Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th, and 27th!) focused on food -- growing it, and sourcing it locally.  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.

Nov 16: Farm to Table Harvest Tasting

The 3rd Annual Farm to Table Harvest Tasting is a casual gathering that allows consumers to experience first-hand the quality and diversity of locally grown, produced and prepared food. 
We will have over 60 local food vendors including farms, chefs, food producers, brewers, wineries, distilleries, bakeries and food retailers.


This is a great event to meet local Pittsburghers who value their food and are excited to learn how to access local food and beverages. The atmosphere is relaxing: music and local food conversation abounds.

3-7 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Public Market AND Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District.  All ages; $10.00 - $25.00.  Get tickets exclusively with ShowClix: http://getik.it/3861978?f .

Oct 30: Politics of Climate Change


The University of Pittsburgh Honors College in cooperation with Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The National Aviary, and the NAS/NAE Science & Engineering Ambassadors Program presents Coral Davenport, Energy and Environment Correspondent for the New York Times, on “The Changing Politics of Climate Change”

Photo- Coral DavenportCoral Davenport covers energy and environment policy, with a focus on climate change, for the New York Times. Prior to joining the Times in 2013, she wrote about energy and climate change policy for National Journal, Politico, and Congressional Quarterly. From 2001 to 2004, she reported from Athens, Greece, for several publications, including the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today and the Times of London.

A moderated discussion will follow the lecture featuring  Eric Beckman, George M. Bevier Professor of Engineering and Co-Director, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation.

4:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall’s Connolly Ballroom at Pitt.  This lecture is free and open to the public, but space is limited.  Click here to reserve your seat.

Oct 28: Jonas Salk Centenary Symposium on Sustainability

Survival of the Wisest:  a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Jonas Salk's birth, showcasing his commitment to a sustainable human future. The program will be a look forward, addressing sustainability from a number of different perspectives with a focus on the environment, global health, and the human dimension of what will be required to bring about constructive change.

Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health and Office of the Provost, and the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation, this event brings together academic and business leaders for a day-long program. Looking at the relationship between sustainability and public health, session topics will include population health, the nexus between sustainability and a green economy, and sustainable businesses in sustainable communities.

8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Avenue.  For more details on the program and to register, go to http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/home/about/history/salk-legacy/salk-symposium-2014 .

CONFIRMED PRESENTERS
  • Peter L. Salk, Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation
  • Jeffrey Sachs (keynote), The Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Donald S. Burke, Pitt Public Health
  • John Dernbach, Environmental Law Center, Widener Law School
  • Bernard Goldstein, Pitt Public Health
  • Neil C. Hawkins, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Van Jones, Crossfire, CNN
  • Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
  • Jane Madden, Mission Measurement
  • Joylette Portlock, Communitopia and the Allegheny County Board of Health
  • Allison Robinson, UPMC

Oct 26: Breast Cancer Action's Rally for Accountability

What the Frack?!?  Tell Susan G Komen: Stop Pinkwashing Fracking!

The world’s largest breast cancer charity has joined together with one of the world’s largest fracking companies: the Susan G. Komen Foundation is partnering with Baker Hughes, a leading global fracking corporation.  Baker Hughes is distributing 1,000 pink drill bits, and donating $100,000 “for the cure” to Komen.  This “Doing Our Bit for the Cure” partnership is pinkwashing.  Fracking is a toxic process - at least 25% of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking are linked to cancer. This pinkwashing partnership makes Komen complicit in a practice that endangers women’s health.  Komen and Baker Hughes have created a perfect profit cycle whereby Komen raises millions each year to try to cure a disease its funders are helping to cause.  This is unacceptable. Join us in telling Susan G Komen that our health is not for sale!

This will be an organized rally and action, which will include the following speakers representing leading anti-fracking and women’s health organizations:
Karuna Jaggar, Breast Cancer Action
Bekezela Mguni, New Voices Pittsburgh
Dana Dolney, Co-founder, Friends of the Harmed
Doug Shields, former Pittsburgh City Council President
Additional speakers TBA

2 – 4 p.m. at the Fred Rogers Memorial Statue in North Shore Riverfront Park.  
RSVP by email to asartor@bcaction.org .  What to Bring: signs, banners and friends!  Following the speakers and rally, flyers and information about Komen’s shameful partnership with Baker Hughes will be distributed to game-goers and passers-by.

Oct 25 & Nov 1: Beekeeping 101

Beekeeping 101 - Beginning Beekeeping
This invaluable two-day course will prepare you for your first year of beekeeping.  Above are some of my girls, taken this spring not long after I'd established hives -- after taking Burgh Bees' Beekeeping 101!

8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the County Extension office in Point Breeze (on Lexington Avenue near Construction Junction).  $100 fee.  Lots more information and online registration here.
http://burghbees.com/?product=beekeeping-101


Oct 18: Sustainability Salon on Solar Power Possibilities


The 33rd Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon will take place on Oct 18 (3-10 p.m.) in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Solar Tour (which runs 11-4).  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come (email Maren with "salon" in the Subject line).  The next Sustainability Salon will be on green community revitalization, and will take place on either the 15th or the 22nd of November -- I'm still working out the details, so mark both dates in pencil and keep an eye on MarensList!  General information and links to past Salon topics are below.

For the October salon, we'll be joined by author, scholar, and energy expert Patricia deMarco, who will speak about utility interface issues and community-based opportunities.  Solar advocate and tour organizer extraordinaire Evan Endres of PennFuture will bring us an update on the legal framework for solar power generation and distribution in Pennsylvania.  And Hal Saville of EIS Solar and SUNWPA will fill us in on the new Allegheny Solar Cooperative.

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm.  We'll aim to introduce speakers beginning around 4:30 after the Solar Tour has wound down and folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!

Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  


Note once again that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient! One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)

For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.


Past topics have included climate changeenvironmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfood, and more food.
Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  
And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well. 

Oct 18: Pittsburgh Solar Tour

PennFuture's annual regional solar tour gives you a chance to visit lots of homes, businesses, farms powered by the sun.  There'll be self-guided tours, featured sites with additional people on hand to show you around and talk about options, and also a bike tour of some of the sites.  More information at PghSolarTour.org (the PennFuture site currently describes last year's tour but will have info on 2014 soon).

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.  A map of tour locations can be seen here.

Our house is a stop on the tour, of course, and afterwards we'll seguĂ© right into a Sustainability Salon.

Oct 16: Great Climate Marchers with Sustainable Monroeville

A special bonus Sustainable Monroeville meeting:  the Great Climate Change March that began in California in March of this year, will be passing through Monroeville, PA, on Thursday, October 16, 2014.  Please join us in Monroeville, PA, at a location to be determined, for a pot luck dinner to support the marchers on the last leg of their journey!  The location will be announced as soon as we know it on the www.sustainablemonroeville.com site.  Please punch that address into your browser for up-to-date details!  Here is an interview with one of the young Climate Marchers:



Oct 14: Community Forum on Building a Resilient Pittsburgh

Building a More Resilient Pittsburgh: A Community Forum on Climate Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change poses serious challenges to achieving a resilient Pittsburgh. In response, we must seize opportunities to minimize future climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Join us for the Building a More Resilient Pittsburgh Community Forum on Tuesday, October 14th.  You will engage with your neighbors in small-group discussions and a panel of climate and energy experts will respond to your questions. Your input at the forum will provide guidance to public officials, policymakers, and your fellow residents as, together, we work to make our region more resilient through the actions we take to address the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

6-8:30pm in Rangos 2&3, Cohon University Center, Carnegie Mellon Campus.  You can pre-register for the event via Environment at CMU or go direct to the Building a More Resilient Pittsburgh event page.  Walk in registration on the day of the event is also available and will begin at 5:30pm.  If you have questions or would like more information about the Forum please contact Erika Ninos, 412.268.2754 (elninos@cmu.edu).

Confirmed Panelists Include:
Peter Adams, Director, Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies;  Professor- Civil & Environmental Engineering/Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
Fred Brown, Associate Director of Program Development, Kingsley Association
Neil Donahue, Faculty Director, Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research; Professor- Chemical Engineering/Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
Grant Ervin, Sustainability Manager, City of Pittsburgh
Kelly Klima, Research Scientist, Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Moderator: M. Shernell Smith (Assistant Director, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, Multicultural and Diversity Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University)


The Forum is a 2.5 hour moderated small group discussion of the issue. People participating in the Forum will be given an opportunity to participate in a study on the effectiveness of the event. This is voluntary and you can participate in the conversation without joining the study. Those who participate in the study will be given a consent form to read and sign when they register at the event. They will be asked to fill out confidential pre- and post-surveys. You must be 18 years or older to be in the study, but anyone can participate in the event.

Oct 14: Green Drinks with the Great Climate Marchers

Greet many of the Great Climate Marchers who are making their ways across the US to demand action on climate change! 

5-8 p.m. at The Porch at Schenley.


(BTW, they've been on the road since May, so feel free to buy them a drink :) 

Oct 14-15: Great Climate March in Pittsburgh


A Pittsburgh Welcome for The Great March for Climate Action”  
 TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, WE NEED EVERYONE!

Tuesday, October 14 - We will meet the Marchers for a Rally and Press Conference at 12:30am at the Allegheny Commons West Park, across from the Allegheny Unitarian Church, 416 W North Ave, North Side.  Prior to the 12:30 pm rally, the marchers will meet with clean air activists in Ben Avon at a point overlooking the Shenango coke works.  For details contact: Ted Popovich at temopo@gmail.com.

Tuesday evening, some marchers will be at Green Drinks Pittsburgh (at The Porch at Schenley, 5-8 p.m.) while others will attend a deliberative discussion on community resilience at Carnegie Mellon University (University Center/Rangos 2&3, 6-8:30).

Wednesday, October 15 -- a Community Welcoming Potluck at 1st Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Oakland.   We will hear from the marchers, listen to some great music by Ann Feeney and Tom Hoffman, and address what we are doing and can do in Pittsburgh to address climate justice!
6 pm at the First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Oakland, Pittsburgh PA 15213).  Please RSVP ON LINE call Wanda at 412-661-1529, or contact  environment@thomasmertoncenter.org .

Thursday, October 16 -- Another potluck dinner for the marchers, sponsored by Sustainable Monroeville.  For details contact Elisa Beck at elisabeck@aol.com.  Help is needed with the dinner and accommodating the marchers overnight; please contact Carol at CarolCutler3@msn.com or 724-864-6189.

Thursday, October 16 -- A benefit Pete Seeger songfest with Jim Scott. 
7:30 pm at the Allegheny Unitarian Church (416 W. North Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15212).  
Jim Scott collaborated on many projects with the folk legend and will lead a celebration of songs and stories of Pete’s long career. Suggested donation $10 to $20 sliding scale.

Thursday, October 17 -- Presentation and Q & A session in Greensburg:
6 to 9 pm at Reeves Theater, Seton Hill University (One Seton Hill Drive, Greensburg, Pa 15601).

Contact: Neil Atherton at atherton@setonhill.edu.

Organizations supporting these events: Allegheny Group of the Sierra Club, Marcellus Outreach Butler (MOB), Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP),  Clean Water Action, Protect Our Parks, Marcellus Protest, Mothers Against Fracking, Pennsylvanians Against Fracking.

More .....And help needed!!!
Our press conference where we will declare support for the campaign to ask the City of Pittsburgh to divest from fossil fuels in their portfolio. Students from University of Pittsburgh will talk about their university divestment campaign as well. 
This will be followed by a short"Defending our Public Spaces"rally in the courtyard of the County Courthouse. 

Help needed:
We are looking for afternoon/dinner hosts for 3 or 4 marchers on Tuesday, October 14.
We are also looking for a few overnight hosts for both the night of October 14 and 15 and are willing to take their guests to the Church of the Redeemer, Squirrel Hill, in the morning to join with the rest of the group..
Please contact Wanda Guthrie at environment@thomasmertoncenter.org or 412-661-1529
Wednesday, Oct 15: During the day the marchers will visit a site where excellent practices are saving communities. 
At 6 pm Pittsburgh Climate Justice activists, (that'’s all of us) will host a Community Welcoming Potluck at 1st Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Avenue, Oakland. Both Ann Feeney and Tom Hoffman will be our troubadours for the evening. We will hear from the marchers, listen to some great music,and promote determined solidarity with those in our community who are doing a variety of things to address the human causes of climate change and the social injustice caused world wide.



Oct 11: Global Frackdown and the Great Climate March in Butler

Global Frackdown meets the Great March for Climate Action!

On October 11, communities across the world are coming together for a global protest to call for a ban on fracking, a dangerous method of drilling for natural gas that puts our air, water, climate and communities at risk.  

In solidarity with our anti-fracking allies around the world and our partners at Food & Water Watch, the Great March for Climate Action will conduct a collaborative action in our area, along its route from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.  This is also a momentum-building event for the Beyond Extreme Energy actions that will be held specifically in DC following the arrival of the Climate March on November 1st and will continue through midterm elections over the first week of November.  

Sign up to join the Great Climate March Global Frackdown event in Butler, PA with our hosts  in the western Pennsylvania community.  To register, go here.  For further information, you can email Jimmy Betts.


2-5 p.m. at Diamond Park in Butler, PA 16001

Oct 10-16: Great Climate March in our area

The People's Climate March in NYC is over, and it was great!  What's next for Pittsburgh-area climate activists?  
  
The Great March for Climate Action is coming to Pittsburgh October 14-15

On March 1, 2014, hundreds of everyday Americans set out from Los Angeles, CA, on a 3,000-mile walk to Washington, D.C., with a goal of inspiring others from all walks of life to take action on the climate crisis.  The march has delivered to thousands of Americans the message that urgent action is needed on climate change. Dozens of newspaper and television reports have resulted. Thousands have marched for at least a day, with a core group of 25-35 persons walking the entire distance. Thousands of one-on-one conversations between Americans concerned about our future have taken place. Songs around the campfire and sermons in church sanctuaries and coalition-building gatherings have reverberated across the country.

Take a look at the website to learn more: www.climatemarch.org

The march will enter Pennsylvania on October 10, with stops in Bessemer on Oct 10 at Maggie Henry's farm, Darlington on Oct 11 (with an excursion that day to Butler, PA for a Global Frackdown rally), Freedom on Oct 12, Ben Avon on Oct 13, PITTSBURGH on Oct 14-15, Monroeville on Oct 16, South Greensburg on Oct 17, Ligonier on Oct 18, and five other stops in PA before exiting to Maryland on October 25th.

Check out this site for October 11 in Butler; "Global Frackdown Welcomes Great March for Climate Action" – RSVP here .

You may be able to support the march and its purposes, and to make it work for telling our own stories of fighting for a ban on fracking and against mountaintop removal for coal, the Shenango coke plant in Ben Avon, and many other fossil-focused enterprises.  The marchers want nothing more than to be helpful in adding their voices and bodies to the fights we have on our hands.  Can you help organize an event in Pittsburgh on Oct 14th or 15th?  Can you help house marchers, by ones and twos or dozens?  Contact Stephen and/or Wanda.  

If you are interested in helping this march amplify its impact as it comes through Pennsylvania, most especially as it stops in Pittsburgh, then contact Stephen Cleghorn (by email or phone) and he will try to connect you with events along the Pennsylvania route.

CONTACT: Stephen Cleghorn, Paradise Gardens and Farm


Oct 9: Bob Herbert book launch with Yinzercation

Yinzercation presents a talk, public conversation, and book-signing with Bob Herbert, for the national launch of his new book: "Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America.”  The book includes three chapters featuring our local Pittsburgh Yinzercation movement!  The evening will feature a discussion moderated by Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and associate editor.

Responding to the crippling Great Recession, austerity, and de-investment in the public good, Bob Herbert profiles ordinary Americans trying to rebuild their lives and our country, including the story of Pittsburgh’s own grassroots parent movement and its efforts to save public education in Pennsylvania from devastating state budget cuts. Join us for the national launch of this important new book, right here in Pittsburgh!

At McConomy Lecture Hall in Carnegie Mellon University’s Cohon University Center.  Doors open at 5PM with student performances & children's activities;  a moderated discussion and Q&A from 5:30-6:30, followed by a book signing.  Free parking in the CMU garage after 5 p.m. (cars need to enter and exit at the gate near Beeler St. due to construction around the main entrance).  
                 
Hosted by Yinzercation (profiled in the book!), and co-sponsored by:  Action United, American Federation of Teachers, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Great Public Schools Pittsburgh, OnePittsburgh, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee, Pittsburgh Collaborative for Working Class Studies, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, Point Park University School of Communication, University of Pittsburgh English Department, and Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Arts in Society, Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), English Department, and History Department.

Oct 9: Inspire Lecture with Antwi Akom & Grant Ervin

The Inspire Speakers Series is a monthly lecture circuit featuring nationally renowned experts in various fields of sustainability, as well as local specialists who can share experiences of promoting environmental quality, social equity, and economic vitality in Western Pennsylvania.

The 2014-2015 Series theme is: Creating the Most Livable Places for All. Topics are centered around healthy and regenerative buildings, schools, neighborhoods, and cities; thriving communities and economies; socially just places to live; and so much more.

5-8 p.m. at the Elsie Hillman Auditorium at Hill House's Kaufmann Center, 1835 Centre Ave., 15219).  Networking, food & drinks begin at 5 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6.  Registration fee -- see web site for options (single lecture or a full fall package).


Antwi Akom

Dr. Antwi Akom sees “shareable cities” as the cities of the future and wonders what our communities would look like if we designed for everyone in mind.  As associate professor of urban sociology at San Francisco State University and co-founder of the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational, and Environmental Design (I-SEEED), Dr. Akom seeks to connect environmental health with societal well-being, equal opportunity education with economic equity.  His work includes developing tools, ideas, and models that would change the way social services are delivered to low-income communities and people of color. 
Grant ErvinGrant Ervin is the Sustainability Manager for the City of Pittsburgh. He works to improve sustainability performance through city operations and policies. Grant has been working for the City of Pittsburgh since 2014. He is a member of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and a board member of Sustainable Pittsburgh. Prior to joining Mayor William Peduto’s team, Grant served as regional director for sustainable development advocates 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania where he specialized in transportation, infrastructure and land use policy. Grant began his career in community development with the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group were he led the organization’s public policy advocacy efforts related to vacant land reclamation, technology applications and neighborhood reinvestment.
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Oct 8: Sustainability Pioneers screening and panel discussion

Building a Bridge to Renewable Energy Future
Join filmmaker Kirsi Jansa and local experts in energy and sustainability for a screening of the new Sustainability Pioneers documentary series, followed by a panel discussion.  

October is a national energy awareness month, and therefore a great time to launch Sustainability Pioneers, a brand new southwestern Pennsylvania-based series of short documentaries on the transition to sustainable energy future.  Sustainability Pioneers is in a way a continuation of Gas Rush Stories - it seeks to widen the way we think about energy in SW PA. The series explores the what kind of challenges we have when building the bridge to renewable energy future, and how those challenges could be overcome. 

Panelists will include Pittsburgh sustainability manager Grant Ervin, Rachel Carson scholar and energy consultant Patricia DeMarco, EIS energy project consultant Hal Saville, and "solar citizen" Fred Kraybill.

7-9 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room;  $10.   You can learn more and view a trailer here.

Oct 7: Atmospheric particles' effects on health and climate

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Lungs Too)
For the third presentation in the series Climate Change Here and Now, Ellis Robinson investigates the origins and effects of atmospheric particles—unavoidable by-products of the way our society creates and uses energy.
Invisible to the naked eye, we only notice the presence of atmospheric particles on the haziest of days or as smoke from a fire. But their impacts are felt far and wide. Long a significant part of Pittsburgh’s dirty air challenge, local levels of fine particulate pollution were within federal standards for the first time in 2013. Globally, particulates are a critical factor in the climate equation and are responsible for many of the leading causes of death.
Despite the omnipresence of these particles and their recognized effects on public health and climate, how they form and evolve in the atmosphere is poorly understood. Ellis will give a broad overview of the global significance of atmospheric particles and then focus on his research at Carnegie Mellon University, where laboratory and field experiments (including research on the impact of wildfires) have begun to chip away at these unsolved questions.
This event's featured speaker is Science & Engineering Ambassador Ellis Robinson, a recent graduate of the doctoral program in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Ellis is also a co-creator, producer, and host of the science podcast “I Wonder.”  

6-8 p.m. at Bar Marco's Union Hall (2216 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222).   Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will be provided along with a cash bar, and the event is free but please be sure to RSVP here.

Previous events in the Climate series featured Ambassadors Daniel Tkacik and Neil Donahue.

The Science & Engineering Ambassadors program is an activity of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  The program connects opinion leaders with local experts, building relationships at the community level on the topic of energy.  The NAS and NAE are private, non-profit societies of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the public good.

Oct 7: Premiere screening of Sustainability Pioneers

Building a Bridge to a Renewable Energy Future

Join filmmaker Kirsi Jansa and local experts in energy and sustainability for the premiere screening of the new Sustainability Pioneers documentary series, followed by "Bridging to a Fossil-Free Future" by Rachel Carson scholar and energy consultant Patricia DeMarco. 

October is a national energy awareness month and therefore a great time to launch Sustainability Pioneers, a brand new southwestern Pennsylvania-based series of short documentaries on the transition to sustainable energy future.  Sustainability Pioneers is in a way a continuation of Gas Rush Stories - it seeks to widen the way we think about energy in SW PA. The series explores the what kind of challenges we have when building the bridge to renewable energy future, and how those challenges could be overcome. 

7-9 p.m. at Carnegie Mellon University's Mellon Institute Auditorium;  free and open to the public  You can learn more and view a trailer here.

Oct 6: Sustainable Monroeville: Bees & Gardens

Please join Sustainable Monroeville for a pair of speakers:  John Yakim on his amazing year of beekeeping in Monroeville, PA and Lois Drumheller, former Monroeville councilwoman, and the incredible lady that spearheads the Monroeville Food Garden! 

7 PM at the Monroeville Public Library

Mark Your Calendars! Sustainable Monroeville meetings are the first Monday evening of the month at the Monroeville Public Library in the downstairs program room and are free and open to the public! Feel free to invite family, friends and neighbors. If you are wondering about upcoming meetings and the details have not yet appeared on the Sustainable Monroeville Facebook page or on the website, www.sustainablemonroeville.com, please feel free to contact Elisa for up-to-date details.

Special exciting announcement:

The Climate Change March that began in California in March, 2014, will be passing through Monroeville, PA, on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Please join us in Monroeville, PA, at a location to be determined, for a pot luck dinner to support the marchers on the last leg of their journey! The location will be announced as soon as we know it on the www.sustainablemonroeville.com site. Please punch that address into your browser for up to date details! Here is an interview with one of the young Climate Marchers:

Oct 5: GASP Clean Air Dash (5K race plus 1-mile fun run/walk)


The Group Against Smog & Pollution (GASP) is holding our second annual 5K footrace on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.  Come celebrate the progress we’ve made as a community to clean up the air in our region and learn about the ways to keep fighting! This flat 5k race course is perfect for all ages and fitness levels so bring your whole family! The first 50 young people (age 18 and under, high school and below) to register are FREE!

Not ready for a whole 5k? There’s also a fun run/walk!  Both events begin at 8:30 AM on South 26th Street, but come earlier for a group yoga stretch and to get raffle tickets for our great prizes. 
Adaptive athletes are also welcome!  Wheelchair athletes, the course is ADA accessible and there is a medal in this category.

All 5k registrants will be entered to win a Cannondale Quick 6 Hybrid bicycle, donated by Pro Bikes LLC of Squirrel Hill! It’s light and fast and includes a free 90-day tune-up.

Activities start at 8:30 a.m.  Lots more information is here.

Oct 2: Audubon conference call on birds and climate


National Audubon Society’s president and CEO David Yarnold and Chief Scientist Gary Langham will be on hand for an hour to brief members of the Audubon community and answer your questions about global warming and birds. 

Among the topics to be covered:
  • Which birds are most likely to be affected by global warming in the coming years;
  • Sources of hope, like the “climate strongholds” we have identified in the study; and
  • Ways you can help, in your own backyard or on a larger scale.
Participation is simple:
  1. When you register for this free event, just provide a phone number (mobiles are fine) at which you would like to be connected.
  2. You’ll also have a chance to email a question to be read by the moderator during the town hall.
  3. On October 2nd at 7:30 PM EDT, an operator will call you to patch you in to the call.
  4. The format is like a radio call-in show. You will have the option to ask a question, but you are more than welcome just to listen in.
Global warming is the bird conservation challenge of our time. Please join Audubon for this opportunity to come together and learn more.

Sep 27: Allegheny Green & Innovation Festival


The Allegheny Green + Innovation Festival is a free sustainable living festival held each September. This year, the festival will feature more than 60 local exhibitors, vendors and non-profit organizations selected to highlight innovation and sustainability in our region.
Join us at the Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater for the 5th annual Allegheny Green + Innovation Festival on September 27th and learn how to reduce your carbon footprint and green your community. Interactive, educational exhibits - bike powered squirt guns, holistic health, renewable energy, alternative forms of transportation, stormwater retention, etc. - will engage all age groups. 
Don't miss the Recycled Costume Parade and Hay Day - a fun-filled family event featuring a petting zoo, hay rides, arts and crafts, and other activities for individuals, kids and families.  And be sure to dine on delicious, local food.

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Hartwood Acres.  Free & open to the public.  For more information, visit http://www.alleghenycounty.us/GreenFestival/index.aspx .

Sep 27: Garden Resource Center grand opening

  • Stop by the Grand Opening of Grow Pittsburgh's new Garden Resource Center; a membership-based tool lending library and garden supply depot. 
    The Grand Opening is FREE and open to the public. It will feature food, kids' activities, an 'ask the gardener booth', and a garden tool repair station (bring your broken garden tools to fix). Gardeners can also apply for special discounted memberships to the Garden Resource Center throughout the day. The Opening Ceremony will be at 1pm.
     Learn more about what the Garden Resource Center has to offer on our webpage:  http://www.growpittsburgh.org/garden-resource-center
  • 12-5 p.m. at the Garden Resource Center, 147 Putnam St. Pittsburgh.

Sep 21: People's Climate March in NYC

On September 21 in New York City a quarter million citizens are expected to demand that the world's leaders take immediate action on climate change. 

The Peoples Climate March will be held just before President Obama and his Chinese counterpart  attend the UN Climate Summit,  http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/.

Locally, the Sierra Club Allegheny Group and the Thomas Merton Center will be coordinating buses for a one-day trip from Pittsburgh.  If you are interested in reserving a seat on the bus, please contact Peter Wray with CLIMATE on the Subject line … pjwray@verizon.net.


Can’t make it to New York? Check out the global mobilization page

Sep 20: ALCOSAN Open House



It's time for ALCOSAN's annual award-winning Open House event! Join the Allegheny Sanitary Authority for the region's largest watershed and environmental festival, featuring hands-on environmental exhibits, treatment plant and laboratory tours, microbiology and watershed life demonstrations, and educational activities for all ages!

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (rain or shine) at ALCOSAN's water treatment facility on the North Shore (3300 Preble Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233) -- here are directions.   Free and open to the public.

For more information, use the following links:
For a printable event flyer, click here.
For a current list of Open House exhibitors and activities, click here.
For more information about our 2014 Open House Educators' Workshop, click here.

Sep 14: House Concert with Sparky & Rhonda Rucker

It's about time for another house concert at our place!  This time we welcome Sparky & Rhonda Rucker as they swing around the Midwest singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition.  Sparky is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author.  He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons.  Rhonda is a musician, children's author, storyteller, and songwriter.  Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances.  The Ruckers also weave American history, traditional storytelling, and humor into their concerts, and they have been featured tellers at the International Storytelling Center and Festival.

Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting evening of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Br'er Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, Appalachian music, slave songs, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.

Over forty years of performing, Sparky and Rhonda have performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as well as NPR's On Point, Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and Morning Edition.  Their recording Treasures & Tears was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award, and their music is also included on the Grammy-nominated anthology Singing Through the Hard Times.


Doors open at 4 p.m., and the concert will start at 4:30 at our home in Squirrel Hill;  potluck dinner afterwards (please bring snacks, entrees, side dishes, desserts, and/or beverages to share).  Be sure to RSVP by email with "concert" in the Subject: line (or by phone at 412-251-5814) -- then I'll send you directions and other information.  Suggested donation $15 (goes to the performers).  Photos courtesy of the Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville, Florida (top, with stones) and Jack Goodwin (with plates).

Sep 12-14: Allegheny Defense Project fall gathering

Please join the Allegheny Defense Project at the 21st Annual Fall Gathering, to celebrate the important work of defending the Allegheny. Take part in the camaraderie with fellow activists and friends while camping, hiking, participating in discussions, listening to music, eating great food, and just having fun!
Please RSVP so they can plan for food.  

The Fall Gathering is a family oriented event providing time for Allegheny Defense Project members, supporters and environmentally conscious individuals to come together in the fall to camp, hike, eat, and learn about issues impacting the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania’s only national forest.


You can come out and spend whatever time you have whether it’s for one event, a meal, any day, the whole weekend, or just stop by for the campfire in the evening.

If you can provide a dish, or can help with kitchen duties please let us know :) Please also bring all of your own camping equipment including cup, plate, and spoon.

If you would like to join us, but do not have equipment, we may be able to hook you up with some...let us know!

From Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, at the homestead of of Bill and Mary Belitskus in Kane, PA, near the Allegheny National Forest.  For more information contact Mary by email or at (814) 778-5173.  RSVP by email to mbproact@penn.com.  Donations will be requested for each meal, or a donation of $30 for the weekend.  Meals / desserts are vegetarian, some vegan, but feel free to bring your own supplies to supplement.


Note: The Allegheny Defense Project is an organization founded on principles of non-violence. We request that participants do not bring any illegal substances. Your well-behaved pets are always welcome.

Sep 10: Preserving the Season



Susanna Meyer, author of Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything, and Danielle Marvit of the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange will introduce you to simple and fun ways to preserve seasonal specialties.  Learn how to freeze and dry herbs, prepare a quick batch of refrigerator pickles, and make a fail-proof water bath processed jam.  The presenters will share samples of easy and delicious recipes that you can use at home to help you enjoy local foods all year long!  There will also be plenty of time for questions. 
6:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library in Homewood.  Free and open to the public, though a suggested $10 donation will be accepted by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA);  please call 412-242-3598 to reserve your spot.

Sep 8: Local organizing meeting for People's Climate March

From Pittsburgh to New York City, let's make climate change history!

In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.  With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history.  On September 21, hundreds of Pittsburghers will join thousands of people from around the world on the streets of New York City to demand the world we know is within our reach:  a world with an economy that works for people and the planet;  a world safe from the ravages of climate change;  a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.

Join the Pittsburgh mobilization for the People’s Climate March.  Learn about this historic mobilization and find out how to get involved — here in Pittsburgh, or in New York City!  Find out how to take part in this mobilization and hear from local environmental, labor and faith leaders who are mobilizing for the People’s Climate March as well as organizers who are working on the ground in New York City to make this historic event possible.

7pm at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh (605 Morewood Ave, Pittsburgh, PA).  Light refreshments will be served.  For more information, contact randy.francisco@sierraclub.org

Sep 6: Sustainability Salon on Climate Change

With the NYC climate rally coming up on September 21st, we're going to talk about climate happenings here in Pittsburgh, across the country, and around the world.  The 32nd Sustainability Salon will take place on Saturday, September 6th (3-10 p.m.).  We'll cover science, local and national policy, and individual action.  The next Salon will be on October 18th, in conjunction with the annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour.

What's going on with climate change deniers, and how can they be convinced?  Recent news articles have reported on a "warming hiatus," claiming that there has been little or no warming of the planet for the past 15 years, contradicting predictions of the climate models.  Dr. Neil Donahue examines the details of climate models, how they construct predictions about global warming, and whether the warming hiatus is real or imagined.  The link between climate and our energy choices becomes clear as each piece of the climate model is examined for its effects on global temperature trends.  This understanding is especially timely as Iceland experiences the eruption of the massive Bardarbunga volcano.  Neil (your Salon co-host) teaches in the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.  He was founding director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, and now directs the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research and serves as a National Academies Science & Engineering Ambassador.

What is Pittsburgh doing?  We'll hear from Dr. Aurora Sharrard, the Vice President of Innovation for the Green Building Alliance.  In 2008, she became the original convener of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, which works collaboratively in the Pittsburgh region to reduce greenhouse gases through measurable actions.  Following the adoption of two Pittsburgh Climate Action Plans and a the adoption and an update of the Pittsburgh Greenhouse Gas Inventory, GBA transitioned the PCI convener role to the City of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Environmental Council.  GBA remains a strong PCI Partner through its Pittsburgh 2030 District program, which Aurora co-founded.  (Photo:  Mark Dixon)

What can individual citizens do?  
Ray Roberts leads the new Pittsburgh chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, a nationwide network engaging and empowering people in efforts to make real, effective change in public policy to mitigate climate change.  Their main aim has been to pass a revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend program -- which will naturally incentivize reductions in fossil fuel consumption while encouraging development of renewable sources and energy efficiency -- and putting money in most people's pockets.

We'll also have Barb Grover, president of the Sierra Club's Allegheny Group, to talk about the upcoming People's Climate March and rally in New York City, and gather more participants for the Pittsburgh contingent, and fill us in on what will be happening here at home that day.  Jonathan Gray, Pittsburgh Climate Defender organizer for PennEnvironment and an activist in the labor, economic justice, and social justice movements. will talk about ongoing local volunteer opportunities.

For Salons in general:
3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3pm.  We'll aim to introduce speakers beginning around 4pm after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!

Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

Note once again that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient! One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
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For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included environmental artenvironmental education (Part I & Part II)community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Living DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfood, and more food.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well.