SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES

OARC implements projects that form a comprehensive strategy to transform Northwest Philadelphia into a sustainable community, and position OARC as a leader in the local green economy. By advancing sustainability in our community, we seek to balance the social, economic, and environmental impacts of our revitalization efforts. This triple bottom line approach helps preserve resources and alleviates the burden on our region’s aging infrastructure.

We advocate sustainable practices through education as well as through our development projects. Our ongoing initiatives include the following:


"Clean Kitchen, Green Community" Pilot Program for InSinkErator Food Waste Disposer

In the Spring of 2012, the City of Philadelphia selected West Oak Lane and Point Breeze as the two neighborhoods to launch its "Clean Kitchen/Green Community" program. Mayor Nutter kicked off the campaign with a launch event on Ogontz Avenue. This program provided 100 homeowners in each community with free Insinkerator food waste disposers as part of the city's efforts to reduce the amount of food waste going into landfills. Over the summer, OARC conducted outreach and educational efforts in the targeted area which consisted of approximately 400 homes. By the early fall, all 100 food waste disposers had been installed at no cost to the homeowners. The City will then track the impact the program had on reducing the amount of trash being picked up in the target neighborhoods.

Urban Energy Conservation Block Initiative

OARC works with organized blocks to retrofit homes with energy- and water-saving devices such as CFL bulbs, low flow shower heads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, window and outlet insulation. These devices are installed during a full day of energy events, including vendors that set up educational tables and displays. Rain barrels are also installed to reduce storm water runoff, and vacant lots are cleaned to prepare for community gardens. OARC then monitors the residents’ utility bills to help homeowners achieve best practices in energy efficiency.

Over the past few years, OARC worked with six organized blocks throughout Northwest Philadelphia to provide homes with energy and water saving devices such as CFL bulbs, low flow shower heads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, window and outlet insulation. Devices were insta;;ed during a full day of energy events, including vendors that set up educational tables and displays. Rain barrels were also installed to reduce stormwater runoff, and vacant lots were cleaned to prepare for community gardens. In total, OARC helped over 200 homeowners save energy and distributed over 800 energy saving devices.


Our past achievements include:

Car Sharing

OARC recently brought Zipcar car sharing service to the Ogontz Plaza Shopping Center. This is Zipcar’s second location in Northwest Philadelphia, and there has already been great demand for the service. This provides a convenient service for residents and shoppers, and positively impacts the environment. Car sharing services such as Zipcar reduce the number of cars on the road, which means less congestion, less pollution, and less dependence on foreign oil. On average, each Zipcar takes 15-20 personally owned vehicles off of the road.

OARC will be bringing another Zipcar location to our new headquarters at the Gateway.


Installation of a Rain Garden

The John F. McCloskey Elementary School and Dorothy Emanuel Recreation Center share a large asphalt courtyard. During any rain event, this area became flooded. OARC partnered with the school, the recreation center and Awbury Arboretum to install a rain garden on the site in the summer of 2010. The new rain garden is a beautiful and functional green space that provides green infrastructure for stormwater management, wildlife habitat, and educational opportunities. The garden’s design allows water to be slowly absorbed by the soil and plants, thereby reducing pollution and the amount of water entering the storm drains.


Learn More About Stormwater Management:

EPA – Stormwater Management

PWD green stormwater management for homeowners

Homeowner stormwater management guide (PDF)


Learn More About Rain Gardens:

EPA – Glossary

SOCWA – Rain Gardens for the Rouge River

URI Healthy Landscapes – Rain Gardens

EPA – Bioretention Rain Gardens

Homeowner rain garden guide (PDF)


Research and Reports

OARC conducts research in our quest to become leaders in sustainability. We have prepared the following reports, all available in Adobe PDF format.


Community Outreach Assessment

Neighborhood Savings

Urban Infrastructure Report


Links

We encourage you to visit the following websites for more information about sustainable living.


Planet Green

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/


Grist

http://www.grist.org/


Our Partners

Carson Valley Children’s Aid - http://www.cvca-pa.org/


Primex Garden Center – http://primexgardencenter.com/contact/

Weaver’s Way Co-op –http://www.weaversway.coop/

Zipcar – http://www.zipcar.com/


Overview of Sustainability-Related Issues

EPA – Sustainability Basic Information

http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm

EPA – Learn the Issues

http://www.epa.gov/epahome/learn.htm

EPA – Energy Portal

http://www.epa.gov/energy/

Greenable – What is Green?

http://greenable.net/whatisgreen.php

Sustainable Measures - Introduction to Sustainable Development

http://www.sustainablemeasures.com/node/42

TED – Environmental Justice Activist Majora Carter

http://www.ted.com/speakers/majora_carter.html

EPA – Greening Glossary

http://www.epa.gov/oaintrnt/glossary.htm


Mayor’s office of sustainability – greenworks

http://www.phila.gov/green/


University of Delaware - human benefits of green space

http://ag.udel.edu/udbg/sl/humanwellness/Human_Benefits.pdf


USDA vegetable garden guide (PDF)

http://www.plant-materials.nrcs.usda.gov/pubs/mipmcot9407.pdf


Renewable energy and efficiency rebates and incentives

http://www.dsireusa.org/


Carbon Footprint Calculator

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx


Water footprint calculator

http://www.h2oconserve.org/?page_id=503



Conserving Energy and Water in the Home

Department of Energy – Energy Savers Info

http://www.energysavers.gov/


Rutgers rain barrel guide (PDF)

http://www.water.rutgers.edu/Stormwater_Management/rainbarrelbrochure.pdf


Rain barrel guide (PDF)

http://www.smgov.net/uploadedFiles/Departments/OSE/Categories/Urban_Runoff/Install_Maintain_RainBarrel.pdf


Water conservation tips

http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php


Department of Energy Home Energy Use Info

http://www.energy.gov/yourhome.htm


Homeowner energy savings guide (PDF)

http://hlmediaworks.com/touchstone/TWS/custom_apps/Home_Energy_Savings_Guide.pdf


Homeowners insulation guide (PDF)

http://www.owenscorning.com/around/insulation/fallpromo/HomeownersGuideToInsulating.pdf


Energy Savers fact sheet (PDF)

http://www.energysavers.gov/pdfs/energy_savers.pdf


Online home energy audit

http://hes.lbl.gov/consumer/


Planning Commission – Guide for Philadelphia Row Houses

http://www.philaplanning.org/cpdiv/rowhousemanual.html

ECA – Home Product Fact Sheets and PECO Rebates

http://www.ecasavesenergy.org/content/fact-sheets-home-products

ECA – Heating Ventilation and Cooling Fact Sheet

http://www.ecasavesenergy.org/content/heating-ventilation-and-cooling-fact-sheet

ENERGY STAR – Common Home Problems and Solutions

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_solutions

ENERGY STAR – Heat & Cool Efficiently (Basic Steps)

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac

ENERGY STAR – Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling (In-Depth Guide)

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/HeatingCoolingGuide%20FINAL_9-4-09.pdf

ENERGY STAR – Air Seal and Insulate

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing


ENERGY STAR – Roof Products

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showProductGroup&pgw_code=RO

Retrofit Philly – Cool Roof Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet

PDF Available Here

http://www.retrofitphilly.com/PDFs/EnergyFactSheet_Final.pdf

EPA – WaterSense

http://www.epa.gov/watersense/


Alternative Transportation Modes

SEPTA – Sustainability

http://www.septa.org/sustain/index.html

Zipcar

http://www.zipcar.com/

PhillyCarShare

http://www.phillycarshare.org/

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

http://www.bicyclecoalition.org/


Carpooling rides - erideshares

http://www.erideshare.com/


Carpooling rides – carpool connect

http://carpoolconnect.com/


PA Commutes – alternative transportation in PA

http://www.pacommutes.com/


Recycling

Philly Recycling Rewards

http://phillyrecyclingpays.com/

RecycleNOW Philadelphia

http://www.recyclenowphiladelphia.org/

Streets Dept – Recycling Benefits

http://philadelphiastreets.com/recycling-benefits.aspx


RecycleBank

http://www.recyclebank.com/


Streets Dept – Info on recycling

http://www.phila.gov/streets/recycling.html


Waste

PADEP – Waste reduction

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/facts/reduce.htm


EPA – Waste

http://www.epa.gov/osw/


Waste reduction checklist (PDF)

http://www.cleanscapes.com/upload_files/CS_BeyondWaste_at_Home.pdf


Trees

PHS – Benefits of Trees

http://pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/phlgreen/tree-TVbenefits.html

PHS – Mini-Guide to Tree Planting

http://www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/phlgreen/PlantaTree.pdf

PHS – Caring for Your Tree

http://www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/phlgreen/CaringTree2010.pdf

PHS – Tree Tender Training

http://www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/phlgreen/tree-training.html


Residential Composting

Philly Compost – Why Compost?

http://www.phillycompost.com/Why_Compost.html

Philly Compost – Do it Yourself

http://www.phillycompost.com/DIY.html

Philly Compost – Backyard & Neighborhood Answers

http://www.phillycompost.com/Q%26A.html

Philly Compost – Neighborhood Compost Map

http://www.phillycompost.com/Map.html


Local Economy

Care2 – “Buy Local” is an Economic Stimulus, by Safa S.

http://www.care2.com/causes/politics/blog/buy-local-is-an-economic-stimulus/

New Rules Project – Stacy Mitchell on Big-Box Stores and the Local Business Movement

http://www.newrules.org/retail/audio/stacy-mitchell-bigbox-stores-and-local-business-movement

SBN –Local Living Economies, by Judy Wicks

http://www.sbnphiladelphia.org/images/uploads/LocalLivingEconomies.pdf

SBN – Regional Economic Development, Competitiveness and Prosperity through Local Business Ownership

http://www.sbnphiladelphia.org/images/uploads/SBNWhitePaper(1).pdf


Publications

Grid Philly