Founding Member Spotlight
Terry is no stranger to the important work of combating climate change in Philadelphia. She has been working at the community, city and state levels for decades as a champion of a more sustainable future. As member of the Built Environment Working Group, she contributes her vast experience in economic development to help us advance our work to shift Philly’s built environment to a low-waste, circular one.
Why did you join Circular Philadelphia?
I want to help address the climate crisis by doing on-the-ground work in Philly. I helped to set up the block-corner recycling program back in the 1980s, so I’ve been interested in climate issues for a long time.
What kind of work do you do and/or interests do you have?
I do economic development consulting, helping local governments grow new businesses. I am also an adjunct professor at Penn Law School. I also do community organizing. I have worked on many projects in my neighborhood, such as creating Julian Abele Park and getting bike lanes on the South Street Bridge (which took us 12 years!).
What does a circular economy mean to you?
An economy in which all of the true costs of goods (to the environment) are being paid for. For example, people have to start paying the true cost of things like online sales. Online sales hurt the environment, by creating air pollution from planes and trucks. They also hurt the local business climate and local sustainability. Companies like Amazon have seduced everyone with artificially low prices.
What advice would you give to someone to help move the circular economy forward?
Take a few minutes to do the research. Many people don’t understand that so-called cheaper products, like plastic, are hurting the environment. Find alternative products.