Philadelphia-We Should be Green With Envy

Oct 2013
The more involved I get with travel blogging, the more excited I am by the possibilities available for eco-travel.  The growth of this portion of the  industry has opened so many new doors. Six months ago, if someone were to ask me about the most eco friendly cities in the U.S.,  I’m not sure Philadephia’s green efforts would have come up on my radar screen.  Surprisingly enough, the City of Brotherly Love has an impressive sustainable quotient, and you don’t have to dig very deep to scratch the green surface.Photo via B. Krist for GPTMC

Philadelphia's green spaces
Philly Skyline via J. Fusco for GPTMC

The city has been attracting global attention for it’s leading ways in the environmental movement. For starters, Philadelphia will be a greener place thanks to over a quarter million trees being given to city residents for planting by the Mayor’s office.   Surfaces that were previously impervious to water are being re-scaped with environmentally sound hard scapes that accept water.  The Philadelphia Schools District was in 2011 designated as the greenest in the nation.  We’re just getting started…

photo via R. Kennedy for GPTMC

As a visitor,  you can arrive by a train system that has been called a “national leader in sustainability”, get around town with car sharing from Philly Car Share or ZipCar, and starting in 2014, ride through town on one of 650 bikes that will be part of a bike share program for the city.

The Hotel Palomar has many green initiatives along with bikes for guests to use.

Hotels are leading the way with green initiatives ranging from rooftop gardens growing produce for the in house restaurants, to eliminating toxic chemicals from cleaning products and redesigning spaces with decor made from  reclaimed and renewable materials.

One of many locally sourced courses from Fork.

And then there’s the food.  Oh my, so many selections and so many neighborhoods to cover!  No matter what part of town you are looking to explore, Farm to Table has definitely found a home and been embraced by some of that brotherly love.  In the morning you can have your farm fresh eggs and organic coffee, lunch time has plenty of opportunity for putting together a picnic and enjoying any of the many green spaces found around town or you might find yourself lunching on a salad from a near by farm.

Valley Green in Fairmount Park-photo via R. Kennedy for GPTMC

Make sure to spend some of the afternoon getting in a good walk {perhaps Fairmount Park.  At 4,440 acres, it’s the largest urban park in the nation}.  You’ll want to have room to enjoy the great options in all price ranges of locally sourced ingredients for dinner.

The Barnes-photo via B. Krist for GPTMC

Cultural institutions have made great strides towards lessening their carbon foot print.  The major sports teams have cleaned up their respective stadiums and moved towards using clean and renewable energy.  The same can be said for the efforts of the Philadelphia Museum of Art with its unique greened garage roof.  The LEED-Platinum status of the Barnes Foundation has earned it the distinction of being the greenenst major art and education institution in the country.

I have to say the official Philadelphia  tourism web site is one of the best I’ve seen.  Soup to nuts, it will assist in all aspects of the planning of your trip.  It’s comprehensive, easy to use and full of inspiration to make your trip to the city a memorable one. Kudo’s to Philadelphia’s green efforts in the city.

Next up- Art and Sustainability Go Hand in Hand in Philadelphia

Green With Renvy has partnered with VisitPhilly for this trip.  As always opinions an editorial are my own.



  1. noelmorata says:

    That’s a great list especially for a metropolitan city with a combination of old and new…nice post

  2. Who knew Philly was so green? I often will choose a hotel based on the bike situation so Hotel Palomar is right up my alley!

  3. Nice to see Philly is going green. We loved our stay in the Hotel Monaco and dinner at Talula’s Garden. It’s a very walkable place too.

  4. We love Philadelphia – the city center and environs. Love seeing all the history. We enjoyed Valley Forge on the outskirts, too. Being there several 4th of Julys ago was a highlight of our summer. So nice to see more positives!

  5. Philadelphia is a great city. Nice ideas for a trip to the city.

  6. Trees are one of the nicest gifts one can give. How nice that they will make Philadelphia even greener!

  7. Donna Janke says:

    Nice to hear about a city making green efforts. The more I read about Philadelphia, the more I think I need to put it high on my list of cities to visit.

  8. Karen Warren says:

    I’d never thought of Philadelphia as an eco conscious city but they’re obviously doing lots of intersting stuff. I love the idea of growing food in a roof garden!

  9. I LOVE Philly any way, but it is nice to know it is so green. Green there reminds me of the green macha tea I first drank in the Japanese Pavilion in the park. there.

  10. Sue Reddel says:

    I haven’t spent any real time in Philly and had no idea it was so green! I’ll have to make an effort to visit.

  11. I am writing you a postcard. How cool! I was in Philly in 2012. Of course, I went to the usual tourist spots. Your article here shows me what I missed. I should go back!

    • alison says:

      Wouldn’t it be nice to still receive a few postcards in the mail Carol? Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad I could offer a few new ideas for Philly.