Inaugural Green Week merges social equity with sustainability

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia’s first Green Week, a series of events that promote environmental sustainability, kicks off in a few days.

One goal of the celebration is to show people how they can live a more sustainable lifestyle no matter how much money they have.

Sustainability trickles into local businesses, too. For more than a decade, The West Philadelphia Tool Library has brought a unique resource to the city, loaning tools to members of the community to help with simple home maintenance.

“One of the things that we really prioritize is preserving the Philadelphia family home,” said Michael Froehlich, a co-founder and board member. “It’s more than just a focus of family and community life; it’s a critical tool to build intergenerational wealth and address the massive racial wealth gap that we have in our country.”

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Froehlich said their sustainable business lends all kinds of tools to people in all walks of life for an affordable price.

“In rapidly gentrifying Philadelphia neighborhoods, maintaining older homes can be challenging, and sometimes our neighbors just don’t have the money that it takes to purchase all of the tools that may be required to work on the projects that they’re working on,” he explained.

As part of Green Week, the library is getting the word out about, and hosting classes to help people better use, the tools they have.

“We wouldn’t be doing our job, we wouldn’t be fulfilling our mission, if we didn’t also offer classes on how to use those tools,” Froehlich said.

Those classes include shelf-building workshops, bicycle repair, plumbing and basic electrical work.

“We see the tool library as not just an environmental good, but as a tool to build social equity, and to do sustainable community development.”

Green Philly Blog has a list of events and activities going on during Green Week, which runs April 18 to 25.  

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