Earth Day Report: #GAMBAgreen

West Girard Spring Clean-Up, April 14, 2018. Co-sponsored by Fairmount CDC,

Crime + Punishment Brewing Co., and Philadelphia Streets Department. Photo courtesy Fairmount CDC.

The Art Museum Area is full of green features including Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill River Trail, and the Ben Franklin Parkway. In addition, we have incredible community gardens like Corinthian Gardens at Eastern State Penitentiary, and Brewerytown Garden and Girard Dream Garden in Brewerytown.

What's more, many of our local shop owners are committed to delivering goods and services in a sustainable way. From local foods to up-cycled goods, our small business community has got you covered.

In Fairmount, Yoga Habit is run with energy conservation in mind, favoring infrared radiant heat which has a smaller impact than traditional forced-air heating methods. In addition, they utilize nontoxic cleaning products, are insistent about recycling, and offer reusable cups at the water fountain. "It’s important to us to know that we are making as little of an impact as we can... and are mindful of our footprint on this earth," says owner Jen Wendowski.

Fairmount Running Company collects previously-used athletic shoes to donate to MORE Foundation, who create economic and agroforestry opportunities in developing countries. This also diverts material waste from landfills, and re-purposes old clothing. Other area small businesses working to recycle and up-cycle clothing, accessories, and household items include Curve Conscious, Uhuru Furniture, and HomeSpun Boutique whose proceeds support solving homelessness via Project HOME.

Collected sneakers go to fund agroforestry projects across the globe.

Photo courtesy the MORE Foundation

From Kayuh Bicycles in Francisville: "We do our best to promote cycling and make it easier for people to learn how to repair their two-wheel machine. Our monthly Community Repair Clinic lets those who are interested learn how to adjust anything from brakes to wheel truing. Why not learn a thing or two courtesy of Kayuh while reducing your carbon footprint?"

Bike education and stewardship. Photo courtesy of Kayuh Bicycles & Cafe.

Fairmount Bikes & Brewerytown Bikes do not give bags for purchases unless requested, in which case reused plastic bags are offered. They also foster a sense of community and connection to the built and natural environments through their group rides through the city and to nearby mountain biking trails.

At Ali's Wagon, owner Jessie Menken keeps reusable accessories well-stocked and prioritizes merchandise that facilitates a sustainable, urban lifestyle. "Baggu market totes, O.R.E. and Lunchskins are some of the lines that we carry, so you can pack and bring your lunch day after day without the waste," says Menken. Down the street at Wellpoint Oriental Medicine, they are committed to 100% recycled paper products and green cleaning supplies, practices they've had in place since the inception of their business ten years ago. "We even compost all of the teabags we use!"

The food service industry in Fairmount and Brewerytown are also committed to a small carbon footprint. Recently, both 2637 Brew and Otto's Taproom committed to significantly reduce their use of plastic straws, a commonly used, non-biodegradable item that ultimately ends up interfering with oceanic ecosystems and wildlife. This spring, 2637 Brew also sponsored a fundraiser for Urbanstead, a local community garden that "works to achieve healthy futures by uniting the community and operating programs that directly empower Philadelphia youth."

Spot Burger, who has food truck roots, serves mostly paper and recyclable to-go ware (and DELICIOUS burgers), and employ a minimalist sensibility at their Girard Avenue location. Crime + Punishment Brewing Co. is also committed to supporting local community groups and causes, and on April 14th, sponsored the West Girard Ave Spring Clean-Up, where 35 volunteers enthusiastically cleaned the neighborhood surrounding the commercial corridor, a common area for litter accumulation. C+P also brew beer in-house, like their neighbor to the south Bar Hygge, and promote the use of growlers. This helps to alleviate waste from bottled and canned beer products and creates awareness among customers regarding their own carbon footprint and use of disposable materials.

Locally-sourced ingredients are a priority in the Art Museum Area, as is the case at Bar Hygge and Cosmic Catering. At Cosmic, produce and meat products are purchased from area farms where sustainable and humane practices are paramount, and breads are baked locally. "We purchase organic products whenever possible. We keep our prices fair and reasonable, so that as many people as possible can enjoy healthful, tasty food."

Cosmic Catering supports Philly Parks & Rec while also offering a local, farm-fresh menu.

Photo courtesy Cosmic Catering

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