Jul 28: Ohio River Valley Bus Tour

Join Climate Reality Pittsburgh and SWPA leaders for a tour of some inspiring renewable energy projects in Beaver County, also ground zero for the gas industry petrochemical hub expansion that proposes to make our region a major source of global warming emissions and a hub for the manufacturing of plastic products.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., departing from the Environmental Innovation Center (1435 Bedford Ave. in the Hill District).  Note that the EIC no longer provides parking for visitors, but there is plenty of on-street parking in the neighborhood.  Registration:  $25 -- please register early, as we need enough people in order to make the bus arrangements!  For more information and to sign up, click here

Jul 26: Green Drinks Pittsburgh

... is back!  

Are you green?  Come out to East End Brewery to grab a drink and a chat with other environmentally-focused professionals, volunteers, and enthusiasts.  A casual forum for the eco-minded of Pittsburgh to meet and mingle.  Occurs monthly on the fourth Thursday of the month - join us! 

5:30-7:30 at East End Brewing Company (147 Julius St. 15206).  Organized by the Pittsburgh chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby.

Jul 22: Permaculture and justice in Guatemala

Indigenous Education in Guatemala: Ending a Legacy of Genocide
Join us for a teach-in and conversation about a great new education/school project 

Survivors of Guatemala ́s genocide are creating a new kind of education for their children. The residents of one rural Maya village, Copal AA la Esperanza, have founded a community-run middle school that focuses on indigenous culture, human rights, and sustainable forestry. Students and teachers from the school have also been active in opposing hydro-electric dams and petroleum extraction in their region.
Join us for a speaking event with indigenous leader Magdalena Garcia Domingo to learn how you can support their efforts. 

As a child, Ms. Garcia was forced to flee her home during the Guatemalan military's campaign of genocide against the Maya people. Growing up in refugee camps, she quickly became a leader in the organization, Mama Maquin, which fought for women's participation in the refugee return to Guatemala in 1993. After the return, she was elected to the Parent's Committee of the New Dawn Maya Middle School to provide indigenous-centered education for youth in her community. 

1 p.m. at 827 North Sheridan Avenue, 15206.  Note: This is a fundraising event for the school.
For more info and to RSVP, contact 
        mb.steisslinger@gmail.com / 412-916-8716
        copalaa2003@yahoo.com / 614-572-6344

July 21: Sustainability Salon on Greening Business

The 78th Sustainability Salon will look at different approaches to Greening Business, and how sustainability initiatives fit into business strategy.  Speakers will include Marcel Minutolo, Associate Professor of Management at Robert Morris University as well as a Climate Reality Leader and business consultant;  Robert Sroufe, Professor of Sustainability, Operations, and Supply Chain Management, Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness, and director of the Institute of Sustainable Business Innovation at Duquesne University; and Josh Knauer, an eco-entrepreneur who has led successful businesses from startup to sale while always meeting the Triple Bottom Line (creating a net benefit for people and the planet, as well as profit), and now advises companies that are leading the way in building a regenerative economy.  Also, the Pittsburgh Chamber of Cooperatives, working to build equitable and sustainable businesses in our region, is rolling out its new sales and service booking platform, Covivi. Ron Gaydos, PCOC manager, will be here to fill us in.  
It's hard to imagine a less sustainable business than the petrochemical plastics industry looming over our region.  It  will greatly increase the amount of fracking (and global fossil energy consumption) for its ethane feedstock, negate regional progress on both air quality and climate, require dangerous pipelines, and produce more plastics in an already-inundated world.  However, there are plenty of spots of (green) light in the Ohio River Valley, and next weekend you're invited to join a bus tour organized by the Climate Reality Leadership Corps showing both sides of the economic and environmental coin.  It will feature Mario Leone, Monaca's Borough Manager (familiar to longtime salongoers), a net-zero home, past and future sites of heavily polluting industries on Neville Island and in Potter Twp., and a beautiful reservoir threatened by the pipeline for the cracker plant.  That's next Saturday, and we'll have some more info and Q&A at the 78th salon.  This Saturday, right before said salon, I encourage folks to attend the youth-led climate march and rally downtown:  This Is Zero Hour.  We'll be having a salon on youth activism soon -- keep an eye on MarensList!

Salons run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We will start the program not long after 4pm, 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 with salon in the subject line 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 a trail map 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 (see below), 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, it's a mini-conference, it's 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 particular topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.
Past topics have included greenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/peoplefracking, health, & actionglobalizationecological ethicscommunity inclusionair quality monitoringinformal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakersgetting STEM into Congresskeeping Pittsburgh's water publicShell's planned petrochemical plantvisualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiativesfossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politicscommunity solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (beforeduring, and after), 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 actionMarcellus 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 films on Food SystemsClimate Adaptation and MitigationPlastic Paradise, 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 foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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:  wine, 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 homemade or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  We refill a bunch of growlers at East End and provide a big batch of mostly-homegrown pesto (cheesy and vegan), and other things as needed.  More details will come after you RSVP (hint, hint!). 

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. 

July 21: Youth march for climate justice

This Is Zero Hour:  Youth Rise for Climate Justice
On July 21, youth all over the United States, including Pittsburgh, will march for the demands that were delivered to our leaders in Washington D.C.  This is a call to our politicians to stand with us and with our future.

Here in Pittsburgh, the march will start at at Senator Toomey's office (310 Grant Street) and go past the offices of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Peduto.  Along the way we will hear from incredible young activists working in our region.  Our action will highlight the voices and stories of youth on the front lines of the climate crisis.

The march will end in Mellon Square.  There we will celebrate our work and our power, and build community. There will be food trucks, festivities, and fun because this movement is built around hope!  The young people in this country and this region are rising- join in!  While we are centering youth voices, everyone is welcome!

In Pittsburgh we ask that our elected officials on every level of government stand with us and enact strong climate policy:
1.  We ask Mayor Peduto to speak out against the proposed Shell Ethane Cracker Plant in Beaver County because of the devastating effects it will have on the city of Pittsburgh, and on climate.
2.  We ask County Executive Fitzgerald to stop the expansion of fracking in Allegheny County and to form a committee focused on finding renewable energy and clean industry alternatives for Allegheny County.
3.  We ask Senator Toomey to stand with science and state his belief in climate change science -- and vote to support the EPA, and fund climate science in Washington DC. 

12-3 p.m. downtown (starting at 310 Grant St.).  ASL Interpretation will be available.  More info on the national march: thisiszerohour.org/the-march .  If you have any questions or concerns, or are interested in getting more involved, email WeRise412@gmail.com .  And you can connect on Facebook here.

Sponsored by 350Pittsburgh, NextGen America, Youth Power Collective, Free the Planet, Fossil Free Pitt Coalition, Center for Coalfield Justice, Marcellus Outreach Butler, and PennEnvironment.  

July 9: Youth Power Collective table launch

The Youth Power Collective (a campaign of One Pennsylvania) is holding a table launch this Monday, July 9 at 3:00pm, and all are welcome to join us for food, drinks, and discussion.
The Youth Power Collective was formed in June of 2017 to connect Pittsburgh youth activists across the region while fostering civic engagement and building a supportive network that enhances youth power and encourages youth collaboration in Allegheny County and the surrounding areas. YPC has organized two major student walk-outs around the appointment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and ending gun violence, and our work is only getting started.
We are seeking high school students passionate about social justice issues and creating change in their communities to join us as we grow and expand the work of YPC. If you have questions about the Youth Power Collective, please call 412-867-1010 or email nia@onepa.org.