Sustainable Book Club Series

Wed., May 27, 6:30 p.m. 

Wild Edibles Walk

Wed., May 27, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Tai Chi in the Garden 

Thurs., May 28, 10 to 11 a.m 




Entries in green living (50)


Soap City

For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand says it donates a bar of soap and provides a month of clean water to children in need.Vegan soap-making companies in Philadelphia offer natural products for the environmentally conscious

For many soap makers, there is concern over using palm oil in their products. The vegetable oil is linked to environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation and animal cruelty. To combat this concern, vegan soap companies, which make soap that doesn’t come from animal fat and is not animal-tested, are becoming more popular. Vegan soap, compared to store-bought soap that contains tallow—animal fat— is generally handmade, gentler to your skin and uses plant-based oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil and almond oil. Those opting to use vegan soap recognize that vegan soap makers put thought into using specific ingredients to produce quality products. Here’s a list of four vegan soap companies in Philadelphia you can try for yourself.

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Small Space, Big Life: A family shows how large love fits in a tiny home

Illustration by Mike L. Perry

by Natasha Alvarez

My love affair with tiny houses started when I was tiny myself. Delighted by all things small, I spent hours playing with my dollhouse as a achild, imagining whole lives for the Lilliputian family that lived inside. How wonderful it would be, I thought, if I could just shrink myself to fit inside that itty-bitty home.

Later, forts and tents were my specialty. A broomstick, a mop and a sheet were the makings of my own personal world. But by far, my favorite makeshift dwelling was an old forsythia bush in the backyard, its tangle of branches perfectly arranged to leave a hollow room in the center, just big enough for me and my little sister to create an entire universe for ourselves. Small spaces offered my shy young self shelter from a sometimes harsh world. 

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Foot Soldier

by Mary Van Ogtrop

Illustration by Julia Tran

 Want to enjoy your commute? Try walking.

 At 7 a.m., my clock radio powers on to the sound of WXPN. “It’s a cold morning in Philadelphia,” the announcer says, a little mournfully, “with a low of 23.”

My eyes flashed open and I hopped up. Over 20 degrees: better get walking.

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Water your gardening skills and watch them grow: A Spring Gardening Events Calendar

Illustration by Faye Rogers.Gardening can be rife with emotional highs and lows. For the novice gardener, the hopes held by a trove of seedlings can be dashed by watching the tiny plants wither and fade, despite one’s best attempts. More seasoned gardeners may bask in the glow of pride, having achieved success with planting, potting and pruning, but the ever-present threats of weeds, destructive insects and plant diseases can cause serious damage to prized patches of green. And for serious gardeners, a shining skill set can become dull if it plateaus; and ultimate garden fantasies, once so promising, can feel like failures if unrealized. No matter where you fall on the gardener spectrum—from houseplant killer to orchid whisperer—there is a garden-specific workshop or program out there to teach, refresh and inspire. Philadelphians are lucky to have so many great resources in our region that offer educational opportunities year-round for the budding green thumb in all of us.

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Nurture by Nature: Eviama Life Spa pampers your body and your planet

Enviama Spa owner Penny Ordway turned her passion for promoting human wellness and eco-living into the city’s first green spaPenny Ordway faced a dilemma: She was passionate about her human wellness work, but the spa where she was employed regularly used processes and products she found questionable. She wanted to be a good employee, but not at the expense of her clients. In 2001, she decided to start her own business, Eviama Life Spa—the first green spa in Philadelphia. 

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