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    9 Ways Boston is like Philly’s Green Scene

    Philly versus Boston Green SceneOver Memorial Day weekend, I escaped to Boston for live music, time outdoors and catching up with my former roomie.

    Whenever I travel, I try experiencing the local scenery; the seasonal foods, local craft beers and neighborhoods.

    Since I’ve only visited Boston once, I spent more time to notice a few sustainability parallels between Philly and Boston.

    Here are 9 ways Boston is the bizarro sustainable Philly:

    1. Big Belly trashcans. Just like Philly’s solar-powered trashcans that line the streets, these same containers are replicated in Boston.

      boston big belly trash cans
      Big Bellies in Boston!
    2. Bike share. OK, Philly doesn’t have bike share yet – but we’re getting close and closer. Boston’s Hubway cycles are throughout the city and Cambridge, giving citizens and visitors easy access to bikes.
    3. Sustainable Business Network. I had to do a double take after seeing a Sustainable Business Network sticker slapped on the door of Toro, Ken Oringer’s Barcelona-style tapas bar. Boston has a chapter of sustainable businesses similar to our SBN, which Toro joined due to their locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.
    4. Farmer’s Markets – I stumbled across the Copley Square farmers market on Friday afternoon, complete with many vendors advertising their local and organic trades.
    5. Tree-lined streets with container gardens. From homes to major retail shops, the streets were heavily decorated with foliage, flowers and plants in front of entrances. Although you’re smack in the middle of a city, outdoor spaces and parks are vital for the community.boston tree lined streets
    6. Running path next to the Charles River. After waking up early on Sunday for a run, I joined cyclists, runners and families all running, biking and strolling along the serene Charles River trail. Luckily, I avoided a comparable Kelly Drive rush hour traffic load.

      charles river path
      Charles River bike & running path
    7. Public transit was easily accessible and frequent. Google maps made the subway and buses easy to follow. I relied on my trusty iPhone and dominated public transit, which made exploring way easier. Although SEPTA’s subways could use more accessibility, I’ve become accustomed to bus routes.
    8. Local craft beer – Our Friday brunch at Trident Booksellers included a local Rapscallion honey beer, a change up from my typical Yards default.
    9. Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum reminded me of the LEED platinum Barnes, mixing various artworks with courtyard gardens. The Gardener Museum began when Isabella, a philanthropist, collected artwork as she traveled the world and designed her museum to share artworks with those who couldn’t experience it firsthand. The collection in Fenway Court is modeled to evoke intimate responses, mixing paintings, furniture, textiles, and objects, according to the website. Sound familiar? This gem was a beautiful balance of art and nature.


    Readers, have you visited Boston? What are your observations on the city?

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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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