May 27-30: Heartwood Forest Council

2016 Heartwood Forest Council
Join Heartwood on Memorial Day weekend, to celebrate Heartwood and to envision the powerful possibilities that the future holds.  
Camp Otterbein (15779 Cox Road, Logan, Ohio 43138).  More information and registration here.

May 21: Sustainability Salon on Food (Part 2)

For our 52nd Sustainability Salonwe will continue our annual springtime focus on Food.

Speakers include Shauna Kearns of the Braddock Community Oven (and perhaps an apprentice or two), Timothy Lydon of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalitionand filmmaker David Bernabo who recently completed the third cinematic chapter in his Food Systems documentary series.  We'll have Mandela Lyon with CUSP's interactive Food & Climate activity;  it was fun for folks to visit, play with, and contemplate at the April salon (the activity was developed by the Pittsburgh node of the Climate & Urban Systems Partnership, which we featured in the December 2013 salon on Community Mapping).  Also, Alexis Rzweski will show how you can make your own yogurt with inexpensive supplies.

The 53rd salon will take place on June 11th, on the topic of fossil energy infrastructure (and how to wind it down as we transition to a renewable energy economy) -- we'll be talking about power plants, pipelines, and oil trains, as well as plans for the July 24th March for a Clean Energy Revolution in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.    

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 politicsSolarize 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 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 policyregional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with Rachel Carson and the Power Of One VoiceTriple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous GameA Fierce Green FireSustainability Pioneersfilms on consumptionLiving DownstreamBidder 70YERTGas Rush Stories, and foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfood, 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.  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. 

May 15: Food Systems film screening

Local filmmaker David Bernabo will share all three chapters of his Food Systems documentary series one after the other on Sunday afternoon at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville.
Chapter 3: The Ecosystem, Noon     Buy Tickets
Chapter 2: Dinner on the Farm, 1:40PM     Buy Tickets
Chapter 1: A Night Out, 2:10PM     Buy Tickets

May 15: Air Quality Expo

Stay Positive Clairton
Please join PennFuture and Stay Positive Clairton to learn more about the air quality in your community at the Air Quality Expo!

A new documentary featuring local residents who share their stories on how the air quality in the Mon Valley affects them will have its premiere!

There will be games, informational resources from various environmental and public health groups, and some foods and beverages!
Please feel free to invite your friends and family! You and your friends can register here. We hope to see you there!

4 p.m. at 282 St Clair Avenue, Clairton.  For more information, please contact Annie Regan by email at or by phone (412) 456-2781.

May 11: Air Pollution & Brain Health

GASP continues its series of Making the Connection events with Air Pollution & Brain Health.

Making the Connection_ Air Pollution & Brain Health

5-8 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory's Botany Hall (the small but grand building to the left of the main conservatory).  Free, but please register -- more information and online registration are here.

May 10: Healthier Homes, Happier Families

Free community health and wellness lecture series open to anyone interested.  Learn about dangers of household chemicals and toxins in your home and how to make your own low-cost, environmentally friendly cleaning products - and take a free sample home!  FREE event presented by Allegheny Health Network.

6:30-8 p.m. at the Nyia Page Community Center (416 Library St., Braddock 15104)

May 7: Right to Breathe in Philly

Join  Action United and 350Pittsburgh at the Right To Breathe Mobilization rally;  Philadelphians are taking action for clean air, climate justice, and the right to breathe and we are supporting them.  See the issues here.    Break Free Breathe Free: This is part of the 350 BreakFree2016 mobilization.
Action United is generously underwriting the cost of a bus to Philly and requesting a sliding scale donation of five to twenty dollars per seat, depending on your means, to help defray the cost.    Sign Up Now to reserve your seat and be a part of this action.

May 5: Asthma Summit

The Air we Breathe: A Regional Summit on Asthma in our Community

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center;  free & open to the public.
Learn more here:
Register here:
Sponsored by the Department of Medicine Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at Allegheny General Hospital in collaboration with The Breathe Project of The Heinz Endowments

May 4: Sustainable Health film screening

The next meeting of Sustainable Monroeville will feature the third film in Nathan Crane's Search For Sustainability documentary series:  Sustainable Health.  The movie will be followed by a discussion with local health and wellness professionals and samples of healthy fermented foods.

7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Monroeville Public Library.  More details here.