<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Green News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/green http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usSat, 28 May 2016 22:07:07 -0400Sat, 28 May 2016 22:07:07 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[New Water Stations Expand Along Kelly Drive]]> Fri, 20 May 2016 10:14:08 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Water+Station+Image+-+St++Joes+Boathouse.jpeg

The Philadelphia Water Department is unveiling a new network of public water stations along Kelly Drive as the city celebrates the 90th Stotesbury Cup Regatta.

The four stations increase access to public drinking water while combating the plastic bottle trash people leave along the Schuylkill River. 

The new, bright blue and yellow water kiosks are meant to make refilling reusable water bottles easy. The four new stations along the trail are are even pet friendly-featuring speacial bowls for our four-legged friends to enjoy. 

The stations stretch between East Falls and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and are a central piece of the water department's #DrinkTapPHL movement which began in 2015. It highlights public drinking water as a healthy, litter free, smaller carbon footprint alternative to bottled drinks.

The public is invited to celebrate the new kiosks with a ribbon cutting Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Grandstands on Kelly Drive. Public drinking advocates, such as Philly Water Commissioner Debra McCarty, will be in attendance as well as spokesdog Shorty and Water Woman -- powerful defender of Philly's waterways.

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<![CDATA[SEPTA Buses Go Green]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 09:24:27 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000014908672_1200x675_670614083529.jpg Next spring SEPTA will debut electric buses on certain routes.]]> <![CDATA[#DreamItGreenIt: 6 Easy Ways to Help Save the Planet]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 04:20:21 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488398873-%281%29.jpg

Saving the planet doesn’t have to include huge lifestyle changes or big purchases. This Earth Week, which begins April 17, think of small alterations you can make at home and your workplace that will have a positive impact on the environment. Whether it’s shortening your shower by a minute or turning your faucet tightly after each use to prevent drips, every contribution counts toward a greener future.

Take a look at six things you can do now:

Love Your Leftovers:
According to the EPA, one-third of purchased food in the U.S. gets thrown out every year.

Ninety-five percent of the wasted food turns up in landfills, where it rots, releasing a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. 

The EPA and organizations like GreeNYC make a few suggestions to help prevent over-shopping for food. Before hitting the store, check to see what you already have, and try to produce recipes with the perishable items before they go bad. By pre-planning your meals, and portioning them out, you’ll have less of a chance of throwing away food.

Before tossing your leftovers, see if you can take the rest for an at-work lunch, or try using your leftovers in an altogether new meal for the next day. If you can’t finish all your perishable foods, try composting or finding a local composter in order to get rid of your food in an eco-friendly way.

Turn It Off:
Switching unnecessary lights off and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth conserve energy and water — and shrink your utility bill.

“Turning off the water when you brush your teeth can help you not only save money, but it also reminds you that those resources belong to everyone,” said Kathleen Rodgers, president of Earth Day Network, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that works to spread environmental education and policy.

When going to bed, be sure to turn off electronics you don’t use. Try to take shorter showers and make sure your toilet doesn’t leak. A leaky toilet could be wasting 200 gallons of water a day while a faucet that leaks at a rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water in a year, according to the EPA.

Grow Your Own:
Adding some green into your living space can help improve air quality in any kind of home, according to Rodgers.

“Houseplants are a great source of oxygen,” she said. 

Rodgers also suggests growing small potted plants, like herbs, that you can use in cooking. Growing some of your own food, whether it’s a small plant on a windowsill, or an entire outdoor garden, is not only better for you, but rewarding as well. 

“Connect yourself to nature and see what you can produce,” she said.

A Greener Clean:
Many conventional cleaning products contain harmful toxins and Rodgers suggests cutting down on chemicals like bleach as much as possible.

“They’re not good for your water system,” Rodgers said. “They have a place in hospitals, not kitchens.” 

Try to replace some bleach-heavy household cleaners with nontoxic alternatives that get the job done without adding unhealthy chemicals into your home, she suggested. Common household items, like vinegar and baking soda, can be used as alternatives. Check product labels to make sure the cleaning supplies you use are safe and eco-friendly. 

Go Organic — Or Choose The Right Produce: 
Eating local and organic all the time may not be practical or financially feasible for everyone.

There are conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that tend to test low for pesticide residues, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Environmental Working Group, which puts out an annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, recommends: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew melon, grapefruit, cantaloupe and cauliflower. 

“It’s critically important that people really pay attention to what they're eating,” Rodgers said. 

Check Your Home:
Is your house drafty? According to Energy Star, air leaks in door and windows waste a lot of energy and increases utility costs. 

“If you added up all the leaks, holes and gaps in a typical home's envelope, it would be the equivalent of having a window open every day of the year!” Energy Star said. 

Making sure your home is insulated and using only energy-saving light bulbs and appliances can save hundreds on your electric and water bills. 

Another way to be more green at home is to get rid of all paper and plastic dishware. Always opt for reusable plates, cups and utensils, and especially avoid paper napkins. Get reusable cloth or compostable paper napkins instead. 

Get Rid of Junk Mail for Good:
Cities like New York produce over 1 million tons of junk mail each year. Receiving junk mail isn’t just an annoyance, it’s a waste of decreasing resources like wood. The EPA reports that nearly half of unsolicited mail received isn’t even recycled. According to the Environmental Paper Network, a 10 percent national decrease in paper use would provide an equal greenhouse gas emissions reduction, as would 280,000 cars being removed from the road. 

Junk mail also contributes to an increase in carbon emissions. Smartphone apps like PaperKarma help you control what ends up in your mailbox. Take a step further by choosing to receive electronic bills.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Moment RF]]>
<![CDATA[Cities With Most Energy Efficient Buildings ]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:24:36 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Energy_Star_Buildings.jpg

Owners of commercial buildings across the country are taking steps to make their properties more energy efficient, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The agency says the energy consumed by commercial buildings is the largest source of emissions in many cities. 

But more than 28,000 buildings have earned the EPA's Energy Star certification by becoming more energy efficient in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Every year, the EPA puts out a list of the cities with the most energy efficient buildings across the country. 

This year, Washington, D.C., was the number one major metro, with 686 green buildings. Los Angeles and San Francisco rounded out the top three.

San Jose topped the EPA’s list of mid-sized cities with the most green buildings, followed by Honolulu and Virginia Beach. 

According to the EPA, Midland, Texas, had the highest number of energy efficient buildings — 34 — out of the country’s smallest cities. Sioux City, Iowa, and Martinsville, Virginia, followed. 

The EPA says energy efficient buildings have saved more than $3.8 billion on utility bills — and they have prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual electricity used by more than 2.6 million homes. 

The EPA ranked cities based on the number of buildings that earned the Energy Star in each area in 2015. The agency released its first list of city rankings in 2009.



Photo Credit: Energy Star
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<![CDATA[Philly Airport Parking Goes Green, saves Money]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:29:20 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PPA+Executive+Director+Vince+Fenerty+speaking+at+today%27s+PHL+Airport+press+conference+with+PECO+CEO+Craig+Adams..jpg

Philadelphia International Airport is getting a little more efficient with some help from its friends.

Philadelphia Parking Authority officials joined PECO and airport officials for a check presentation Thursday morning in recognition of the PPA's completion of the first phase of its airport "Arrivals Road Project."

The installation of 1,400 energy-efficient LED lights -- which will save about $120,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs -- made the PPA eligible for a $121,742.30 PECO Smart Equipment Incentives rebate, said the PPA.

"The PPA has embarked on a comprehensive energy efficiency initiative aimed at reducing costs and saving energy in our seven garages at PHL, as well as our three Center City garages," said PPA executive director Vince Fenerty. "We will be replacing all existing lights with new LED technology over the next few years."

The PPA has around 19,000 spots at the airport.

"By changing our lighting systems to LED technology, we reduce our demand on electrical power," said airport CEO Chellie Cameron.

The greening of the lighting systems gained praise from PECO.

“I want to congratulate the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Philadelphia International Airport for their commitment to sustainability and ongoing efforts to improve energy efficiency,” said  PECO president and CEO Craig Adams.



Photo Credit: PPA]]>
<![CDATA[Ever Think About Where All That Sewage Goes?]]> Fri, 04 Dec 2015 17:11:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Frankford+Creek+Philly+Sewage+System.jpg

Every time you flush the toilet, you're adding to a problem that old cities like Philadelphia around the United States have to deal with, sewage. But Philadelphia is getting praise for its plan to keep sewage out of area waterways.

The nasty situation can get nastier when heavy rains come and tax the 3,700-mile-or-so labyrinth underground in the City of Brotherly leaving area creeks, rivers, basements and manholes vulnerable to getting flooded with sewage.

A Popular Mechanics article “How Philadelphia Will Solve the Sewage Nightmare Under Its Feet” breaks down what's happening underground:

On a typical day, the system handles about 471 million gallons of waste, though it can handle as much as a billion gallons a day if necessary. If the total goes beyond that, the excess flow must be released somehow. Last year, some 11 billion gallons of sewage was released from the system and dumped into local waterways, untreated, because it was more than the system could handle. In colonial times, it was standard practice to dump waste into the harbor or throw into the streets and let the rain wash it into sea. People figured the sea was deep and large, and anything dumped there would disappear or dissolve. We now know that's not the case. The only upside to the release is that it prevents sewage from backing up into people's homes. Most of the time.

"The only time you'd see that happen is in a hurricane, where, literally, there is so much storm water rushing in, the whole system is at capacity, and it might pop open a basement fixture, like a utility sink or a floor drain, or even a toilet, if there's one down there. That happens in all these big cities," Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Environmental Services for the Philadelphia Water Department Chris Crockett said. "Basically, in most cities if you get two inches per hour of rain and throw in a high tide, the opportunity for basement flooding is likely."

Read more about how Philadelphia is using green initiatives at homes, businesses and public spaces to combat sewage run-off by lowering the amount of water finding it’s way into the sewers.

READ MORE: Popular Mechanics



Photo Credit: Caren Chesler/Popular Mechanics]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Starts Curbside Leaf Collection]]> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 10:51:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Leaf+Pile+Generic+Leaves+Generic.jpg

Philadelphia’s Streets Department will begin collecting fall leaves from the city’s curbs Monday. The annual collection service will last six weeks.

But there are regulations to follow to ensure the leaves are picked up on the designated days for each neighborhood.

The streets department will only collect leaves that are neatly raked to the curb or in biodegradable paper bags. This reduces contamination so the leaves can be recycled. Additionally, residents are urged to avoid mixing trash into the bagged leaves since they won’t be usable.

The city carefully selected areas that receive a significant amount of leaf buildup -- mostly in northwest and Northeast sections of the city. People who wish to recycle or remove their leaves, but are not in an area selected for the collection program, can head to any one of five sanitation centers to drop off their bagged leaves or one of 23 locations spread out throughout the city on Saturdays (excluding the Saturday following Thanksgiving) frm Nov. 21 to Dec. 19.

Leaves can be also reused for personal composting.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Local Building Gives Way to Environmentally Friendly Airports]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:37:46 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/222*120/FAA+Building+Material+Pavement.JPG The Federal Aviation Administration dedicated its new National Airport Pavement and Materials Research Center in Egg Harbor Township. The building allows engineers to research environmentally-friendly airport materials.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Del. Gov Announces Rebate Plan for Clean Drivers]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:44:33 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000011191156_1200x675_485751875974.jpg Delaware Gov. Jack Markell announced a rebate plan for the state's drivers who buy or lease electric or alternative fuel vehicles and hyrbids.]]> <![CDATA[Camden Urban Garden Opens to Feed Families in Need]]> Mon, 01 Jun 2015 08:32:07 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000010603716_1200x675_454840387510.jpg Volunteers teamed up to plant fruits, vegetables and herbs at 2nd and Kane streets in Camden as part of a new 2-acre urban garden that will help feed families in need in Camden County. The garden will also host activities such as fall festivals, cooking classes and dinners.]]> <![CDATA[Lack of Rain Impacting Crop Growth on NJ Farms]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 22:38:30 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000010565493_1200x675_453694531655.jpg Local farmers say their fields haven't seen any rain, those who have need more and the wait for rain is beginning to impact some key crops.]]> <![CDATA[Pa. Born Falcons Teach Lesson in Conservation, Protection]]> Thu, 21 May 2015 21:01:37 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000010476055_1200x675_449002563764.jpg Two of three peregrine falcons that hatched on the ledge of an office building helped teach a lesson in conservation and protection in Pennsylvania's capitol Thursday.]]> <![CDATA[Philly's the Best at Bathroom Recycling]]> Wed, 06 May 2015 13:27:29 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/recycle-bins-generic.jpg

What Philadelphians are doing in the restroom is being recognized.

The City of Brotherly Love has officially topped the list as America’s best recycling bathroom city, beating its top two competitors New York and San Francisco, according to the online survey Unilever Recycling Index.

The nationwide survey, conducted by consumer goods company Unilever, found that more than half of the city's residents recycle their empty bathroom and beauty products.

The City of Brotherly Love came out on top with 52 percent of residents reported recycling, according to the survey. New York took second place with San Francisco following its lead.

Atlanta had the worst bathroom recycling score with only 23 percent of residents reported recycling their empty shampoo bottles. 

The survey also found that parents and men are more likely to recycle bathroom goods and empty bottles in comparison to their counterparts. 

The average nationwide statistic shows Americans are more likely to get a drink, charge their phones or answer a phone call than toss their empty bathroom products in the recycling bin. 



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[New Jersey Recycling System Increases Tonnage]]> Mon, 27 Apr 2015 07:15:05 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000010142614_1200x675_434969667571.jpg A new recycling system will be unveiled Monday in Mount Holly, Burlington County at the Occupational Training Center. The new process will be able to take care of 35 tons per hour.]]> <![CDATA[Montco Launches Bike Share on Trails]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:58:10 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/175*120/Zagster+Montgomery+County+Bike+Share.JPG

Bicycle, bicycle, want to ride a bicycle? Well you now can along Montgomery County trails even if you don’t own a bike.

The county joined Zagster to launch Wednesday a pilot bike share program along trails that offers docking stations at Lower Perkiomen Valley Park in Oaks, and the Pennypack Trail just off Huntingdon Pike in Lower Moreland.

"This program will give those without bicycles, or those who might decide on the spur of the moment to ride, an opportunity to enjoy our 60 miles of trails throughout the county,” county commissioner commissioners Valerie Arkoosh said.

And the program, which includes 12 bikes, is set to be expanded.

“We currently have 10 additional miles of trails under design or construction in the county, so this program is being launched at exactly the right time,” commissioner Bruce Castor said.

The Zagster mobile app serves as the key to the program. It costs $5 an hour and up to $25 for a day – bikes not returned within 24 hours will get an extra $25 late fee.



Photo Credit: Zagster]]>
<![CDATA[More New Jersey Homes, Businesses Using Solar Panels]]> Wed, 22 Apr 2015 09:52:42 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/thompson+solar+panels.jpg

The number of solar panel installations in New Jersey may have hit the 34 thousand mark based on state Board of Public Utilities figures.

As of mid-February there were 33,927 business and home solar arrays across the Garden State, but companies such as Vivint, NRG and SolarCity have been installing systems on a daily basis as their popularity has exploded with the help of a thirty percent federal tax credit.

"I saw everybody else getting it so I figured something must be good about it," Sayreville homeowner John Kaba told News4NewYork about his decision to go solar.

In Sayreville, more than three hundred homes have solar on their rooftops, this in a mixed blue collar and middle class community.

And while many people say they made the decision because of concerns over global warming, NRG spokesman Erik Linden said most people do it to save money.

Barry Waldman got a lease deal from NRG this past winter for his Sayreville home, and said he was told he should see savings of about twenty percent over the course of a year.

"I'm going to retire soon so I wanted a fixed cost where it's gonna be the same amount of obey practically every month," Waldman said.

The number of solar installations is spread across the state as politics doesn't appear to be an issue. The leading county, with more than five thousand solar rooftops, is Ocean, one of the most politically conservative counties in the state.  

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<![CDATA[EPA Debuts New Interactive Park Bench]]> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:45:22 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Independence-Hall.jpg The new bench will be at the Independence National Historic Park starting Tuesday and will be able to monitor air quality and weather.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Del. Service Week Ends with River Cleaning]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 07:21:43 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000010067916_1200x675_430105155828.jpg Delaware's Brandywine and Christina rivers will get some much need tlc Saturday as volunteers are set to clean the surrounding water areas to culminate the state's Service Week.]]> <![CDATA[Middle School Recognized for Helping the Environment]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:19:56 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/217*120/the+stain+of+war+children+sign+04152015.JPG The Henry C. Beck Middle School in Cherry Hill was awarded a giant check for $5000 for an environmental project the school was involved in to come up with ways to reduce plastic use and control outdoor air quality.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[SEPTA to Green 69th Street Terminal]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 10:17:39 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/215*120/Upper+Darby+Generic+69th+Street.JPG

Improvements and green initiatives are coming to one of the Philadelphia region’s busiest public transportation hubs.

Politicians will join SEPTA officials Monday morning to announce improvements to the Authority’s 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

The terminal where multiple bus and trolley lines as well at the Market-Frankford subway and Norristown High Speed Line pass through currently serves nearly 35,000 people daily, according to SEPTA.

SEPTA plans to use $19.6 million "Rebuilding the Future" program to improve daily bus and trolley service at the West Terminal by increasing efficiency with green roofs and a green wall as well as improving the passenger waiting area.



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[8th-Annual Philly Spring Cleanup Coming]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:28:01 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/Philly-Spring-Cleanup-4.jpg Philadelphia leaders spoke of plans for the 8th-Annual Philly Spring Cleanup where communities will work hand-in-hand with city departments to get things looking good.]]> <![CDATA[400 Gallons of Oil Spill Into Delaware River]]> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:24:25 -0400 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/182*120/Pennsville+Oil+Spill+Delaware+River.JPG

Hundreds of gallons of oil that spilled into the Delaware River earlier this week washed up in New Jersey Tuesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard opened a report on the spill by the Pennsville Boat Ramp of Riviera Drive — south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge in Pennsville.

Pennsville Police said "evidence of oil has started to wash up on Pennsville Beach."

Between 400 and 500 gallons of oil spilled near Wilmington Monday during fueling of a barge then washed up in New Jersey on Tuesday, said the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Witnesses said there was a strong odor from the spill.

Officials said the globs oil likely won't pose any serious threat to humans or wildlife.

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