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Archive for October, 2008

Green Jobs Philly NEWS #4

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

This newsletter is sent TWICE MONTHLY to 3,218 Philadelphia officials, organizers, businesses, environmentalists and job seekers.  Join the list:

—A large part of any city’s trash is construction and demolition waste.  This is particularly so in Philadelphia, with so many structures being built and removed.  Careful deconstruction of buildings  (dismantling buildings and stockpiling materials rather than smashing) creates jobs, saves money, reduces trash, conserves raw materials.  And it’s being proven that the extra labor costs of deconstruction can be offset by decreased dumpster costs and sales of these materials.  Even drywall can be recycled.

Everything Re-Useful Endlessly

Everything Re-Useful Endlessly

—Several Philadelphia companies are embracing deconstruction.  Provenance, for example, has been doing architectural salvage (removing valuable ornaments, lumber, cut stone, etc) for many years here.  Their warehouses contain irreplaceable items from Philadelphia’s historic buildings, including the Divine Lorraine Hotel.
—Recently they’ve begun entire roof-to-basement disassemblies.  “We are renting and may purchase a 5-storey, 175,000 square foot former textile factory in North Philly, for converting this stuff into cabinets, chairs and such.  We’re seeking to start a job guild for entry-level skills.  Employees would be able to work up to management and sales,” says Bob Beaty.  Even basic site work requires training, however.  “Carpenter skills are needed to take apart a building safely and without destroying the parts.” Bob and his partner Scott Lash seek to start an urban sawmill converting old lumber into new.  Says Scott, “We recently recovered some beams 62 feet by 8” by 12”.  They weigh a ton each.”  Floor joists from one church have been recycled into a raised bed community garden.
—Some cities have accelerated deconstruction job growth by forbidding demolition, raising dumpster fees, giving tax breaks and prioritizing permits for demolition: The Re-use People.  Google finds 23,000 hits for deconstruction + demolition + pennsylvania.
—See also Philadelphia Re-Store 

flea for your life

flea for your life

FLEA MARKETS help establish Philadelphia’s Next Great Economy.  They’re incubators of new businesses, when shoppers need lower prices. They foster creativity, community and recycling.  The Philadelphia Flea Market Meetup connects marketers.  See also


John and Paula Wehmiller are receiving 3.6 KW of panels, installed by Solaris  They are seeking combined Federal and State credits of about 40% of the cost (PA credits still being negotiated).  Says John, “payback period will depend on many things, but the estimate is that we will generate about 600 kwh each month, which will cover about 75% of our consumption and will cover our air conditioning needs in the summer.”


SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS NETWORK MEMBERS DIRECTORY annually celebrates the local, independent green businesses that make our region unique - and a powerful tool for customers and businesses alike that are interested in creating a local living economy,  Are you green enough to get in?  Contact or 215-922-7400 ext. 3#.  Join before 10/31for the 2009 edition. Available to over 8,000 consumers and businesses, SBN’s Directory is recognized as “the leading resource in the region for people who are searching for local green businesses.”

PHILADELPHIA GREENLIFE is another meetup hosting a good list of montly events.

PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY SUSTAINABLE DESIGN lists green scholarships, events, contests for green architects and urban planners.

Van Jones

Van Jones

VAN JONES leads the nation’s green jobs movement.  He’ll read his new book: “The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems,” at Drexel 10/21.  This event, sponsored by Africana Studies Program at Drexel University and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, is already at capacity. 
Van Jones “embraces the challenges of oil dependence, a sagging economy, and global warming itself, transforming these looming threats into enormous financial opportunities.  Jones gives a new voice to a different kind of environmentalism, one deeply rooted in the lives and struggles of ordinary people. It’s not about green consumers; it’s about green workers and bringing the environmental movement to the working class.”
—His message is that we need to “Give the work that most needs to be done to the people who most need the work,” and solve two pressing problems—pollution and poverty—at once. In turn, you provide people with not just a paycheck, but also a purpose.”


Most green jobs will be created by jobs seekers, rather than by government or Wall Street.  Check our list of fellow job seekers at  Some of these may be willing to work with you to start businesses or organizations.  They have talents and tools that will strengthen yours.

1.  Notice a need: people want warm homes, good food, low prices, healing, fun.
2.  See a niche: do it better, easier, funner, greener.
3.  Give your service a name: a snappy acronym like JUMP, ZIP or JAM.
4.  Keep overhead low.  Avoid formal business debt.  Grow slow if need be.
5.  Get what you need without dollars, by barter.
6.  Find investors and donors by asking.  When banks and foundations shut doors, go to parties.  Ask friends and family.  Most grants are by “angels.”
7.  Print your own money– scrip that’s backed by your goods/services, or by your network, neighborhood or community.
8.  Contact Green Jobs Philly for help.


Visit our list of talented job seekers

Here are a few samples:

—”Working for a community development organization on green issues in the urban environment. Land/environmental restoration. Also interested in green building. Have significant skills in the graphic arts/web design. Good writer and photographer. Excellent computer skills. Worked in the online information industry for many years. Good hand-on skills, especially in woodworking.”
—”My personal interests have increased with the Green Initiative economy in preserving and enhancing environmental quality and transforming from blue-collar jobs to those that provide opportunity for advancement along a career track of increasing skills and wages.”
—”I am a strong generalist with education and professional practice in Landscape Architecture, Planning (Regional and Urban), and Environmental Resource Management. I split my time between architectural and planning projects, which include policy writing and sustainable systems designs, as well as writing and teaching on a wide range of related subjects.”
—“I love to help people make their flat roofs last longer and use less energy, while avoiding costly repairs. I specialize in small repairs, cool roof coatings, and vegetated roofs. I\’m certified by two different companies in green roof installation, and have over two years of experience on flat roofs and nine years of construction experience.”



10/16, 23, 30 & 11/6 GREEN CITY TEACHERS at PHS, 100 North 20th Street, 5th fl, 5:30-8:30pm, For Philadelphia educators. Act 48 credit available.  Topics: Horticulture, Food Gardening, Trees, Indoor Gardening.  Integrate horticultural and environmental education into your classroom, Join green teachers network, Share ideas in forum, Get your hands dirty, take home goodies.  Register: Sally McCabe 215-988-8846

10/17 NATIONAL LATINO COALITION ON CLIMATE CHANGE (NLCCC), 11:15am-12:15pm: Hyatt Regency, 201 S. Columbus Blvd. 202-637-5120.  “As climate change poses significant challenges and opportunities for low income and minority communities, three Hispanic organizations have joined forces to launch the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change (NLCCC). The National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC), the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC), and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) are working collaboratively to ensure that Latinos have an integral voice in the national dialogue on climate change. The primary goals of this group are to help raise awareness about global warming in Latino communities and to build the capacity needed to support grassroots advocacy efforts through research, policy, and educational outreach.

10/18 CRAFTADELPHIA ECO-CRAFT SHOW + housewares, art sale.  Hosted by Philly Etsy Team (the on-line resource for handmade products). Live music, drinks, food, sustainable, upcycled and recycled wares. 11:00am-4:00pm, Mew Gallery, 906 Christian St. 

10/19 SWAP-A-RAMA-RAMA!  Free handsewn tote bags full of sustainable, handmade products!  Bring clothes to swap, embellish and remake so they are new to you!  All clothing left over is given to charity. Old Pine Community Center, 401 Lombard St. 12-5. 

10/19 BIKETOBERFEST 2-6pm, Dock Street Brewery & Restaurant ,50th and Baltimore “Celebrating autumn with our favorite things — bikes, brats and friends!  Proceeds benefit the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.”  Complimentary bike valet by Neighborhood Bike Works, music by Stinking Lizaveta & DJ Danophonic, plus raffle. —Tickets $25 - food & pint glass (ages 21+).  Only 300 tickets.

10/21 EVOLVING DESIGN in the 21st Century, Academy of Natural Sciences, 6-6:30pm: Reception; 6:30-8pm:  Presentation.  “Panel discussion featuring some of today’s most renowned designers, for a discussion of topics such as Green Design across design disciplines.”  

10/22 PHILADELPHIA CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY DAY inaugurates the Philadelphia Student Sustainability Coalition (PSSC) with a talk by Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability, Dr. Mark Alan Hughes. Central Branch of the Free Library, 4:30-6pm.
—“PSSC is a new student envt’l organization in Philly. All students from Philly’s colleges & high schools who care about the environment are welcome to join. We will be working closely with the city to help them suceeed in their new greening/sustainability plan. We are going to have meetings every few weeks at the Horticultural Society. We are just getting the ball rolling and are still organizing, but essentially we will be undertaking a variety of action oriented projects to make our city’s environment more healthy.” (215) 477-0235
—SUSTAINABILITY DAY at Temple University features a Recycled Material Art Contest, at the Bell Tower, 11am-2pm, sponsored by Students for Responsible Business, Student Peace Alliance, Students for Environmental Action and The Office of Sustainability at Temple.  Prizes!  More info

10/22 CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR FESTIVAL ’08 at the official closing reception of DesignPhiladelphia, the “largest annual celebration of design in the U.S.”  Showcase for industrial, web, graphic and interior design. 5:30-7:30pm, American Institute of Architects (AIA) Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St.  Pre-registration required.

10/23 LIGHTS, CARBON, ACTION: Energy Action Agenda for Buildings in Pennsylvania.  Urban Sustainability Forum, 6-8:00pm, Academy of Natural Sciences. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has studied Pennsylvania’s capabilities for energy conservation, energy efficiency and solar power, and will present recommendations. Dan Griffiths, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, and Mark Alan Hughes, Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability will discuss recent clean energy legislation, financial incentives, and planning.  Hosted by Sustainable Philadelphia

  10/24-26 POSTERS FOR THE PEOPLE!  Design for Social Impact exhibits the images that drove the New Deal, marking that era’s 75th birthday.  FDR’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) became the nation’s largest employer– over 13,000 Philadelphians among them– during the Great Depression.  In this city workers built public buildings, recreation centers and pools, ballfields, sewers and bridges.
—During Philadelphia’s latest hard times we could use such a program again.  The Green Labor Administration (GLAD) is a local proposal.  It would be a nonprofit agency funded by varied sources, focused on the basics: heating and eating.
NextNewDeal also wants to renew the WPA. 

11/7  CREATIVE AND STANDARD WAYS OF FINANCING, The Business Center, Point of Destination Cafe, (Upsal Station)  6460 Greene St

11/14 NET IMPACT CAREER EXPO at Wharton “Throughout history, breakthrough ideas have disrupted the status quo and revolutionized the world. What are the next breakthroughs that will improve our world and create advantages today for sustainability tomorrow?  More than 1,800 graduate business students and professionals will come together to discuss a vast array of innovative ideas that will create social and environmental value for our future.” 

—Many Philadelphia neighborhoods are worse off than during the Great Depression, yet government will soon further cut health care, recreation, transit, schools and afterschools.

Philadelphia MediCash

Philadelphia MediCash

—When people are willing to manufacture, work, buy and sell, yet dollars are scarce, local credits backed by local networks rise.  The stability of jobs and value of money can be revived by sensible issuance of community currencies.  These can be backed by City Hall, by neighborhood networks, businesses, credit unions, vacant lots.  
—Philadelphia has been minting the nation’s money for 215 years.  Yet, during hard times, Philadelphians have joined the rest of the nation in printing local currencies.  Rather than strangle on scarcity of dollars, we can create citywide, neighborhood, and sector (health, housing, transit, education) currencies.



Hard Hats, Solid Facts, Green Jobs

Hard Hats, Solid Facts, Green Jobs

• A required reduction in overall demand by 1 percent by 2011 and by 3 percent by 2013.
• A required reduction in peak demand by 4.5 percent by 2013.
• Utilities will be held accountable for reaching the target reductions and failure to do so will expose them to penalties as high as $20 million as well as allowing the Public Utilities Commission to take the programs away from a utility that fails to meet the reductions. Utilities are also allowed to bid out at least some of the conservation program to third parties.
• Universal smart meter deployment in 15 years with utilities recovering the costs in rates.
• Changes to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to include hydro and paper pulp projects to Tier 1, but structured as to do no harm to the value of Tier 1 renewable energy credits by requiring the PUC to increase the Tier 1 requirement in an amount to accommodate the new generation sources.
• Study of carbon sequestration to reduce heat-trapping emissions from power plants.
• Provisions on electricity procurement and the reorganization of the PUC.
—Christine Knapp of PennFuture says, “While not a perfect bill, it is a major advance for Pennsylvania.  We’re disappointed that House language boosting the solar and Tier I requirements of the AEPS were not included in the final bill, but we hope that you’ll work with us on addressing that next year.”

Community-Based Job Training Grants ”funds for community colleges for building capacity to train individuals for careers in high-growth/high-demand industries in the local and/or regional economies.”

YouthBuild Grants “funds will be used to provide disadvantaged youth with: the education and employment skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency in occupations in high demand and postsecondary education and training opportunities; opportunities for meaningful work and service to their communities; and opportunities to develop employment and leadership skills and a commitment to community development among youth in low-income communities.”


 “I’m contacting you on behalf of New Kensington CDC. As part of our community organizing and economic development mission, we’re starting to explore the concept of urban farms. A question regarding lot assemblage has come up that you might be able to answer.  Have any studies been conducted to determine the minimum acreage required for a for-profit urban farm to be viable?”  — Manny Citron
—[REPLY] Growing Power of Milwaukee is seeking to quantify cost/benefits of urban agriculture You’ll find more resources at  SPIN (Small Plot INtensive) AGRICULTURE and Urban Agriculture News and SustainWeb
—As agribusiness costs increase, to cultivate, harvest, process, transport, store and advertise food from California and abroad, market advantage moves to cities, like ours, with vacant lots.  With approved kitchens in every neighborhood, and canning facilities, we can become an edible city. 

“Keep your newsletters coming, they are great and full of great information!!”  –Keely

“Here’s an article from the Christian Science Monitor: ‘Bicycle recyclers empower riders’ 
I’d like to see such an enterprise in Mt. Airy.  Anyone working on this in your green jobs arena? Any properties available that would lend themselves…?” –Lynn Mather   
—[REPLY]  There are dozens such programs nationwide.  My former home, Ithaca NY, has gathered and restored thousands of bicycles over 15 years.  Most are presented to youth who graduate from the repair training program and donate hours to the shop.  Some of the bikes are shipped to Nicaragua for teachers and health workers.
—West Philadelphia has the Divine Bike Church (3916 Locust Walk), a project of Neighborhood Bike Works.  
—As cars lose ground and bikes gain favor, such efforts should expand, employing thousands to manufacture (bamboo bikes use local materials), sell/donate and repair.  Rebuilding streets to accommodate bikes and trollies will both save tax dollars (less street maintenance) while creating construction/landscaping jobs.

“What is the wholesal/bulk-rate for your book, Green Jobs Philly. I want to purchase and re-sell on and at our forums.”  –Tim
—[REPLY]  Green Jobs Philly is a small volume, 48 pages, retailing at events for $5.00.  I have kept the book small so that it’s accessible to the broader public.  Encouraging more action than reading.  So I wholesale them for $3.50.

 “…the site is a treasure trove. They collect info of all kinds at both a grassroots and corporate level and send out a bimonthly email blast to subscribers. You can sign up or peruse the archives at  There’s enough interesting stuff that it’s a good bet that some future Earth to Phily posts will take off from something we find there.”

THIS EDITOR seeks housing.  Quiet, nonsmoking.  Can pay $300/month.