PM
Where: International House, 3701 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
Fee: $30 includes lunch
Preregistration is required. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Compost Matters is a one-day conference 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.

Full agenda can be found at

Speakers Include: Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia; Will Allen, Growing Power; Patti Olenick and Carl Hursh, PA Department of Environmental Protection; Nelson Widell, Peninsula Compost Group; Ned Foley, Two Particular Acres, and Marvin Dixon, Four Seasons Hotel; Maurice Sampson II, Niche Recycling, Inc.; Mark Highland, Organic Mechanics Potting Soil Mike Giuranna, US Environmental Protection Agency/Region III

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ambler Theater Presents "FRESH"

If you are interested in learning about the local food movement, meeting the people who are bringing local foods to your table and seeing how you can join the growing number of people demanding good taste and healthy nutrients in their food, please join us at FRESH.

Event doors open at 6:30pm and the movie begins at 7:30pm with a discussion panel immediately following the movie.

FRESH offers a positive look at how farmers, thinkers and business people across America are re-inventing our food system to forge healthier, sustainable alternatives to agri-business. To help attendees learn more about where to obtain local food in our area, sponsors will be on hand before the movie with information about buying and using local food. Sponsors include Weaver's Way, a local food co-op; two local CSA's Hazon CSA at Kol Ami and Pennypack Farm; Lancaster Farm Fresh, a buying club that brings fresh food directly from the farmers to our area; FairFood, an organization dedicated to bringing locally grown food into the Philadelphia marketplace, PASA, the Pennsylvania Sustainable Agricultural Association that works to promote sustainability throughout PA; and Marc Brown-Gold, an award-winning local chef who will offer ideas on great ways to cook with local foods; and many other local organizations.

The movie will be followed by a panel of experts who will delve into the topics raised in the movie, answer questions, and offer insight on things that you can do to immediately make a difference. Panelists include chef Marc Brown-Gold; Ann Karlan, executive director of Fair Food; Amy Crystal from Lancaster Farm Fresh; Marilyn Anthony, PASA SE regional director; and our own Pennypack Farm farmers.

Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at or at the box office. High school students can purchase tickets half-price ($5.00) at the theater box office with student ID. The Ambler Theater is located at 108 E. Butler Ave , Ambler, PA 19002.

Event Details
What: Movie: Fresh, Ambler Theatre, 7:30pm
Who: Wissahickon Growing Greener
Sustainable Springfield
When: Tue Mar 9, 2010, 7:30-9:30 pm EST
Where: Ambler Theatre

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This is from

What is a Transition Town (or village / city / forest / island)?

Here's how it all appears to be evolving...

It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change?

They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model (explained here at length, and in bits here and here) with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative.

A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

"for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people's understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented "Energy Descent Action Plan" over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we've lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community's carbon emissions drastically.

The community also recognises two crucial points:

  • that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there's no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
  • if we collectively plan and act early enough there's every likelihood that we can create a way of living that's significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.

If you want to find out more, check out the other menu items on the left hand site of the page.

Final point

Just to weave the climate change and peak oil situations together...

  • Climate change makes this carbon reduction transition essential
  • Peak oil makes it inevitable
  • Transition initiatives make it feasible, viable and attractive (as far we can tell so far...)

Philly's Fab 4: Green Architecture in Philadelphia

Who says that Philadelphia isn't first in anything? Green architecture is alive and well in the City of Brotherly Love, according to this Inky profile:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Green My Parents

kids can be the best change agents. We want to let you know about a new
initiative called Green My Parents. It enlists kids to lead their
families in measuring & reducing environmental impact at home & “challenge” their parents to share savings with kids. Food is a great place to start, of course. You can become a fan on Facebook, or learn more at their web site,