Jan 31: Sustainability Salon Film Series: Sustainability Pioneers

Sustainability Pioneers  
The 36th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon will take place on January 31st (3-10 p.m., with potluck food and drink), continuing our third Wintertime Environmental Film Series.  

This time we'll premiere/preview the newest episode of Sustainability Pioneers, documentary filmmaker Kirsi Jansa's ongoing project highlighting people in our region laying the groundwork for the needed transition to renewable energy and more-sustainable living in our region.  The fourth episode, It Takes a Leader, is the first of two stories of communities with innovative leaders:  Mario Leone, the borough manager of Monaca, has received many accolades for his diverse sustainability initiatives, and Matt Mehalik of Sustainable Pittsburgh talks about sustainability leadership.  (The next episode will feature the mayor of Saerbeck in Germany, who has been guiding his town to a point where they produce 350% more renewable energy than the town consumes.)  Kirsi and collaborators Patricia DeMarco and Terry Collins (and who knows how many featured pioneers, starting with co-host Neil Donahue, seen and heard in the first episode, as well as Mario Leone and Matt Mehalik -- check back on MarensList for updates as I confirm more SP Stars) will all be with us to lead the discussion.  These films will very likely leave you inspired to participate in the energy transition as individuals, so we're joined by Fred Kraybill, of Solarize Allegheny and Solarize Point Breeze (which has its kickoff event coming up), and Jacob Ward of Green Mountain Energy with diverse options for going renewable.  We'll also screen the first three short episodes, all after enjoying some aerial views of Pittsburgh and environs with WQED's Pittsburgh from the Air.  

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 regular speaker format to host screenings of important environmental films, sometimes with the filmmakers 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.  February's Salon will be on the 28th, with a screening of the new Rachel Carson film -- again, we're fortunate to have the filmmakers with us!

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We'll aim to start the main feature around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site or enjoy the WQED aerial videos, courtesy of Barbara Pace.   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, and let me know how you heard about us!).  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 consumptiongreen community revitalizationsolar powerclimate changeenvironmental art, environmental 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 films on consumptionLiving 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. 

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