October 24th is the International Day of Climate Action, which is a day set to raise awareness about climate change. PHG would like to take a moment to get the word out about some of Philadelphia’s wonderful environmentally beneficial programs. Not only are these excellent and useful resources to reduce our energy demands and beautify our city, but most of them are free and/or save you money, with only a simple sign-up process to get started!! It’s a win-win for all.
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) runs this program to help residents manage stormwater at their homes. As a Philly resident, you can get a rain barrel installed for FREE! A rain barrel is a storage container that collects stormwater runoff for your roof. It’s built to prevent overflow, and you can use the stored water for your plants, to clean your outdoor area, and more.
This is a great option if you use the water you collect for other purposes, have limited space, and/or don’t want to spend a lot of money.
There are other tools offered depending on your needs and space. You can have a downspout planter, rain garden, or porous paving installed at the reduced price of $100. These low-maintenance tools help filter pollution and manage stormwater runoff to help protect the waterways.
If you rent, you’re eligible for the program too! Have your landlord sign the Stormwater Tool Waiver prior to installation, and you’ll be well on your way to participating.
Free tree... it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Beautify your neighborhood and help make the city greener for yourself, your community, and future generations to come. Launched in 2012, TreePhilly gives out over 1,000 free trees twice a year for Philadelphians to plant on private property. The giveaway events are held across the city each spring and fall, with registration opening up one month in advance. The Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) is present at these events to demonstrate how to plant and care for your tree. For those with limited mobility, free delivery and planting is available.
What’s even cooler is that you can pick your free tree! TreePhilly offers a variety each season so you can decide what’s best for your area. Maybe you don’t have room for a 10’ tree. Or maybe you want a fruit tree, such as a fig or a pear tree! Their website has a collection of resources to guide you in your decision.
If your outdoor space is limited, you’re still in luck. You can request a free street tree - or trees! – tobe planted in front of your property. Attention all green thumbs: volunteers are always welcome.
On November 16th, there will be a tree-themed comedy event at Yards Brewery brought to you by TreePhilly, PHS, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the US Forest Service. Philly improv group Where the Trees Are will host a comedy show featuring other local acts. Let’s Get Trunk! Laughter, beer, and trees. Who doesn’t love that?
Your older appliances and cooling equipment are not necessarily the most efficient, cost effective, or quiet. Not only would a newer system mitigate these issues, but PECO will now send you a rebate to make the upgrade a more budget-friendly option. Refrigerators, central air systems, and washers and dryers are a few of the many types of products on which you can earn money back just by upgrading to a more efficient (read: lower bills for you!) and eco-friendly appliance.
Save on cooling costs and conserve energy, without suffering through hot summer temperatures!
The PECO Smart A/C Saver is active from June-September, when usage for air conditioning is highest. During these periods, the program works to reduce electricity by “cycling” participating central air conditioners throughout the region. First, a Digital Cycling Unit (DCU) will be connected to your central a/c unit or head pump.
Then, cycling occurs, as explained by PECO below:
“When regional energy demand is high, your switch will receive a radio signal that will put your A/C compressor into a ‘conservation mode.’ Your compressor will then operate 15 minutes of each half hour during the conservation event. However, during the entire conservation event, your A/C fan will run uninterrupted, circulating cool air throughout your home to maintain comfort.”
Your home temperature might rise slightly during a conservation event, but most residents do not notice when it occurs.
By participating in the Smart A/C Saver, you will receive a credit on your summer electric bills. In Summer 2016, a $10 monthly credit was applied to each participant.
Bennett Compost is not a city-run program, but it’s a great resource for all Philadelphia residents! For just $15 month, you receive a lidded container to keep your kitchen scraps and food waste, AND Bennett will pick it up from your home weekly. According to their website, the average person throws away 1600lbs of garbage every year, whereas their average customer throws away less than half that amount.
Composting is the most eco-friendly method of disposing of food waste. Composted food waste results in an effective and all-natural fertilizer. When tossed in the garbage, the waste ends up in landfills and releases methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide, during the breakdown process. Landfill methane emissions are one of the leading contributors of climate change.
Bennett’s compost bins have a small footprint at only 14” high and 12” in diameter. You don’t even have to be home when they swing by on its weekly pickup trip! Just leave the bin out front or in an agreed upon spot on the same evening each week. They’ll swoop away your food waste and leave you an empty bin ready for the next week ahead.
Redeem rewards just for recycling!
When you register with Recyclebank, you will receive a sticker with a unique ID chip that you can stick to your primary recycling bin. The truck that collects your recycling each week will record that your home has recycled. This activity will deposit points into your Recyclebank account. You can then log into your account online and redeem your points for a variety of rewards such as gift cards, movie tickets, and magazine subscriptions. Registration and participation is free!
Want to stop the barrage of takeout menus and random flyers tossed on your stoop and wedged in your front door from blowing down your street and littering you block?
Contact us to request a FREE Circular Free property registration form. You’ll receive a sticker to place on your front door or mailbox. Businesses who continue to flyer stickered properties will be issues a citation from the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
Request your free sticker!
Loving your city and making positive, convenient choices for your home has never been easier. These programs will improve your home inside-out and save you considerable dollars in the meantime. Do you participate in any? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!