Featured post

Chester County Clean Energy Tour

Don’t miss it: Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Did you know Chester County is a state leader in solar energy and energy efficiency? Across the County, 20.88 MW are produced in 839 Installations (#2 in PA). Join us for a tour of exemplary clean energy projects at our schools, universities, businesses, farms, non-profits, municipalities and homes. Be inspired at this FREE event that features self-guided tours and open house tours across the County.

The logos to the left show sponsors of the Chesco tour. There will be more! Note that Chester County’s topic for the day is much broader than the national solar theme.

Kick-off events will provide an orientation and suggested route. The homes, businesses, and public places you visit will demonstrate green technologies such as solar, wind, geothermal, green design, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and more. Learn how your home, workplace, local schools and municipal facilities can be part of the transition to cleaner, safer renewable energy.

For your organization to endorse the tour, please download the invitation and (p. 3) endorsement form ASAP here: Energy tour endorsement letter and form

To find out more about proposing for the tour your clean energy installation of any sort (in addition to those listed above, green roofs, electricity storage, LEED certification, rain collection, and much more) download this: Solar tour host invitation

Fill out the proposal for your installation to be on the tour online here.

Register to attend the tour here.

Be part of the largest national renewable energy event ever and be one of the many forward-thinking hosts or participants from across the country!

The tour is coordinated by Solar United Neighbors and the American Solar Energy Society, with help from Chester County Ready for 100% Renewable. See more about the nationwide National Solar tour here.

Single Use Plastics

from West Chester Borough Sustainability Advisory Committee

West Chester Borough is taking steps to curb single-use plastic waste. In July 2019 Borough Council approved an ordinance banning single use plastic bags and straws in West Chester, effective July 2nd 2020.

  • September 2018 – local students ask Council to address single use plastic bags and straws  
  • July 2019 – Ordinance written and public hearing held. Council votes to approve ordinance
  • July 2020 – Enforcement begins July 2nd

Click here to read West Chester’s Single Use Plastic ordinance.

What do businesses need to know? 

  • As of July 2nd 2020 distribution of plastic bags and straws will be prohibited within the Borough
  • Any bag distributed to customers must include 40% recycled content and be recyclable in the Borough. This is considered a “compliant bag”
  • Businesses are required to charge 10 cents per compliant bag distributed to customers, and disclose this fee on the sales receipt
  • Any business may request a year-long exemption for review by the Borough’s Sustainability Advisory Committee
  • Businesses observed to be violating the ordinance will receive a written warning, then a $100, $200, and $500 fine for successive violations in a single 12-month period.

The Biggest Little Farm (film) Oct. 28 at WCU

Sykes Student Union Theater, West Chester University, 110 W. Rosedate St., West Chester PA 19382. A story about two people leaving the city behind in an effort to revitalize barren farm land and live more harmoniously with the earth. Free, refreshments provided, all welcome. J This recently released film has been generating a lot of excitement for its inspiring tale and gorgeous cinematography.Sponsored by he Office of Sustainability, the Slow Food Club, and the West Chester Green Team. The screening will begin at 7pm.  Free and open to the public. See trailer at https://www.biggestlittlefarmmovie.com/videos/.

Chester County Environment Alliance meeting Sept. 14

On Sept. 14, the West Chester Green Team met productively for over 2 hours with our environmental friends in the Chester County Environment Alliance (CCEA), an umbrella organization formed with almost 30 of Chester County’s local environmental organizations–and still growing!

“Like” the CCEA public Facebook page to stay up to date on local meetings, other groups you might find of interest, and upcoming events like the Clean Energy Open House Tour on October 19.

The Chester County Environment Alliance brings the representatives of its groups together three times a year to discuss the issues affecting our environment, help each other amplify our messages, coordinate events and campaigns, and use our resources jointly to help our shared mission to preserve and protect our environment and encourage sustainable choices in everyday life.

Please spread the word about this growing initiative as we work together with our friends and neighbors to preserve our environment on so many worthy fronts.

Find out more about the CCEA and its member groups and fellow environmentalists here, including the Chester County environmental calendar.

Pottstown Is USA’s 1st City To Have Flexible Plastic Recycling

By Justin Heinze, West Chester Patch, Sep 30, 2019

Plastic bags, wraps, packaging, product packaging, and more, a significant part of modern waste, can be recycled in the innovative program
Pottstown Is USA's 1st City To Have Flexible Plastic Recycling

POTTSTOWN, PA — Pottstown has been chosen as the first municipality in all of North America to pilot an innovative recycling program that could drastically reduce waste heading to landfills.

The new program will allow residents to recycle flexible plastic packaging — things like plastic bags, wraps, pouches, product packaging, potato chip bags, and more.

Typically, these types of plastics comprise a significant and growing portion of waste that goes to landfills. Now, they’ll be used to produce a new end recycled product called “rFlex.”

The pilot is possible thanks to a partnership organized by Materials for the Future, an industry-sponsored research collaborative, which searched around the nation for an appropriate partner. …

Read more at West Chester Patch. West Chester voted last month to ban single-use plastic bags and straws effective July 2020, Narberth did so in October 2018, and Philadelphia is considering it.

Environmental Film Series at WCU

The Third Annual Environmental Film Series at WCU sponsored by the Office of Sustainability at West Chester University, the West Chester Green Team, and member groups of the Chester County Environment Alliance, in memory of Graham Hudgings.

Sykes Student Union Theater, 110 W. Rosedale Ave., West Chester PA 19382. Door opens at 5:30 p.m., films at 6:00. Films are free!

SEPTA’s 104 and 92 buses stop on High Street, the ChesCo SCCOOT bus stops at the corner of Rosedale and New Streets, and the campus is easily accessible by bicycle and on foot. If you drive, access the lot in back of Sykes side via the streets to the east or west of Sykes.

10/17, River Blue, about wasteful and polluting clothing manufacturing.
11/7, Reinventing Power, about renewable energy, with West Chester Sustainability director Will Williams as guest speaker
12/12, Eating Animals, with a vegetarian food tasting buffet by the WC Coop

More about the Climate Action and Peace rally, West Chester, 9/21/19

Why combine these 2 topics? Because Saturday was the International Day of Peace, and we can’t be at peace with nature if we aren’t at peace with ourselves and other people.

The theme for the day set by the refrain of one of Rev. Dan Schatz’s songs at the beginning: “I ain’t gonna be treated thisaway.” Who is the persona? People, Mother Nature? The generation of today’s children?

Longtime environment activist mayor Dianne Herrin welcomed the crowd and remarked how far Climate Action has come since Greta Thunberg was sitting on the sidewalk by herself in front of her Stockholm school.

Activist Jen Karsten challenged us not to be lulled into complacency, not to be satisfied with doing small things but to be bold.

Maurice M. Sampson II , Clean Water Action’s Eastern Pennsylvania Director, celebrated West Chester’s recent passage of an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags and straws. Sometimes, he said, the “reasonable” case for deferring action must be rejected.

Representative Carolyn Comitta (PA House 156) introduced 12-year-old activist Isaac Harte, who spoke to how the young can model sustainability for their elders, by recycling, growing food, composting, taking public transportation….

For pipeline opponent Ginny Kerslake’s words, see here.

Senator Andy Dinniman (PA Senate 19) deplored the way decisions are made in Harrisburg, which for environment is worse today than when he started there in 2006. Powerful interests rule there; and “nothing except a united voice is going to change it…. You have the power to stand up to those corporations…. We do have the power to make American democracy work….”

Finally, former West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley paid tribute to what we have in common: Mother Earth. Every individual makes some impact on the planet; every generation feels the impact of what we do. And wrapping up the day’s themes: “In sustainability we find peace.”