Sustainable Living Resources

–> See our blog on the Delaware Valley Environment.

–> See our blog on Global Environmental Concerns.

–> See our Environmental Events Calendar.

–> See the GMM page on Urban Farming in Philadelphia.


The Green Geek is a terrific resource for ideas about a green future.

See new ideas about how technology can help sustainable living.

Learn about aquaponics: how to grow vegetables and fish by your window.

Check out sustainable fish farming onshore.

An article describes the reasons why organic food is safer and has more nutrients than conventional food.

Read about a teenager’s accomplishments in urban farming.

Learn about the features of electric cars, but remember that to be sustainable they must use solar energy.

Check out planning for Philadelphia’s future.


Energy and our environment

Check out the FCNL blog on energy and the environment.

Learn about how to live sustainably without burning carbon.

News about Global Warming.

See the current status of renewable power generated in New England.

Learn about Penn Future’s programs to preserve the environment.

Check out a listing of local renewable electricity suppliers. We recommend switching your electricity supplier to The Energy Co-Op because they generate electricity from renewable sources.

Learn about the risks and dangers of nuclear power that imply it is a poor alternative energy source.

Read about why sustainable energy must be carbon-free and nuclear-free.

Read about why our sustainable future must be beyond nuclear.


Nature and our environment

Learn about water quality worldwide with the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.

Learn more about how plastics pollute our environment and what we can do about it.

Check out old growth forests in Pennsylvania.

Learn more about how American Chestnuts are being revived.

Learn about the International Union for Conservation of Nature and its Red List of Endangered Species

Read the latest reports on The Delaware Bay Estuary.

Check out the EPA’s information on climate change in the Mid Atlantic region.

Learn about getting free compost from the Fairmount Park Recycling Center.

Check out the resources of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and the Pennypack Environmental Center.

Check out fresh water at the Stroud Center, and the Stroud Preserve, part of Natural Lands Trust.

Check out the events at the Morris Arboretum.


Sustainable building and living

Learn how to green your life.

An alternative to foams containing chlorinated hydrocarbons is the use of cork for house insulation.

See the Delaware Valley Green Building Council’s energy benchmarking initiative.

See tips on reducing home energy use.

See an interview with a renegade sustainable architect.

Learn how to green your house by reducing energy use.

See the Ogontz Area Revitalization Corporation’s Sustainable Development page.

Learn how to compost and recycle for zero waste.

Learn about the Next Great City Initiative.

Check out Resilience, for a sustainable lifestyle.

Check out Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light.

Check out Inside Climate News.


Solar energy for heat and electricity

PECO customers can now sign up for 100% renewable power that includes local solar electricity generation.

Check out a listing of local renewable electricity suppliers. We recommend switching your energy supplier to Community Energy or The Energy Co-Op because they generate electricity from renewable sources in Pennsylvania.

How to store heat from summer to heat your house in winter.

See a plan to reduce energy use by our meetinghouse.

See an article about a passive solar house.

See how Drake Landing Solar Solar Community heats its homes from solar heat stored from the summer.

See information on solar PV systems.

See a discussion of the Energy Intensity of Photovoltaic Systems.



Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects,  by Greg Pahl, foreword by Van Jones, ISBN 978-1603584098

Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy, by Peter G Brown and Geoffrey Garver. ISBN 978-1576757628

What’s gotten into us?: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World, by Mckay Jenkins. ISBN 978-1400068036.


PWD stormwater runoff charge

The Philadelphia Water Department has implemented a city-wide Stormwater Management project. All land owners are required to pay a stormwater runoff charge that reflects the water that runs off their property during rainfall. This charge is not a tax and must be paid by all landowners in the city. The money goes to PWD to improve the local watersheds and sewer systems which need a lot of maintenance.

For ordinary house owners with a small lot, the charge is standardized at $13.66/month. For larger lots or for non-residential properties the charge is based on the area and permeability of the lot. The rate for gross area is $0.528/500 sq. ft. per month. Roofs, sidewalk, and parking lots are counted as impermeable and have a much higher rate, $4.169/500 sq ft. per month.

To reduce your stormwater runoff charge, you can add a system to catch the rainwater from a 1″ rainfall and discharge this into the ground over a 3-day period. The system must be reliable so it cannot not rely on electricity which might fail. A typical rainwater system is a “rain garden” which is a swale that can hold all the water runoff from the roof of a house.

PWD Stormwater Management Guidance Page

PWD Residential Water Runoff Guidance Page.

PWD Non-Residential Water Runoff Guidance Page.


Zip and Area codes

Find a Zip Code.

Zip codes at US Postal Service.

Find an Area Code.


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