Faces of The Energy Co-op: Bethany Bender

By Scott Whittemore 1/10/2019

Bethany Bender manages our heating oil program and is the newest addition to the Co-op. She’s an experienced development and sustainability coordinator with a strong background in non-profit organizations and environmental awareness. We’re glad to have her and are excited to see what the future holds for our heating oil program!

Can you explain your role at the Co-op?

 I manage our heating oil program which means I communicate a lot with our vendors to make sure that our members get the best pricing, best service, and to ensure that members have good relationships with their suppliers.

How do you like working here so far?

People are very welcoming and there is a lot of coffee and snacks, so I like it so far!

What does sustainability mean to you?

For me, sustainability means that we are making the best possible choices in the present to solve problems without jeopardizing our future.

What do you do in your personal life to live sustainably?

I usually commute by bike. It’s healthy and prevents fossil fuels from being taken out of the ground. When the weather is too poor to bike, I take the bus as public transportation is better for our environment. I also compost in my apartment as it’s something that I can do personally to try and live sustainably.

What was your favorite part of 2018?

Hiking in the Canadian Rockies. I’ve spent a lot of time there so it’s very nostalgic. It’s also one of the most gorgeous places in the world with hot springs, glaciers, and incredible scenery all around.

Anything coming up that you’re excited for?

Well there’s an eclipse on my birthday in 2024. That’s pretty far ahead though. I’m hoping to travel to somewhere I’ve never been before this year, Mexico City or Iceland, but I haven’t nailed down the plans yet.

Favorite restaurant in the city?

Definitely Charlie Was a Sinner. It’s on 13th and Sansom and it’s all vegan. It’s a small plate style restaurant that has really unique, interesting food. It’s delicious and they have excellent cocktails. I’m not vegan but it’s a great little place to eat some awesome food.

Any interesting anecdotes?

Laughs. Sure, I grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania coal country and nowadays there are wind turbines all over that area. It’s definitely exciting to see how Pennsylvania is progressing in the renewable energy industry.