Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earth Hour Philly!

This year Penn is hosting an Earth Hour event. In a collaborative effort between the Political Committee of the Penn Environmental Group and The Eco-Reps program, the goal of the event will be to raise awareness for climate change on campus. In addition, the event is open to Philly residents and we hope that it will serve as a pilot for a bigger city-wide initiative next year. 

What is Earth Hour? Started by WWF a few years ago, Earth Hour is an international event on the last Saturday of March during which cities, monuments, and people turn off their lights as a symbolic act against climate change. Last year over 5,000 cities and towns participated! The event is similar to the days of action that puts on and I think they serve a great purpose.

Philadelphia doesn't do much for Earth Hour so far. A few buildings turn off outside lights, but there is NO publicity behind it - which, in my mind, basically defeats the purpose. I would love to be able to run the city's Earth Hour event - guess I'll work on that for my next project...

For Penn's Earth Hour event, we will be setting up a fire pit on the field next to the three high rises on campus, roasting s'mores, and listening to live music! To take part and find out more, check out our Facebook page 


Monday, March 26, 2012

Green Works Philadelphia Presentation

Greenworks: Goals, targets, and Initiatives
Presentation by Sarah Woo of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability 

  • Lower City government energy consumption by 30% 
    • 85,000 incandescent traffic signals replaced with LED's - saved $1million /year!
  • Reduce citywide building energy consumption by 10%
  • Retrofit 15% of housing stock with insulation, air sealing and cool roofs
  • Purchase and generate 20% of electricity used in philadelphia from alternative sources 
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 20%
    • Regional and city emissions inventories underway for 2010
    • Now tracking GGE yearly with the Delaware Regional Planning Committee
  • Improve air quality toward attainment of federal standards
    • Purchased 740,000 gallons of biodiesel in 2010
  • Divert 70% of solid waste from landfill
    • Philadelphia recycling rewards has helped double diversion rate since 2008 (originally was 6%!, now individual recycling rate was 24%)
  • Manage stormwater to meet federal standards
    • Green city, Clean Waters submitted for approval to EPA
  • Provide Park and Recreation Resources within 10 minutes of 75 percent of residents
    • Green2015 plan for 500 acres of new open space launched in 2010
  • Bring local food within 10 minutes of 75 percent of residents
  • Increase tree coverage toward 30% in all neighborhoods in 2025
  • Reduce Vehicle miles traveled by 10 percent
  • Increase the state of good repair in resilient infrastructure
  • Double the number of low and high skill green jobs 

What are the challenges Philly MOS faces?
1. Behavior Change
2. Enacting Policy Change