Environmental Innovators

Innovators
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Presented by: Paul Ferdas, Lantium

1st Place: Mary Seton Corboy, Greensgrow Philadelphia Project. Mary pioneered the urban farm concept as an economic engine and public health intervention strategy. She exhibited fearless leadership in putting abandoned land back into productive use, creating over 40 jobs in a forgotten section of Philadelphia, and inspired countless other innovators to improve our city and local food economy. Mary passed away in August 2016 and this award honors her legacy in this city. Mary dared to try things before most people had even heard of them. From growing food on a brownfield site, to launching one of the nation's first aggregated CSA programs and Mobile Markets projects, to building Philadelphia's only production greenhouse and nursery. She refused to accept the status quo, and always made sure her work was accessible and empowering to everyone. She changed Philadelphia for the better, and inspired a whole generation of urban changemakers.

Ryan Kuck, the organization’s new Executive Director, affirms that “Greensgrow is honored to be included amongst such a cohort of individuals and organizations working towards transformation and justice. We look forward to continuing our involvement in this community as it continues to grow and pioneer solutions to persistent social and economic challenges.”

2nd Place: Tyler Alexander, ReVision (SEE Initiative). This organization provides prescription eyeglasses to those in need, while also combatting environmental degradation and supporting community economics. Three years in, this project is beginning to show success.

3rd Place: Gabriel Mandujano, Wash Cycle Laundry. Wash Cycle Laundry is a triple-bottom line company serving the mission critical needs of the individuals, businesses, and institutions in our cities. We're creating a launching pad back into the workforce for vulnerable adults and proving that bikes are commercially-scalable alternatives to trucks for intra-metropolitan freight. Gabriel Mandujano, Founder and President, created Wash Cycle Laundry to merge his experience and passions with job creation, economic development, and sustainable transport. The company began in a single West Philly laundromat with one bike and trailer in Fall, 2010. Over 4 million pounds of cargo have been hauled by bicycle across Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. since we started pedaling; 50 jobs have been created, with over half filled by driven adults re-entering the workforce after overcoming a period of incarceration, drug addiction, homelessness, or welfare dependence and; over 1 million gallons of water have been saved with our high-efficiency machines, not to mention all the chemicals diverted based on our use of EPA-certified, all-natural detergents.

 

Issue 32 | Featured Social Innovations

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