Next month: 100th Sustainability Salon

Resilience begins with relocalizing.  This time next month, for the 100th Sustainability Salon, we'll be circling back into our local community and looking at mutual aid networks of all sorts.  Right now many people are without their usual support system;  others have lost jobs, or face the stress of jobs that put them at risk.  Some don't dare leave their homes -- but still need food and supplies.  In this tense environment, people who can are rising to the challenge and helping to provide for neighbors.  During the third Virtual Sustainability Salon, we'll hear from several Pittsburghers who are leading these efforts.
In the meantime, as we approach Earth Day, I'd like to draw attention to several other upcoming events (MarensList began with an email to friends about more than 30 events leading up to Earth Day, back in 2007).  This year we won't be able to take it to the streets, but we're certainly not going to let it go by!

•  Friday the 17th, Phipps is hosting a virtual screening of the PBS/NPR documentary Plastic Wars, followed by a discussion with PRC's Justin Stockdale.
•  Saturday the 18th, Pittsburgh Mutual Aid is hosting a Virtual Rent Party to raise funds for their various programs.
•  Sunday the 19th opens Earth Week with an afternoon Teach-In hosted by the Earth Day Coalition:  Pittsburgh Declares A Climate Emergency!
•  Also on Sunday, the Green New Deal Discussion Group continues, online.
•  Tuesday the 21st, join MOB, BPC, and Dr. Ned Ketyer for a talk and discussion on Pandemics, Pollution, & Public Health.
•  Wednesday the 22nd -- the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day -- Fridays for Future will stream 24 hours of climate-related activities and discussions.
•  Also on Wednesday, the Discovery Channel will premiere The Story of Plastic (2 p.m.).
•  Starting your garden?  Thursday the 23rd, learn about urban soils.
•  Saturday the 25th, spend the afternoon Katherine Hayhoe and CCL organizers for Uniting From Home around climate action.

Check out the Earth Week events page for more!

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 in March as events began to be cancelled, I hosted the first virtual  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.  

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.  
As always, I'll be sending out directions and such (in this case Zoom instructions), and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before (usually Friday night).  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. 
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;  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 healththe rise of the radical rightthe back end of consumptionapproaches to activism on fracking & climateair quality, technology, and citizen sciencesingle-use plasticselection activismelection law, whether to preserve existing nuclear power plantsadvanced nuclear technologiespassenger and freight trainsconsumption, plastics, and pollutionair qualitysolar poweryouth activismgreening businessgreenwashing, 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 food, foodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodfoodand 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.

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.  (with a virtual event this is less likely to happen, but we can share music by turns, reminisce, chat online, and look forward to the post-COVID era!) 

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