MarensList is Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Due to a change in how this platform works, it has become very difficult to make new postings for future events.  I hope to find a solution soon, but in the meantime my apologies for a rather thin slate of events!  There really is a lot going on... note that I also share events on Facebook, so look me up there if you're at loose ends.  

Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th27th, 38th39th, 51st52nd, 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 74th, 75th, 87th, and 88th) focused on food -- growing it, sourcing it locally, and eating more humanely.  Afterwards, Maren put together a list of many such local sources:  CSA farms, farmers' markets, grassfed and humanely raised meats and dairy, natural foods suppliers, bakeries, and advocacy organizations.  This list now resides on a growing Resources section of the Putting Down Roots Blogger site.

Aug 21: Sustainability Salon on Climate Modeling

Torrential floods in Europe recently killed hundreds and displaced thousands.  A "heat dome" over the Pacific Northwest this June brought record temperatures (121F in British Columbia?!?) and led to something like a thousand deaths (more like a billion, if you count marine animals).  Wildfires out west and in Canada are sending smoke all across North America.  Climate change is not the only cause of these fires, but is certainly an extremely important factor -- less-frequent but more-intense rainfall leads to landslides instead of recharging aquifers, shorter winters yield less mountain snowpack to melt into rivers,  hotter temperatures draw more moisture out of the soil (turning vegetation into tinder), and stronger storms create more lightning to spark fires.  All of these events (and more) are predicted to become even more common into the future.  How do we know this?  Scientists often use models to understand and predict how conditions will change in complex systems.

The 115th Sustainability Salon will be all about climate modeling.  Speakers will include

L. Ray Roberts, a longtime local leader for Citizens Climate Lobby, will demonstrate MIT's En-ROADS interactive modeling tool -- which anybody can use to quantify the effects of different climate policies.  

Hamish Gordon is an assistant research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, studying the interaction of atmospheric particles (both natural aerosols and pollution) with clouds and climate. 

Chris E. Forest is a professor of Climate Dynamics and the director of the Penn State Center for Earth System Modeling, Analysis, and Data;  he was also a lead author on the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report.  His research focuses on climate dynamics, quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions, and assessing climate risks.  

More details to follow!  

In the meantime, a few other items of note:  

•  We cover a lot of important topics at Sustainability Salons.  If you're looking to get involved in any of them, feel free to connect with me (email with "salon" in the Subject is always a good method) and I can probably find a good match!  One major opportunity at the moment is an opening for 
at GASP (Group Against Smog & Pollution, on whose board I serve).  

•  Mask update: I have distributed all of the Breathe99 masks (featured at November's salon on Pandemics and Air (video), and one of TIME's 100 Best Inventions of 2020) from my bulk orders, but still have some of the new foam liners that address the condensation issue associated with a well-sealed mask, and a few boxes of filters.  Please email me with mask in the Subject line if you're interested.  If you order your own mask, remember that there's a $10 discount for salongoers (code SUSTAINABILITYSALON)!  Also -- with the ongoing crisis in India, Breathe99 is seeking crowdfunding to help send masks to particularly vulnerable people there.  Can you help?
•  Harvie Farms:  Simon Huntley, featured in last month's Food salon, has also offered a special discount to the Sustainability Salon community.  Choose your favorite items, help our small farms beat Big Ag, and build a more resilient food system -- members receive weekly or biweekly boxes of local groceries from Pennsylvania farms and artisans.  Coupon code MAREN25 will give you 25% off your first box!  Sign up here.  

Talks and discussion will run from 4 p.m. to 7:30 or so on Zoom (sadly, no potluck supper these days).  You're welcome to join the call for informal conversation after 3 p.m., and we aim to start the main program right around 4.  If you're new to Zoom, you may find my Zoom Reference Guide helpful.  If you RSVP via Eventbrite, you'll receive the Zoom registration link right away.  If you're not already on my Eventbrite list, please email me (maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to be added -- and let me know how you heard about salons!
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  it's a mini-conference;  it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's a house party (if there weren't a pandemic) with an environmental theme.  Each month we have featured speakers on various aspects of a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening (though the potluck and the music are on hiatus during the pandemic;  you're on your own for the delectables).
Past topics have included pipeline hazardsthe legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disasterthe judiciary and fair electionsconsumptionpandemics and air,  election law and activismair quality and environmental justicesocial investment,  local economies, the economics of energymutual aid networksocean healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfood, food, foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

Coronavirus update:   As you know, people in Pittsburgh and around the world are sequestered at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Social distancing is still the rule for most Americans.  That's a bit of a misnomer, though -- we need physical distancing to flatten the curve, but technology now allows for rich interactions even so!  I believe that community is one of our greatest strengths, so in March as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the first virtual Sustainability Salon via Zoom teleconference -- rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space.   It went quite well (even engaging participants from hundreds of miles away), and we're looking forward to June's salon!  Please be sure to RSVP (via email with "salon" in the Subject: line, or via Eventbrite) so you'll receive the sign-on information.  

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  If interested folks are online and everything is working smoothly by around 3:30, perhaps I can conduct a virtual tour.

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, think back to our evening sings -- we typically ran the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time was had by all.  Folks would bring instruments, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations would continue through the evening, as well.  With a virtual event this is less likely to happen, but we can share music by turns, reminisce, chat online, and look forward to the post-COVID era!

July 18: Back Porch Concert with Paul Kaplan

It's been a long time since we've had a house concert!  Last fall's planned visit by Lui Collins didn't happen, and indoor concerts are still a while off for us.  But it's summertime -- and here on the edge of Frick Park, we can enjoy the beautiful and thought-provoking songs of Paul Kaplan along with breezes and birdsong.  Friends involved in PASUP (Pittsburghers Against Single-Use Plastic) since the early days may recall my opening one of our public events with his "I Had an Old Coat", an ode to reuse.  Now Paul himself is coming to Pittsburgh, so we are venturing back into the musical realm!  If you are fully-vaccinated, please join us for a backyard acoustic show, weather permitting.  If by chance Saturday the 17th looks to be better weather than Sunday, we might move it up;  kind of a reverse rain-date (but we're hoping for Sunday).  Needless to say, you'll need to RSVP for this event -- both so I can keep a handle on numbers (space is limited), and in case we need to make a change due to weather or anything else.  (Apologies to anyone who isn't vaccinated -- we want to play it safe;  I hope you have a nice afternoon, wherever you are!)

Some reflections on his music:
Pete Seeger:  "I am a big fan of Paul Kaplan.  I love his singing;  I love his songs.  

Tom Paxton:  "You have all the goods in your songwriting.  I'm hearing your songs on the lips of many as I travel, so you are making your mark."



Chatham Magazine:  "One of the best lyricists America has."

David Massengill:  “Paul Kaplan has a rare gift for writing and singing songs in the old troubadour tradition. His new CD After the Fire is reminiscent of the works of Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers, with beautiful melodies and strong narratives seamlessly crafted into one classic ballad after another. This is the work of a master."

Aquarian Weekly:  "A master at both comic writing and serious composing... From the moment he started to sing he had the audience eating right out of the palm of his hand."

Car Talk:  "Eat your heart out, Wayne Newton."

More about Paul:  

Veteran musician and songwriter Paul Kaplan has been an enthusiastic participant in the folk music world since the late 1960s when his early anti-Vietnam war songs were published in the legendary protest magazine Broadside

His involvement with the singer-songwriter movement was sparked by his early love of the songs of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton.  He pursued that love as a frequent attendee at the Songwriters’ Exchange at the Cornelia Street Cafe, in New York, and as a prolific contributor to The Fast Folk Musical Magazine, in which ten of his songs were included.  In the late 1970s, Paul had the opportunity to produce three posthumous albums by Phil Ochs for Folkways.

His first album, Life on This Planet, featured the songs "Call Me the Whale" and "Henry the Accountant"later covered by such folk music greats as Sally Rogers, David Massengill, Jay Mankita and Ed McCurdy.  His song "I Had an Old Coat" from King of Hearts (1985) has been sung by Nickelodeon stars Sharon, Lois and Bram (The Elephant Show), as well as by Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and Cilla Fisher & Artie Trezise, to name just a few.  All three songs are available on his CD The Folk Process.

Paul’s interest in traditional music is reflected in his four years as a member of the group The Derby Ram, resident band of the Eagle Tavern in New York City.  With band founder Dan Milner, Paul co-authored the popular A Bonnie Bunch of Roses-Songs of England, Ireland and Scotland, published by Music Sales.

In his solo career, Paul’s warm style and gentle humor have charmed audiences at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, The Great Hudson River Revival, The Gotta Get Gon and Denmark’s prestigious T√łnder Festival, as well as such venues as Passim, The Eighth Step, Mother’s Wine Emporium and Golden Link. 

Paul has been honored by the inclusion of his songs in two monumental collections produced by Smithsonian Folkways. One of his first songs, "Vietnam"appears in the Grammy-nominated Best of Broadside.  A second song, "King of Hearts", is featured in Fast Folk – a Community of Singers & Songwriters.  And in 2004 Henry the Accountant was included in Being Human — Readings from the President’s Council on Bioethics, along with works by Homer, Shakespeare, Dickinson, Whitman, G.B. Shaw, etc.  Paul’s latest honor was having  his songs “I Had an Old Coat” and “Call Me the Whale” included in the new Rise Again songbook, the successor to Rise up Singing (these two were also in Maren's repertoire back in her performing days). 

His latest album – We Shall Stay Here – contains twelve songs that reflect the way he sees the world.  Some may leave you in stitches; some may leave you in tears; some may leave you in your car in the driveway unable to stop listening.  All of the supporting players did beautiful work on this album.  Most notably, Paul was fortunate to get some amazing backup on four songs from Jay Ungar, composer of “Ashokan Farewell”, and from John Roberts (of "John Roberts & Tony Barrand" fame), who sings a duet with Paul and adds his classy concertina playing.

Logistical details:  

Paul's concert will begin at 4 p.m.;  you can arrive any time after 3:30.  The concert will take place outdoors, and we ask that only fully-vaccinated folks attend.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come;  you can do so via email (maren dot cooke at gmail dot com), with "concert" in the Subject line -- or via Eventbrite.  Wondering about the address?  Lots more information will be sent to RSVP'd folks the evening before the concert;  in general terms, we're in Squirrel Hill near the Frick Environmental Center.   "Other information" will include directions, parking, pet info, suggested donation, and a weather update).  If the weather looks to be wet on Sunday, we may shift to Saturday.  If it's wet both days, we're out of luck.  If the weather's iffy, keep an eye on your email in case there's news (RSVP'd folks).  

July 10: Sustainability Salon gathering!

Remember those long-ago days when we had an annual no-topic salon each summer?  It was more of a social gathering than regular Sustainability Salons, when I didn't have to interrupt the Conversations for the Presentations.  In a departure from our usual format of talks and discussion focused on a single topic, we'd have more informal, free-flowing conversation.  Then came the pandemic, and Zoom...  and last year we just marched right through the whole season with a three-month series on economics (Energy Economics, Local Economies, and Social Investment).   But now, with a nice day in the forecast for Saturday, I'd like to invite folks (who are fully vaccinated) to an in-person, outdoor gathering.  We won't do a potluck supper as in days of old -- that's a bridge too far, at this time (what with the Delta variant circulating, others probably brewing, and less-than-universal vaccination).  And we'll spend our time outdoors, rather than congregating in the kitchen.   

So, with apologies to the faraway folks who have been enjoying our virtual events (and apologies to anyone who isn't vaccinated -- have a nice day wherever you are), the 114th Sustainability Salon will be our annual No-Topic Salon.  Outdoors, fully-vaxxed.  No need to be here the whole time;  no PowerPoints, just lots of conversation.  And no big potluck supper, just a little light afternoon fare.  Timeframe?  3-6 p.m., maybe 'till 7.

Be sure to RSVP if you might come!  I'll want to have a handle on numbers, and may need to cap attendance.  

In the meantime, a few other items of note:  
•  Next weekend (weather permitting), we'll host a house (backyard) concert with Paul Kaplan!  Hopefully on Sunday July 18th at 4;  if Saturday's weather looks better we may shift back to Saturday (a reverse rain-date).  If neither day has good weather, we're out of luck.  
•  August's Sustainability Salon will be on Climate Modeling (date TBA) -- back on Zoom.
•  The Driving PA Forward campaign, which we learned about in March, has a petition and info to call your legislators here.  
• Mask update: I have distributed all of the Breathe99 masks (featured at November's salon on Pandemics and Air (video), and one of TIME's 100 Best Inventions of 2020) from my bulk orders, but still have some of the new foam liners that address the condensation issue associated with a well-sealed mask, and a few boxes of filters.  Please email me with mask in the Subject line if you're interested.  If you order your own mask, remember that there's a $10 discount for salongoers (code SUSTAINABILITYSALON)!  Also -- with the ongoing crisis in India, Breathe99 is seeking crowdfunding to help send masks to particularly vulnerable people there.  Can you help?
•  Harvie Farms:  Simon Huntley, featured in last month's Food salon, has also offered a special discount to the Sustainability Salon community.  Choose your favorite items, help our small farms beat Big Ag, and build a more resilient food system -- members receive weekly or biweekly boxes of local groceries from Pennsylvania farms and artisans.  Coupon code MAREN25 will give you 25% off your first box!  Sign up here.  

This low-key, informal gathering (still no potluck supper) will take place between 3 p.m. and 6 or 7 p.m. Please be sure to RSVP if you might come!  I may need to cap attendance.  If you're not already on my Eventbrite list, please email me (maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to be added -- and let me know how you heard about salons!  To RSVP, respond via Eventbrite or simply email me with "salon" in the Subject line.  
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  it's a mini-conference;  it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's a house party (if there weren't a pandemic) with an environmental theme.  Each month (usually) we have featured speakers on various aspects of a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening (though the potluck and the music are on hiatus during the pandemic).
Past topics have included approaches to protection from pipelinespipeline hazardsthe legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disasterthe judiciary and fair electionsconsumptionpandemics and air,  election law and activismair quality and environmental justicesocial investment,  local economies, the economics of energymutual aid networksocean healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfood, food, foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!)

 


Jun 28/29: ROCIS Cohort 48 launch

ROCIS (Reducing Outdoor Contaminants in Indoor Spaces) is launching their next air quality monitoring Cohort soon.  Consider joining the project -- it's incredibly informative for each participant, and valuable citizen science!

Kevin, a recent participant wrote, 

Dara & I are grateful to have been part of ROCIS Cohort 47.  It was a privilege to glimpse this part of our invisible world and learn more of the health connections.  Gaining a better understanding of our indoor air and our air shed - the large numbers connected to such small particles from everyday activities - was an eye opener.

The data, analysis, insights, shared experiences and web resources were invaluable.  And we now have an important IAQ baseline for our planned renovations!  Our thanks to you, the exceptional ROCIS team and the project funders!”


The first step is to participate in an introductory webinar (either Monday night 6/28/21 or Tuesday morning 6/29/21) to better understand what is expected.  Sign up for the Webinar here


Here is the link to the ROCIS webpage describing the upcoming webinar and cohort.


If you decide to participate, ROCIS staff will drop off a loaned monitoring kit.  This includes:

       3 Dylos particle monitors (1 for outside, 2 for inside)

       2 radon monitors

       1 carbon monoxide monitor

       1 CO2 monitor.  


You will participate in periodic Online Meetings via a computer.  Participating in a cohort provides an opportunity to learn a lot more about indoor air pollution sources, and to more clearly see the interaction between outdoor and indoor air quality.

Jun 19: Sustainability Salon on Pipelines (Part II)

The fracking and petrochemical buildout in our region brings many hazards (detailed in this sign-on letter that I invite you to join in on -- you can sign as an individual or on behalf of an organization).  One major component of the whole affair is an increasingly-complex system of pipelines.  This May and June, we are taking a close look at some of the dangers, and learning how people are dealing with them.  Last month we looked at problems with pipelines -- scars on the land, leaks and spills, landslides leading to explosions, and questionable construction methods.  Now, for the 113th Sustainability Salon, we'll view pipelines from another angle.   (photo above:  A Pennsylvania pipeline site -- courtesy of FracTracker Alliance)

Last month, we learned about the hazards of the Falcon Pipeline (a nearly-completed 98-mile pipeline system being built to feed ethane from fracked gas to the Shell petrochemical facility near Monaca), and the Revolution (newly returned to operation after an explosion that rocked a neighborhood in Center Township).  This time, we'll consider different approaches to level the playing field and empower citizens.  Speakers will include:

Ginny Marcille-Kerslake is the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizer for Food and Water Watch, and a longtime pipeline activist.  She will talk about her grassroots story, victories against the Mariner East II pipeline, and some of FWW's pipeline strategies.

Attorney Jen Clark of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services will survey legal issues surrounding the Falcon and other pipelines, and legal approaches for protecting public health.  

Lois Bower-Bjornson is a dancer, a mom, and a field organizer for Clean Air Council, and also serves on the board of Center for Coalfield Justice.  She has been fighting the health impacts of fracking and related infrastructure for years.  Lois has spoken out on her family's experience in contexts from the Young Voices for the Planet educator workshops to her own Frackland Tours -- and has helped to pass legislation to control gas development in local towns.

Terrie Baumgardner is cofounder of Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community and an Outreach Coordinator for Clean Air Council.  She'll introduce forthcoming legislation on setbacks (including all fracking infrastructure, not just wells) that is based on that organization's Protective Buffers Campaign, and aligns with the Attorney General’s Grand Jury report recommendations.  These bills will need our amplification and support, and she'll tell us how!  (even more information here)

Karen Feridun, a founder of Berks Gas Truth and Better Path Coalition, will talk about the reforms we need at the national level, in the way that FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) works (or doesn't).

And when it doesn't, communities need to speak up.  The Line 3 Pipeline is slated to carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the shores of Lake Superior, through the headwaters of the Mississippi River and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples.  Four Pittsburghers recently traveled to Minnesota to take part in the Treaty People Gathering, with direct-action trainings and blockades.  Renzy, Javin, and two Shannons will share their reflections in a panel discussion.  

In the meantime, a few other items of note:  
•  This week, Pittsburgh is joining in the national Juneteenth festival celebration of the end of slavery (and raising awareness that some enslaved people didn't hear about it for two years)!
•  The Pennsylvania education standards are at risk:  the state Board of Education has voted to omit Environment, Ecology, and Agriculture from the requirements!  Raise your voice before July 6th.  More information is here.
•  Want to learn more about air quality inside your home, and how you can improve it?  ROCIS is about to launch their 48th cohort of citizen scientists, doing air monitoring indoors and out.  Learn more here.
•  Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has been a perennial cheerleader for the fracking and petrochemical industries -- and thus for the dangerous pipelines they require.  Please consider signing onto this letter asking him to change his tune (we've already presented the letter at his office, but I'm continuing to collect signatures for the online version).  
•  The Driving PA Forward campaign, which we learned about in March, has a petition and info to call your legislators here.  
• Mask update: I have distributed all of the Breathe99 masks (featured at November's salon on Pandemics and Air (video), and one of TIME's 100 Best Inventions of 2020) from my bulk orders, but still have some of the new foam liners that address the condensation issue associated with a well-sealed mask, and a few boxes of filters.  Please email me with mask in the Subject line if you're interested.  If you order your own mask, remember that there's a $10 discount for salongoers (code SUSTAINABILITYSALON)!  Also -- with the ongoing crisis in India, Breathe99 is seeking crowdfunding to help send masks to particularly vulnerable people there.  Can you help?
•  Harvie Farms:  Simon Huntley, featured in last month's Food salon, has also offered a special discount to the Sustainability Salon community.  Choose your favorite items, help our small farms beat Big Ag, and build a more resilient food system -- members receive weekly or biweekly boxes of local groceries from Pennsylvania farms and artisans.  Coupon code MAREN25 will give you 25% off your first box!  Sign up here.  

Talks and discussion will run from 4 p.m. to 7:30 or so on Zoom (sadly, no potluck supper these days).  You're welcome to join the call for informal conversation after 3 p.m., and we aim to start the main program right around 4.  If you're new to Zoom, you may find my Zoom Reference Guide helpful.  If you RSVP via Eventbrite, you'll receive the Zoom registration link right away.  If you're not already on my Eventbrite list, please email me (maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) with salon in the Subject line to be added -- and let me know how you heard about salons!
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  it's a mini-conference;  it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  it's a house party (if there weren't a pandemic) with an environmental theme.  Each month we have featured speakers on various aspects of a particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening (though the potluck and the music are on hiatus during the pandemic;  you're on your own for the delectables).
Past topics have included pipeline hazardsthe legacy of the Fukushima nuclear disasterthe judiciary and fair electionsconsumptionpandemics and air,  election law and activismair quality and environmental justicesocial investment,  local economies, the economics of energymutual aid networksocean healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), air quality (again, with news on the autism connection), reuse (of things and substances), neighborhood-scale food systems, other forms of green community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actionMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfood, food, foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

Coronavirus update:   As you know, people in Pittsburgh and around the world are sequestered at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Social distancing is still the rule for most Americans.  That's a bit of a misnomer, though -- we need physical distancing to flatten the curve, but technology now allows for rich interactions even so!  I believe that community is one of our greatest strengths, so in March as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the first virtual Sustainability Salon via Zoom teleconference -- rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space.   It went quite well (even engaging participants from hundreds of miles away), and we're looking forward to June's salon!  Please be sure to RSVP (via email with "salon" in the Subject: line, or via Eventbrite) so you'll receive the sign-on information.  

If you haven't been here before, you may enjoy checking out our roof garden and solar installation (and now apiary!) as well as the many other green and interesting things around our place.  If interested folks are online and everything is working smoothly by around 3:30, perhaps I can conduct a virtual tour.

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, think back to our evening sings -- we typically ran the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time was had by all.  Folks would bring instruments, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations would continue through the evening, as well.  With a virtual event this is less likely to happen, but we can share music by turns, reminisce, chat online, and look forward to the post-COVID era!