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Local food resources

The Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salons have continued each month.  The second Sustainability Salon (as well as the 14th15th, 26th27th, 38th, & 39th) 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.

Feb 27: Sustainability Salon Winter Film Series with Triple Divide

The 49th Sustainability Salon will continue our annual Wintertime Film Series with the powerful film Triple Divide, an award-winning film by the Public Herald's Melissa Troutman and Josh Pribanic, who will be here for discussion before and after the film.

Hailed as the best documentary about fracking, Triple Divide investigates the inevitable, negative impacts from shale gas industrial development and how those impacts are handled by the state, specifically the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  Narrated with help from actor and solutions advocate Mark Ruffalo, major findings include stark negligence and endangerment of public and environmental health due to shale gas extraction.  Through personal stories, expert interviews, and investigation of state case files, Triple Divide tells a cautionary tale about a public agency meant to protect the public and environment that is instead protecting industry.  Though extraction of shale gas will one day end, taking many 'boom and bust' jobs with it, contaminated groundwater aquifers, polluted land, and stories of victimization will remain.  Pennsylvanians, fed up with corruption and destruction, won't 'go down' without a fight and are learning how to protect themselves.

Neither partisan nor hyperbolic, Triple Divide is an honest look at an industry that deserves more scrutiny. The film explores and uncovers the haphazard way in which natural gas has been exploited in Pennsylvania, causing significant damage to formerly-pristine waterways. It clearly illustrates through painstaking investigative journalism how current safety measures and industry standards have proven entirely inadequate. I highly recommend this film to anyone who lives in the immediate area of hydraulic natural gas fracking, as well as those downstream from a drilling site.   – Andrew Riedy, Security Policy (Washington, D.C.) 

Thanks to GASP for sponsoring this screening!

Why films this time (and in December and February)?  During the winter (when weather can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans), we take a break from our usual multi-speaker format to host screenings of important environmental films, sometimes with the filmmakers or other folks on hand to lead the discussion, and often in collaboration with the CMU International Film Festival (which featured A Dangerous Game last spring, leading to our selection this winter).  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come (email Maren with "salon" in the Subject line).  General information and links to past Salon topics are below.  The March salon (almost certainly the 12th), will feature Mark Dixon, back for a post-COP21 climate update.  Check back on MarensList for updates!

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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.  

As always, 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;  it's 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 Solarize Alleghenyclimate (again, this time focusing on the upcoming COP21 negotiations), 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 artenvironmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfood, and more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

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.  


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.  

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. 

Feb 1: Cafe Scientifique on Climate and Pollution

Interested in science?  Want to learn more about the latest technology breakthroughs in normal English, minus the jargon?  Then Café Scientifique Pittsburgh at Carnegie Science Center is the place to be!
Café Sci is THE place in Pittsburgh where anyone interested in science can get together at a scientific hub to discuss today’s science issues with experts, and best of all… you can ask your own questions!  After a brief talk by our monthly guest speaker, the evening is dedicated to a question-and-answer session.  Plus, enjoy our pub-type atmosphere with food and drinks available for purchase.  
6 -9 p.m. at the Carnegie Science Center (doors at 6, program 7-9, and cash bar from 6-7:30).  Admission is free, though parking costs $5.  RSVP online here.
This month:  If You Can’t See It, It Doesn’t Exist: Connections of Air and Climate Pollution with Policy Decisions with Dr. Neil Donahue.  
The effects of climate change, air pollution, and efforts by leaders to address these effects are pressing issues that pervade recent news-cycles – from climate talks in Paris to the increase in “red alert” days in Beijing.  

Climate pollution is mostly invisible and diffuse.  More traditional air pollution — haze and smog — is visible and localized.  However, both cause a world of hurt, and addressing them together may be a key to making progress on both.  The “social costs” of pollution can be very high, with the costs of climate pollution distributed over the globe and over generations, while the social costs of air pollution bourn locally and immediately, including contribution to millions of deaths every year.
Donahue will discuss the role of three current research activities towards enabling decision-makers to consider the costs and benefits of policies that could affect both pollution types.  The research includes fundamental experiments about fine atmospheric particles at CERN, the particle-physics research institute in Geneva; a collaboration to model the life-cycle of carbon in regional pollution in China; and development of a decision support tool for city policy makers to compare policy “intervention” options in terms of costs and effectiveness for climate and air-pollution benefits.
Donahue is a Professor of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, founding Director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Science & Engineering Ambassador with the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering.  He directs the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research.
Donahue seeks to understand how Earth's atmosphere works and how humans affect the atmosphere.  He strives to help all graduating CMU students understand the climate problem and to apply their outstanding problem-solving skills to solutions of this enormous challenge.
Donahue’s research focuses on the behavior of organic compounds in Earth's atmosphere.  The world experts in his research group study what happens to compounds from both natural sources and human activity when they are emitted into the atmosphere. Recently, the group’s research has focused on the origin and transformations of very small organic particles, which play a critical role in climate change and human health. Particles scatter light, influence clouds, and kill roughly 50,000 people each year in the U.S., mostly of heart attacks.
Donahue earned a degree in physics from Brown University and a doctorate in meteorology from MIT. He spent nine years as a research scientist at Harvard before returning to Pittsburgh in 2000.

Jan 31: Senate candidates' forum

The Barbara Daly Danko Political Forum welcomes Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate:
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, Katie McGinty, and retired Admiral and former Congressman Joe Sestak.

1-4 p.m. in Rangos Ballroom in the Jared L. Cohon University Center at Carnegie Mellon University (parking is free on Sundays;  the garage can be entered at the intersection of Beeler and Forbes).    Doors at 1 p.m., and the forum begins at 2.  Free and open to the public.  
For more information, email Sam Hens-Greco .


Brought to you by the 14th Ward Independent Democratic Club, the 14th Ward Democratic Committee, the 4th Ward Democratic Committee, Shadyside Dems, Steel City Stonewall Democrats, and the H. John Heinz III College School of Public Policy and Management.

Jan 23: Sustainability Salon Winter Film Series

Snow update:  The snow is done falling, the sun is shining (kinda) and Forest Glen has been plowed!  Seems in reasonable shape.  Parking may be tricky, but shuttling people up and down should be feasible, at least.  
The 48th Sustainability Salon, marking four years of these monthly gatherings, will continue our annual Wintertime Film Series with a pair of exposés of The Donald, who inexplicably (and disturbingly) remains the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.  Donald Trump has been citizen-bashing his way through Scotland for years in the pursuit of the perfect putt, and then goes looking to Eastern Europe.  Two highly regarded and controversial films by British journalist and documentary filmmaker Anthony Baxter follow Trump in his attempt to convert bucolic (and ecologically significant) countryside in Scotland and Croatia into golf resorts for the rich and famous -- and look closely at the steep environmental and social tolls taken by golf courses around the world.  Join us for a double-feature with  You've Been Trumped (2011) and A Dangerous Game (2015).  We'll also talk a bit about the greener management of our local public course in Schenley Park, and the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification they achieved in 2012.  Pending the course taken by Winter Storm Jonas and the speed with which roads improve after it passes (he lives south of the city), we will be joined by National Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill, who worked closely with the course managers to improve wildlife habitat and watershed health.


Why films this time (and in December and February)?  During the winter (when weather can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans), we take a break from our usual multi-speaker format to host screenings of important environmental films, sometimes with the filmmakers or other folks on hand to lead the discussion, and often in collaboration with the CMU International Film Festival (which featured A Dangerous Game last spring, leading to our selection this winter).  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come (email Maren with "salon" in the Subject line).  General information and links to past Salon topics are below.  The next salon, on February 27th, will feature the powerful film Triple Divide, a Pennsylvania-made fracking documentary by the Public Herald's Melissa Troutman and Josh Pribanic.  And in March (almost certainly the 12th), we'll have Mark Dixon back for a post-COP21 climate update.  Check back on MarensList for updates!

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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.  

As always, 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;  it's 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 Solarize Alleghenyclimate (again, this time focusing on the upcoming COP21 negotiations), 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 artenvironmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfood, and more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

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.  


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.  

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. 

Jan 23: Summit Against Racism

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 1.54.32 AM
All the info, and online registration, are here.

Jan 19: Mark Dixon on COP21

Pittsburgh activist and environmental filmmaker Mark Dixon will report on his experiences at the Paris climate conference, providing personal insights and thoughts about future action.

7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church (5401 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh Pa 15232).

Jan 13: 350.org planning meeting

After Paris:  Now the Real Work Begins!


Following the conclusion of the Paris climate talks, citizens around the world will need to ensure that local elected officials will take serious, ongoing, and effective action to forestall catastrophic climate change and to remedy climate injustice.  To learn how that can be accomplished in our region, you are invited to join Pittsburgh350 to hear a brief report on the outcomes and lessons of the Paris meetings and talk about the local and national campaigns we’re planning in order to hold our key decision-makers accountable.

7-8:30 p.m. at the Human Services Building, 1 Smithfield St., Pittsburgh 15222
(Free parking behind the building off Ft. Pitt Blvd).

Jan 15: Passive House tour

For those interested in seeing how one can have a house in Pittsburgh without a furnace, Lucy and Ayres will host a tour of their in-progress Passivhaus in Squirrel Hill.

Please RSVP via email to lucyna.debarbaro@gmail.com or on the Facebook page for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1095743137110785/  (CTRL-R will take you past the facebook login, if you're not a Facebook user).

3 p.m.;  please arrive on time.

Dec 14: Beaver meeting on ethane cracker

Concerned about the tentative Shell cracker plant we've all heard about up in Beaver?  There will be a community meeting about its possible environmental impacts on surrounding communities.

The meeting is with Clean Air Council & Environmental Integrity.  It will relate to community involvement, permitting processes, & air quality concerns.  

7 p.m. at the Beaver Borough Building, 469 3rd Street, Beaver, PA 15009

Dec 12: Climate Action march, rally, and panel discussion

Climate Action Beyond Paris 

Join Pittsburgh350, Clean Air Council, Sierra Club, Moms Clean Air Force, Earthworks, and PennEnvironment in Pittsburgh for a morning of climate action and education following the international climate negotiations in Paris.
Building Blocks for Climate Action Rally and March in Oakland
Gather at 9:45 a.m. on the steps of the Cathedral of Learning, on the Forbes Avenue side (by the Stephen Foster memorial, opposite Schenley Plaza).
A broad array of organizations and groups, friends and family, and communities will join in on the final day of global action.  Groups and individuals are invited to each create their part of an interlinking network of action by making a box with the name of their movement or struggle, to be built into a symbolic pyramid in front of the Carnegie Museum.

Climate Change Beyond Paris
Following the rally and march, join us at the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh (605 Moorewood Avenue, corner of Ellsworth) for a panel discussion on how climate change is impacting Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania.  Hear from local experts and leaders in the climate justice movement, and learn what Pennsylvania and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are proposing to do about our state's massive methane pollution problem.  Bring your questions!

Dec 10: Inspire Lecture series: Jeremy Rifkin and Bill Generett

Envisioning a Sustainable, Collaborative and Inclusive Economy


inspire-speakers-rifkin-generett

Our current economic model is obsolete and inadequate at serving the needs of our communities, citizens, the environment and future generations.  This model, based on the availability of cheap fossil fuels, is ready to be replaced by a new and resilient model built on connectedness, collaboration, innovation and empathy.  This Third Industrial Revolution will integrate the power and prevalence of the internet with twenty-first century renewable energy technologies, while ensuring inclusion, diversity and opportunity for all of our citizens.  Jeremy Rifkin will present his vision and perspective on the future of the global economy, while Bill Generett will discuss how the Pittsburgh region can bridge the gap between the soaring innovation economy and struggling communities.

5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Hill House Kaufmann Center.  Please go here for more information and online registration.  


Dec 9: GASP and Filmmakers' In The Air

Join GASP at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ current exhibit In the Air: Visualizing What We Breathe.

6-8 p.m. at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Hear from the photographers, curators, and GASP. This event is FREE and open to the public. Enjoy light appetizers, drinks, and great music!

This event will show appreciation for our current members and will hopefully generate some new ones.  


Dec 5: Sustainability Salon winter film series


The 47th Sustainability Salon will kick off our annual Wintertime Film Series with A Fierce Green Fire, the return of Curt & Kyle, and Mark on Paris -- from Paris!  (and during & after the film and discussion, our always-interesting potluck fare).  The next salon will almost certainly be on January 23rd, and will feature a pair of documentaries about Donald Trump and the environmental (and social) impact of golf -- check back here on MarensList for updates.

Planned protests outside the Paris climate summit have been officially banned.  Some are taking place anyway,and others which took a more violent turn have been squelched.  What does this all mean?  At the November salon on Getting Money Out of Politics, we wound up talking about nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience with Curt Ries and Kyle Amsler of 99Rise.  We'll look at that with A Fierce Green Fire, a Sundance Film Festival Selection that is at once historical and current, contemplative and urgent, farsighted and immediate.  Kyle and Curt will be back with us, to help lead the discussion and give an update on the plans for Democracy Spring.

Speaking of Paris, our own Mark Dixon is there right now at 
COP21, both as a citizen journalist -- documenting what's going on both inside and outside the summit facilities -- and continuing his efforts to connect Pittsburgh to Paris in the most productive way possible.  He will be with us on Saturday, through the wonders of modern technology, to share his reflections on the summit so far.  We'll start our remote session with Mark by 4 p.m. (remember that he's six hours ahead of us).  You can also read his thoughts on the summit, his analysis of the climate negotiations taking place there, and the facts on the ground, on his blog Mark At COP21.  And -- a late-breaking addition -- Randy Sargent of CMU's CreateLab and Google, who shared the Shenango Channel at our recent air quality salon, is also in Paris (presenting a different project done in collaboration with Google, a 29-year time-lapse of Earth satellite imagery) and will be joining the conversation.  

And if there's time (an outside chance), we'll also dip into another documentary, A Force More Powerful on the impact of mass citizen action and nonviolent civil disobedience through history, with vignettes expanded into fascinating and sometimes horrific detail.  And we'll take a look at what historian and activist Howard Zinn had to say about the practice.

Spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism, A Fierce Green Fire brings to light the vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought -- and succeeded -- against enormous odds.  From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to fighting toxic waste at Love Canal; f rom Greenpeace to Chico Mendes;  from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, A Fierce Green Fire is "nothing less than the history of environmentalism itself" (Los Angeles Times).  
 From the Academy Award-nominated director of Berkeley in the Sixties, and narrated by Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende.  The film also features Lois Gibbs, Paul Watson, Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, Stewart Brand, Carl Pope, John Adams, Bob Bullard, Amory Lovins, Barbara Bramble, Jennifer Morgan and more.

Why films this time (and in January and February)?  During the winter (when weather can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans), we take a break from our usual speaker forum to host screenings of important environmental films, sometimes with the filmmakers or other folks on hand to lead the discussion.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come (email Maren with "salon" in the Subject line).  General information and links to past Salon topics are below.  January's Salon will be on the 23rd, and will probably feature a pair of exposés of Donald Trump;  check back on MarensList for updates!


Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We usually aim to start the program sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me (at maren dot cooke at gmail dot com) 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.  

As always, 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;  it's 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 Getting Money Out of Politics, Solarize Alleghenyclimate (again, this time focusing on the upcoming COP21 negotiations), 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 artenvironmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projectsenvironmental journalismgrassroots actioncommunity solar powerMarcellus shale development and community rightsgreen buildingair qualityhealth care, more solar powertrees and park stewardshipalternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfood, and more food (a recurrent theme;  with California running out of water, we'd better gear up to produce a lot more of our own!).

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.  


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.  

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.