Dec 21: Green Drinks at Marty's Market

Come out to Marty's Market For Some Holiday Cheer and Treats 

Host Regina Koetters is driven to unleash the unrealized potential of the nation's riverfront Rust Belt cities through regionally significant development projects and investments in infrastructure.  She chose Pittsburgh over every other city in the nation to begin her work in 2008, with a vision of becoming a true greengrocer.  A native of Louisville, KY, Regina was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in Naval Architecture.  In 2007, she transitioned to the US Navy Reserves and completed her masters studies in business and progressive real estate development at the University of Michigan.  Since relocating to Pittburgh, she has championed several initiatives for sustainable development projects in downtown Pittsburgh, augmented a public-private team endeavoring to bring passenger rail service to the Allegheny Riverfront, and most recently, she launched Marty's Market, a unique food market, cafe and coffeehouse in the Strip District dedicated to strengthening the southwestern Pennsylvania food system.  She serves as a member of the Design Center's board and a Pittsburgh-baed Navy Reserve unit.
5:30-8:30 pm at Marty's Market (2301 Smallman Street,  Pittsburgh, PA 15222) (small bites and wine will be provided).  Directions 

Marty's Market opened in July 2012 and connects Pittsburghers who demand fresh, full-flavor, high quality food with regional farmers who are committed to growing it.  The market is a destination store, a meeting place and special event venue.  Featured at Marty's are GMO-free produce, clean all-natural pantry stateless including an extensive assortment of gluten-free foods, and a full-service butchery stocked with locally-sourced all-natural pork, grass-fed beef, lam and poultry along with an array of cheeses, house made charcuterie and fermented foods.  The cafe features housemade pastas, pastries and flavorful foods made from the bounty of the market's all natural produce, meats and cheese, while the coffeebar serves thoughtfully-sourced direct trade, single origin coffees and locally blended loose leaf teas.
Pittsburgh Green Drinks

What is Green Drinks? Every month, people who work in the environmental field or have an interest in a greener planet meet up for drinks all around the world at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from NGO's, academia, government and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say,"are you Green?' and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making some new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there is always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network.

These events are simple and unstructured.  Make friends, develop new ideas, do deals and forge a new organic future. It's a force for the good and we' like to help it spreading to other cities.  Green Drinks meets on the third Friday of the month.  Put it on your calendar and count on it: Green Drinks is happening every month.

Email us at with questions, comments. 

 Pittsburgh Green Drinks Data Sheet
WHAT: The world-famous Green Drinks
WHEN: Third Friday of the month, 5:00-9:00 pm
STATUS: Informal, self-organizing network
GLOBAL: Now active in 812 cities worldwide. Every month globally since 1989, locally since 2005. 
Average attendance: 90
WHERE: Rotating venues in Pittsburgh
HOW: Walk, cycle, bus, boat, taxi or drive
WHO: Anyone working on environmental issues 
or who wants to!
WHY: Fun, contacts, alcohol (or not), info, gossip, inspiration, business and pleasure
NEW: Just go up to someone and say "are you green?", and you'll be made welcome.

Join the Green Drinks Email List

Dec 13: David Orr at Phipps

Inspire Speaker Series David Orr
Thinking Big:  Interdisciplinary Sustainability Learning.  The Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory present David Orr for the next talk in the INSPIRE speaker series.

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it." David Orr, Earth in Mind

oin us for the third session of the INSPIRE Speakers Series with national expert David Orr, a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design, and climate change!GBA and Phipps Conservatory are excited to host David Orr to speak about the value of integrating sustainability across the curriculum and engaging students with their local communities. As David explains in his book Ecological Literacy, the words "environmental education" imply education about the environment, often in a separate course or two within formal school settings.  However, all education is environmental education due to the interconnectedness of all things, and thus of all academic disciplines. To be effective, education must reflect the ecological patterns that connect us all, and not be confined to separate subject areas or within the walls of our formal school settings.In this inspirational talk, David will discuss the following concepts from his book, Ecological Literacy:
  • The value of engaging the wider society in education;

  • The roles of nongovernmental organizations, schools, colleges, universities as catalysts to a wider transformation of the culture and society;

  • The importance of the educational environment, campus, and curriculum as reflections of ecological values and realities; and

  • The goal of ecological literacy as the active cultivation of ecological intelligence, imagination, and competence.
5:30-8:30 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.  For more information and to register online, go here.  Cost:  GBA or partner organization member: $25;  non-member $45.  For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.  For the December lecture only, guests of the Inspire Speakers Series will have a chance to exploreCandlelight Evenings at Phipps! After you hear our amazing lecture from David Orr, stroll around the halls of Phipps and be enchanted by the Winter Flower Show & Winter Light Garden. You’ll be surrounded by live music, twinkling lights, and beautiful flowers! What better way to spend a cold winter evening? Phipps will remain open until 10 p.m. Don’t miss your opportunity to hear an amazing speaker and enjoy this special treat, all for one low price!

Dec 10: YERT online DVD release party

i_yert.jpgThe team from "YERT - Your Environmental Road Trip," ( is celebrating the release of their award-winning eco-docu-comedy feature film DVD with distributor First Run Features, by hosting a live videochat party online at - broadcast via YouTube for anybody to watch around the world - on 12/10/12 at 9:00pm - midnight EST. Filmmakers Mark and Ben will be bringing on several guests, including Solar Roadways founder Scott Brusaw, not to mention and YERTmom Julie Evans, and even YERTbaby Bailey - who was conceived during the road trip! You are also encouraged to submit news stories or questions you'd like them to address live during the show - with the most awesome submitters getting invitations to join the live show. Find all this info and more, including a pre-party teaser video, at 

Dec 8: Woodlands water supply fundraiser

Holiday Fundraiser, "Water for Woodlands" (drinking water for the Connoquenessing families who have lost their potable water to fracking). $15 adults, $5 ages 6-12, under 6 free. Lasagna dinner, music, movies, silent auction, kids crafts.  If you can't make it, donations will be gratefully accepted.

4:30-8 at the Lutherlyn Campground, 500 Lutherlyn Lane, Prospect, PA 16052.   RSVP to Marcellus Outreach Butler. 

Dec 8: Indoor Holiday Market

Elizabeth Donohoe will be hosting a Holiday Indoor Market at her home in Forest Hills.  Some very fine beekeepers, farmers, bakers, tea blenders and others will join her for an off-season gathering of the best of the wonders from the farm and garden.  Gifts for the coming holidays will be in great supply!

**Honey infusions, honey, bee-based skincare products;
**Late-season farm produce, fresh eggs;
**Local pastured chicken, beef and pork;
**Specialty Tea blends;
**Vegan baked goods;
**Wild-yeast breads, sourdoughs;
**Natural skin and haircare from the garden;
**Goat milk soaps and natural dog biscuits;
**Dried hot pepper garlands.

Also, if you have some gently used (or new) tote bags to spare, we'll be collecting them for the Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project, a Greater Pgh. Food Bank partner.

2-5 p.m. at 220 Overdale Road in Forest Hills.

Dec 7: Woman to Woman workshop

Woman to Woman:  Pay It Forward 

The Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network at Penn State University (PA-WAgN) hosts a one-day networking symposium for new and beginning farmers, aspiring farmers, woman farmers, home gardeners/homesteaders, informed consumers, and seasoned farmers interested in diversifying their farm operations. Through peer-to-peer education and idea sharing this event supports women in farming with lessons gained through experience. "Woman to Woman: Pay It Forward" delivers presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and networking sessions that are guaranteed to amplify your passion for farming.

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA (Centre County);  $50 registration.  Lots more information here

Dec 3: Urban-Suburban connection (and radio Nov 30)

Join Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, December 3, 2012, at the Monroeville Public Library for a vegan and vegetarian pot luck dinner at 6:00 PM followed by a discussion about linking the Urban and Suburban Food Not Lawns Movement to the Urban core through the Schwartz Living Market project in Pittsburgh's Historic South Side. We'll discuss Monroeville Food Garden planning for 2013 and other possible projects for the upcoming year too. How exciting! 

This is your personal invitation to engage directly in the dialogue and see an urban Transiiton Town project in action this coming Saturday, that's tomorrow from 9 Am to 5 PM in Pittsburgh's Historic South Side at 1317 East Carson Street.  I hope to see you tomorrow in South Side and Monday evening in Monroeville!

BTW, listen to Essential Pittsburgh , 90.5 FM, today between noon & 1 p.m. (or 8 & 9 p.m.) to hear an update about the South Side project, what is the Living Building Challenge, and moving forward in the green economy. You can bet Elisa will be mentioning Sustainable Monroeville, the story behind the South Side process!

Go to for the most recent blog entry about our meeting and more!

Dec 1: Health Care Sustainability Salon & Sing

Health Care and Sustainability:  Several speakers will share what they've been doing to improve how health care is done in this country -- from a sustainability point of view.  And as the Sustainability Salon & Sing series matures, it's great to see many of our featured speakers come from the ranks of regular participants -- we have a pretty interesting crowd!

Most directly, local physician Dr. Noe Copley Woods will talk about the waste endemic to current medical practice, and efforts to green it here and around the world (e.g. ).  We all know that the average American makes 4.5 pounds of trash per day. That all changes when a person gets sick. The average poundage per patient at Magee-Women's Hospital is 31 pounds of trash per day and growing. Dr Woods will discuss the environmental footprint of a hospital, what makes it so large, and what is being done to fix it.  Noe Copley Woods, MD, FACOG is assistant professor of ObGyn at UPMC, is on the boards of GreenHealth and Health Care Without Harm, and is a regular speaker at CleanMed, the national conference for leaders in health care sustainability.  She's also a semi-regular at our Salon/Sings, playing fiddle and mandolin.

Since we're also seeking sustainability as a society, folks from Health Care For All/PA will share what that organization is doing to improve access to health care.  Pittsburgh pediatrician Scott Tyson, executive director of HC4APA and member of Physicians for a National HealthPlan, will speak about  what it's like being a physician and a small business owner in the face of the current health care system.
Statistician and blogger Paul Ricci, a PhD student in research methodology at Pitt who also manages the HC4APA blog (and another Salon regular), will talk about how the US spends the most per capita on health care, but has poor health outcomes compared to the rest of the world -- not sustainable from a health or economic perspective.

And we'll talk about the connection between end-of-life choices and sustainability, with a musical dimension:  there are many differences (including environmental cost) between dying in a hospital hooked up to machines, and dying in hospice care surrounded by loved ones...  Cindy Harris, leader of the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir and Salon/Sing regular (on voice and autoharp), helps ease that process with bedside song.
Back in 2008, as discussions on the Affordable Care Act ramped up, we heard a lot about "death panels" -- imagined committees of faceless bureaucrats who would dispassionately refuse lifesaving care to critically ill seniors when the cost of care exceeded the individual's value to society. Of course no such thing was ever contemplated, but there has been continuing discussion about end of life care issues and many of us have had our physicians suggest that we consider completing the "Five Wishes" exercise to give our loved ones guidance on what kind of "drastic measures" we would like them to request on our behalf if we are incapacitated. The goal is sustainability, not only with respect to the cost of healthcare, but also with respect to the dignity of the individual and the family as the end of life approaches. The rapid growth of the hospice movement is a direct response to our society's increasing willingness to discuss and address these issues on a very personal basis. Cindy Harris will review some information about hospice care in Western PA and beyond, and will demonstrate the work that the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir is doing at the bedsides of hospice patients in Allegheny County.  

The order of talks will be the reverse of the above descriptions:  we'll aim to start the presentations at about 4 pm;  before that time folks are trickling in the door (please don't arrive before 3 pm), putting out food (snacks, dinner, and drinks are pot luck, including a bunch of things that we provide), and generally meeting & mingling.  We'll open with Cindy and the Threshold Choir, continue with speakers on health care access and politics, and end with Noe's talk on greening health care -- each segment will have time for Q&A, and I'm sure that discussion of all three topics will continue through dinner and into the evening (while more music happens in the living room, no doubt including health-care-related songs by local musician/activist Mike Stout and others).

On Saturday, December 1st, please join us for the eleventh Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon, another in our ongoing series of monthly enviro-conversational gatherings with potluck food and homemade music.  Following our rousing discussions on air qualitysolar powerfoodtrees and park stewardship, alternative energy and climate policyand regional watershed issues, this month will focus on health care.   

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. 
3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.   Please email me to RSVP (important for yesses and maybes, even last-minute;  please do so each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies from 25 to 75, and it helps to have a handle on numbers in advance!) and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em.  Be sure to include "salon" in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  Bring food 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 continuing my rare streak of advance planning, the next two months' Sustainability Salons will include a film screening and open discussion (so as to avoid worries about harsh weather) -- mark your calendar for January 5th and February 2nd. 
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.  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  
-salon |səˈlän; saˈlô n |:  (historical) a regular social gathering of eminent people (esp. writers and artists) at the house of a woman prominent in high society;  a meeting of intellectuals or other eminent people at the invitation of a celebrity or socialite.
Regular, that's the plan.  Eminent and intellectual people, to be sure -- that's yinz.  House, check.  Woman, c'est moi.  High society, celebrity, socialite?  Not so much.  Salons occurred in 17th-century France, purportedly powering the Enlightenment, and were more recently repopularized by the Utne Reader.  I've long contemplated hosting an ongoing series of conversational salons in this tradition: informal gatherings around the notion of sustainability.  Some will have a featured guest to lead a discussion on a some topic, others will be open to whatever comes up.  If you'd like to hear about a particular topic, or hold forth on your own area of expertise, let's talk about a future event!

Dec 1: Navigate Frick Park

The Western Pennsylvania Orienteering Club is sponsoring a Map and Compass Land Navigation event in Frick Park, the best outdoor playground the city has to offer.  

What is Orienteering? It’s a competitive form of land navigation. It is for all ages and degrees of fitness and skill, and all-weather. It provides the suspense and excitement of a treasure hunt. The object of this activity is to locate and find control points sequentially by using only a topographic map and compass as navigational tool (no GPS).

What to bring? All you will need to bring is a compass (if you do not have one, we can loan you one) and appropriate footwear to walk in the woods.  The East End Food Co-op will be providing some snacks and beverages.

Event Details:  Four courses will be offered:  beginner, adv beginner, intermediate,  advanced.  Start anytime between 10 AM and 1 PM (there is no mass-start like in a running race – here the starts are “staggered”, each participant at least two minutes apart from each other). Come early if you plan to do more than one course.  Can start either as an individual or as a group/family.

  • Sign In any time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.;  must finish the course by 2:30 p.m. -- perfect timing to stroll over to Maren's house for the eleventh Sustainability Salon which begins at 3 p.m.  Instruction for novices will be available on site.  Cost:  $5.00 per map;  a group or family can do the event together with just one purchased map.  Event Location:  Frick Park, Pittsburgh.  Enter on east side of Park.  Go to the lower parking lot next to soccer field.  Look for the red-and-white arrow signs.  Questions?  Contact Jim Wolfe at
Check our website, for complete details and driving directions for this event and the entire WPOC schedule of events.  And check out the group on Facebook