Cover Story: Senior Project

A group of retirees in Germantown take water safety into their own hands
by Natalie Hope McDonald

The group of senior citizens dipping test tubes into the Wissahickon Creek has their work cut out for them. As members of the Senior Environment Corps (SEC), a volunteer organization housed at Center in the Park—an active adult community on Germantown Avenue—these volunteer men and women are environmental watchdogs.

Read More

Feature: High Water

Dare to keep drugs out of your drinking water
by Shaun Bailey

It's an otherwise slow shift at the hospital when, just after 2 p.m., patient John Doe is wheeled into the emergency department. After taking the man's vital signs, residents determine he has suffered a "myocardial infarction"; what doctors call a heart attack. With no time to spare, they order intravenous nitroglycerine for improved blood pressure, norepinephrine for shock and heavy, repeated doses of morphine for pain.

Read More

Inspiration: Plant Therapy

The Horticultural Center at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital eases pain with plants
by Emily Schu

Six stories above 16th and race, an elevator opens to a secluded street complete with a parked car, cobblestone sidewalks, a telephone booth, raised garden beds and potted peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins. At its peak, the rooftop is blooming with life, far from the echoes of car horns and SEPTA bus screeches below.

Read More

Activism:'s International Day of Climate Action

Ray Anderson will be in Philadelphia this month as the keynote speaker for’s International Day of Climate Action. What is It’s an international campaign founded by American environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben, which focuses on reversing the disastrous path of our earth’s climate through a worldwide Day of Climate Action.
Read More

Activism: The Industrial Revolution, Take 2

A maverick CEO makes the case for sustainability
by Alex Mulcahy

In 1994, Ray Anderson, the CEO of an industrial carpet manufacturing company, faced a task he dreaded: delivering a speech to his workers about his company’s environmental policy. The problem was that his company, Interface Inc., didn’t have an environmental policy. They weren’t breaking any laws; wasn’t that enough?

Read More

News: The Price is Right

Urban Eco Electric energizes the Philadelphia solar market with free installation and affordable leasing options

Many homeowners want solar energy, but far too few can afford the upfront costs. How can this be overcome? One solution is leasing. The most prominent example of a successful leasing company is California-based SolarCity, which was partially funded by Elon Musk, PayPal founder and CEO of Tesla Motors. Philadelphia now has its own solar leasing contender: Urban Eco Electric.
Read More

Book Review: The Urban Vegan

The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes From Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine
by Dynise Balcavage
Three Forks/Globe Pequot Press; $16.95

What does an urban vegan eat? Food adventurist and urban ethnic food-loving vegan Dynise Balcavage wrote The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes From Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine as a response to this particular question that she was continuously asked.
Read More

Book Review: No Impact Man

No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process
by Colin Bevan
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; $25

Over the past decade, several eco-superheroes have emerged: Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford, and Michael Pollan, among others. In late 2006, Colin Beavan took it to a new level; instead of explaining again our environmental crises, he created a persona known as No Impact Man who would strive for a simplicity few people (in the U.S., anyway) imagine.

Read More

Recipe: Tempeh Tantrum

The other non-meat takes center stage
by Bernard Brown

We all know tofu, whether as a food or a punchline, but what about tempeh? Just like tofu, tempeh is a sustainable alternative to animal products. Both are made from soybeans, which are probably the most resource-efficient way to convert sunlight, air and soil into protein, so picking tempeh over animal products saves water, land, greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.

Read More

In Season: Pumpkins

by Tara Mataraza Desmond

Pumpkins are fixtures in the decorative backdrop of the fall season, but their culinary purpose far exceeds their ornamental role. They share a branch of the gourd family tree with their winter squash cousins and can be used in recipes exactly as squash are.
Read More