Coronavirus update: As you know, people in Pittsburgh and around the world are sequestered at home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing is the rule for 80% of Americans. That's a bit of a misnomer, though -- we need physical distancing to flatten the famous curve, but technology now allows for rich interactions even so! I believe that community is one of our greatest strengths, so last month as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the Sustainability Salon via Zoom teleconference -- rather than gathering our usual 50-80 people in a contained space. It went quite well (even engaging participants from hundreds of miles away), and we're looking forward to April's salon! (I'm sad, though, that folks will miss the peak of our spring flowers.) Please be sure to RSVP (via email with "salon" in the Subject: line, or via Eventbrite) so you'll receive the sign-on information.For the 99th Sustainability Salon, we will conclude our annual springtime Focus on Food. Planned speakers include Karen Gardner (Pennsylvania Manager) and Adrienne Nelson (Western Pennsylvania Organizer) of the National Young Farmers Coalition, will talk about the challenges that face young farmers here in Pennsylvania and efforts to address these challenges through state and local advocacy, as well as sharing resources that the Coalition has available for young and beginning farmers. Erin Hart will share the latest edition of the Local Food Guide for our region and other online resources (and in the meantime, check out the Farm To Table Blog, helping to connect people with food and other resources. Shelly Danko+Day, Urban Agriculture & Food Policy Adviser for the City of Pittsburgh, will provide an update on land access for urban growers. Samantha Totoni of Pitt's Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC) will talk about the contamination of wild game due to lead ammunition -- and the associated human health risks. And now that we're remote, we'll Zoom right on up to Massachusetts, where Brandeis professor Brian Donahue -- farmer, woodsman, and environmental historian, will share the New England Food Vision -- how, and how far, we in the Northeast can increase local food production.
The Green New Deal discussion group continues on Sunday the 5th, and this month brings the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! We can't take it to the streets, but you can bet that there will be virtual events here in Pittsburgh! Also, the first Virtual Cohort of the ROCIS air monitoring program will begin with an introductory webinar on Monday the 6th.
Salons usually run 3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill. Plan to join the call after 3 p.m., and we aim to start the program not long after 4, after folks have had a chance to (virtually) meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site. After the talks and discussion, we'll break for a potluck supper (and more conversation). 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 notice (if you're not already on my list, just email me with salon in the subject line to be added!).
Please do RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways. Be sure to include salon in the Subject line if you email, 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!
Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events, as well as better formatting for this event description) 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.
Sustainability Salon is an educational forum; it's a mini-conference; it's a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues; fit'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 ocean health, the rise of the radical right, the back end of consumption, approaches to activism on fracking & climate, air quality, technology, and citizen science, single-use plastics, election activism, election law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plants, advanced nuclear technologies, passenger and freight trains, consumption, plastics, and pollution, air quality, solar power, youth activism, greening business, greenwashing, the petrochemical buildout in our region, climate/nature/people, fracking, health, & action, globalization, ecological ethics, community inclusion, air quality monitoring, informal gatherings that turn out to have lots of speakers, getting STEM into Congress, keeping Pittsburgh's water public, Shell's planned petrochemical plant, visualizing air quality, the City of Pittsburgh's sustainability initiatives, fossil energy infrastructure, getting money out of politics, community solar power and the Solarize Allegheny program, the Paris climate negotiations (before, during, 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 revitalization, solar power, climate change, environmental art, environmental education (Part I & Part II), community mapping projects, environmental journalism, grassroots action, Marcellus shale development and community rights, green building, air quality, health care, more solar power, trees and park stewardship, alternative energy and climate policy, regional watershed issues, fantastic film screenings and discussions (often led by filmmakers) over the winter with films on Food Systems, Climate Adaptation and Mitigation, Plastic Paradise, Rachel Carson and the Power Of One Voice, Triple Divide on fracking, You've Been Trumped and A Dangerous Game, A Fierce Green Fire, Sustainability Pioneers, films on consumption, Living Downstream, Bidder 70, YERT, Gas Rush Stories, and food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, food, 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!).
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. If interested folks are online and everything is working smoothly by around 3:30, perhaps I can conduct a virtual tour.