Fri, 26 September 2008
This podcast features the voices from Sustainable Philadelphia’s Urban Sustainability Forum, “Taking Back Our Streets--Cars, People, and Pavement,” held on September 18.
PennFuture’s director of outreach, Christine Knapp, interviews Robert Allen, assistant managing director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission; Gary Toth, senior director, Transportation Initiatives with the Project for Public Spaces (PPS); and Pamela H. Zimmerman, AIA, LEED-AP- Brawer & Hauptman, Architects and organizer of Park(ing) Day Philadelphia. Issues discussed on the podcast include GreenPlan Philadelphia, how transportation options impact the city, and plans for Philadelphia’s first Park(ing) Day, which was observed nationally the next day.
The forum was part of the work of the Next Great City coalition, dedicated to creating a positive future for Philadelphia by advocating for common sense, cost effective policies that enhance environmental quality, strengthen neighborhoods and increase our economic competitiveness.
To learn more about PennFuture's work with the Next Great City project, visit our website. There you can also sign up to receive more information, or make a tax-deductible contribution to support our work. As always, we welcome your comments. Simply click on "Comments" below.
Thu, 25 September 2008
After a yummy lunch of sandwiches (I went with the mozzarella, tomato and basil.), biscotti, apple, coffee with chocolate shavings and tea with cinnamon sticks, we're back for more in the afternoon! Lots of people had books (that were on our tables for the taking) signed by authors over the lunch break.
By the way, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, location of this conference, is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certified to the gold standard.
Bev recognized the great work of the sign interpreters and let us know that we'll hear about food and personal care in the afternoon. Once again, she moderated the panel of scientists and solution experts -- Charlotte Brody, RN, Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, Jane Houlihan and Susan Roberts, JD, MS, RD.
Diane MacEachern talks about how women can use their considerable spending clout to change the world!
Teresa Heinz closed the day with mentions of her late husband, an environmentalist, and her father, a doctor who realized the relationship between environmental and individual health. She reminded us that our elected officials work for us and should be reminded of that when we talk to them about children's health, bailouts and the things they must do to make us safer and healthier.
She also pointed us to The Simple Body for non-toxic cosmetics.
Thoughts on the way out the door ...
You might think that a day filled with talk about chemical exposure, food animals standing in their own waste, fly ash, cancer, toxic cosmetics (for humans and farm animals) and many more related topics would be a downer, but after we laughed, cried and gave standing ovations, we were inspired to make things better.
Category:Health & the Environment -- posted at: 9:28 AM
Thu, 25 September 2008
The annual (free) Women's Health & the Environment conference was held on Thursday, September 25, 2008.
Leslie Davis, of Magee-Womens Hospital of University Pittsburgh Medical Center, a sponsor of the event, welcomed the 2000 people (about half of whom had attended in a previous year) in the room.
Teresa Heinz stressed the importance of knowing the origin of the ingredients that make up what we apply, ingest and breathe into our bodies. She reminded us that wellness is usually taken for granted until we get sick and also talked about our broken healthcare system.
Nancy Nichols, author of Lake Effect, talked with emotion about how playing on the shore of a lake with her sister in her youth led to cancer in both of them as adults. She survived.
Moderator Bev Smith ran a tight ship and encouraged audience participation to keep Air & Water Quality panelists Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, Claudia Miller, MD, MS, Conrad (Dan) Volz, DrPH, MPH and Bruce Hill, PhD (who took the place of the ill Brooke Suter) on time.
Panelists' wish list (each got one): filters on diesel vehicle exhausts; organic gardens in schools; no herbicides and pesticides on lawns; better education for pregnant women; remind people that skin is our largest organ; real mass transit; invite daughters to this conference or create a conference for children.
By the way, a sign language interpreter, break room for people with children, breakfast and completely compostable lunch were part of the conference!
Fri, 19 September 2008
PennFuture held its ninth annual Green Power Awards luncheon on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 in Philadelphia. Each year, these awards are given to individuals, private industries, public interest and education organizations and government agencies that are building the new green economy by buying green energy, growing green jobs, and working for new clean and green policy initiatives.
This year, we presented 26 awards for Green Power Purchases (large and small businesses and institutions), Green Power Generators, organizations working for Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management and creating Green Jobs, and long time leaders and pioneers in the green energy movement.
For the first time this year, we asked our members and supporters for their nominees for Green Power Heroes. That award was given to Lewis Kindja and Aaron Steinly (Armagh, Indiana County), executive directors of principalsforchange.org; principal of United Junior/Senior High School, and assistant principal for United High School, respectively, for their leadership in Principals for Change and the 210 mile walking trip from Meyersdale, PA to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about the need for alternative energy.
PennFuture's director of outreach, Christine Knapp, interviewed just a few of the award recipients for this podcast. Sisters Fran and Josandra of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, talked about their work at Red Hill Farm using solar power to provide organic, locally and sustainably grown food for 100 families and the sisters themselves. Sally Silver discussed her work in the development of the Smart Energy Initiative of Southeastern Pennsylvania, its training programs, and network of over 300 companies. And Dan Garofalo, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Pennsylvania, not only talked about the green energy purchase that won the university this award, but also discussed Penn's ongoing green plans.
PennFuture's success in passing state policies and funding to build the green market is one of the main building blocks for all of this year's award recipients. But there is still one piece missing, that must be passed immediately -- HB 2200, the Energy Savings Bill. Visit our website to take action urging your state senator to lead the charge to pass the bill before election day.
Fri, 12 September 2008
A host of environmental and labor groups, including PennFuture, helped release a report this week that is great news for green jobs and the 21st Century economy. Our podcast, courtesy of the Clean Air Council, is the teleconference held on Tuesday to present the data to Pennsylvania reporters.
The report, “Green Recovery – A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy,” was prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, commissioned by the Center for American Progress (CAP).
The report shows that two million new green jobs could be created in two years with significant investment in a low-carbon economy. The jobs would be created in the fields of energy efficiency, public transportation and rail, clean energy, biofuels and building a smart electric grid. Investing in green jobs would create four times as many jobs as spending an equivalent sum of money within the oil industry; reduce the unemployment rate from 5.7 percent to 4.4 percent; and bolster employment nationwide, especially in construction and manufacturing, according to the analysis.
The report shows that Pennsylvania is off to a great start in joining the green economy, but more should be done. Over 86,000 of the jobs would be created in Pennsylvania. These are family-sustaining good paying jobs with benefits that cannot be shipped overseas. The jobs would go a long way to restoring our manufacturing base and cleaning our air and water.
HB 2200 will help create these Great Green Jobs by infusing investment in energy saving technology and education in every area of the state. The bill would give Pennsylvania families and businesses the tools they need to use energy smarter and cut their electricity bills. The bill has already passed the House; it is vital that the Senate pass this legislation in the nine days left in the session.
Send an email today asking your State Senator to sign a pledge to pass HB 2200 without delay.