APRIL 22ND IS EARTH DAY AND “GREENER PITTSBURGH DAY”

Pittsburgh Skyline from Mattress Factory, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from 18brumaire’s photostream

For over 40 years, Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22nd as a way to educate and mobilize people to making a commitment to a better environment and sustainability. In Pittsburgh, April 22nd will also be celebrated as “Greener Pittsburgh Day.” Greener Expressions, a Lawrenceville company, is spearheading the Greener Pittsburgh initiative. The idea behind Greener Pittsburgh is to have a one-stop online location for citizens, businesses, organizations and government to find and promote local green products, services and information to create a more sustainable Pittsburgh. In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, Greener Expressions’ Chief Executive Officer, Greg DiMedio, explained that Greener Pittsburgh will be an online marketplace to “help the restaurant owner looking for biodegradable carry-out containers, the resident looking for an environmentally responsible dry cleaner and the community group looking for a stamp of environmental respectability.” Councilman Bill Peduto has been a covener and advisor to Greener Pittsburgh — helping announce the initiative last year and providing funding.

Moreover, several years ago Peduto introduced the founders of the company, Greg DiMedio and Bob McNeice (Insight Rising). He worked with them on different ideas for how the company would be structured and how it could benefit the community. Peduto also brought in Christine Mondor from evolve EA to add a “neighborhood” element to the initiative. Councilman Peduto continues to work closely with McNeice, DiMedio and Mondor, as well as with Danae Clark who is running daily operations. Councilman Peduto is also proud that he was able to help secure a Community Development Block Grant so that Greener Pittsburgh could work with CTAC to promote environmental awareness in Pittsburgh’s lower income neighborhoods.

On April 19th, Councilman Peduto initiated a proclamation (signed by all members of Council) declaring April 22nd to be “Greener Pittsburgh Day” in the City of Pittsburgh and honoring the project “for providing our community the tools to identify and support local businesses that are committed to sustainability.” During his presentation, Councilman Peduto commented that Pittsburgh is a world leader in recognizing that sustainable practices can be “beneficial to businesses, communities and individuals” and that Greener Pittsburgh will create a network and a rating system of sustainability — something that no other city is doing right now. You can view a video of the presentation of that proclamation below. Greener Pittsburgh is planned to launch in few weeks.