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Meet the SustainPHL nominees for Climate Hero 2023
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Meet the SustainPHL nominees for Climate Hero 2023

Here’s more about the changemakers

Philadelphia’s SustainPHL Awards highlights and celebrates these community changemakers. Join us to honor them and announce the recipient at the SustainPHL Awards on October 19th at the Academy of Natural Sciences. 

Gary Downing

Gary Downing

Happy Happy Cleaning, led by owner and CEO Gary Downing, specializes in environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices. He uses organic solutions like vinegar and lemon water for cleaning residential and commercial spaces. Gary is dedicated to promoting green and sustainable living and is passionate about educating the community, including the youth, on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

Gary’s commitment extends beyond cleaning; he is also an author who is writing a book to share sustainable life strategies that helped him through challenging times, including mental health struggles. He has a background as a mental health therapist and has been an essential worker during the pandemic, providing both green cleaning services and mental health support.

Gary actively engages with the community, teaching the importance of DIY green cleaning and environmental safety to businesses and schools. He connects with his community to promote a healthy environment and shares valuable information on green cleaning products.

While there may not be a specific website or press coverage about Gary, his focus is on community well-being and environmental sustainability. He is known for his positive attitude, dedication to helping others, and his role as a caring father and friend.

Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly is a founding partner of Re:Vision Architecture, a prominent deep green architecture and consulting firm based in Philadelphia. For more than two decades, he has been a dedicated advocate for sustainability, with a particular focus on education and advocacy to create equitable, cost-effective, and meaningful sustainable spaces. Scott’s involvement in shaping a sustainable Philadelphia spans volunteer and professional engagement, making him a well-known figure in the local sustainability community.

Throughout his career, Scott has been instrumental in supporting hundreds of LEED, Passive House, Living Building, SITES, and other green projects in the city and region. His expertise in design and consulting has led to improvements in energy efficiency, watershed management, community engagement, social impact, and indoor comfort for clients, owners, operators, and users alike. Scott’s work has empowered individuals to contribute to a more resilient world and be agents of positive change. He was a founding board member of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (now Green Building United).

Scott’s educational background is in architecture, and he is a native of the Philadelphia area. He has a passion for distinctive vehicles, such as a VW bus and a bicycle named Scott, as well as a love for coffee and food, which he sees as a means to bring people together in community.

Laurel Hill

Laurel Hill are leaders in the green death movement, offering options like green burials, eco-friendly products such as wicker caskets and corn starch urns, and Aquamation for pets. They also incorporate the unique stormwater management systems we constructed at our Jewish burial section, Makom Shalom, as well as 8 other rain gardens throughout our cemeteries to help filter sediments from stormwater runoff, and the selection of plants with the Jewish faith in mind.

Laurel Hill actively promotes environmental sustainability by constructing rain gardens and unique stormwater management systems in their cemeteries, filtering sediments from stormwater runoff. They offer two green burial options, Nature’s Sanctuary and Valley View Green, both recognized for their sustainable practices. Additionally, they maintain an apiary and are part of the Lower Merion Pollinator Pathway. They are in the process of creating a new meadow to support native wildlife and enhance the landscape.

Laurel Hill’s commitment to sustainability extends to educating the public through partnerships with green organizations and participation in eco-fairs and speaking engagements. Their efforts in green end-of-life services make them a notable contributor to environmental consciousness in the funeral and cemetery industry.


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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. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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