Thursday, August 28, 2014

September with Sustainable Monroeville: The Monroeville Food Garden on Monday evening, September 1, 2014!

Join us Monday evening, September 1, 2014, at 7:00 PM to pull some weeds and help with the maintenance of the Monroeville Food Garden. The library will be closed, so walk around to the back of the library and find us. Dress appropriately!

Garden Volunteers are a blessing, so please join the crew! Contact Lois Drumheller directly to volunteer. Lois's contact information is
412.374.0870 (home) or 412.736.1765 (cell)
Here's a garden update from Lois Drumheller, former Monroeville Councilwoman and the lady who facilitates the garden happenings:

Hi Gardeners!

 (Courtesy of Karen Howell)

What stellar weeks we've been having with zucchini, tomatoes, beans. I actually counted that I picked 270 beans yesterday, and I STILL could have gotten more, but dark was falling fast.  Karen, who 's been getting quite a large amount of produce each Friday to Crossroads after the early pantries (we alternate deliveries Tuesday to Pitcairn, like today, or Mnrl Assembly of God, and monthly, Garden City) has been getting way more than the usual STILL at the end of each week. That's no problem, by the way. Everyone's been getting good amounts of organic produce. 

Note: Next week, we'll need to cover Karen's Friday delivery to Crossroads. Sandy has offered, but Sandy, you'll need to get it to them prior to Friday morning, since you're not a morning person (like Thursday afternoon). I believe this may be possible with the phone contact to the pantry, but you'll need to call them a few days ahead (I believe her name is Martha) or someone who will answer the phone before 4 PM. The paster is Rob Marrow and he is usually there to 5 PM to accept the donation. That number is 412-372-2311.  Please tell me if I'm incorrect, Karen, as you go there all the time, and I'm taking my information from what I check once a year.

I'm heading to the garden now to weed wack. The municipality cut the grass today, so it should be tidy for anyone coming. We always need weeding (Michele knows) and Jennifer, let me know if you can. I don't think I can till the hard weeds until the weekend, which I manage to do every few weeks with the tiller on the border of the swale.

I plan to be at the garden Monday (labor day) evening, when we will have an informal garden meeting with members of Sustainable Monroeville. Yes, the library will be closed that day, but stop by anyway!

Oh, yes… I'm still looking for volunteers, always, even if we are nearing the end of the season. Please continue to put the word out there. We've learned every year to be this good.

Best to you, and as always, THANKS!

412.374.0870-412.736.1765 (m)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Peaceable Kingdom documentary on July 7, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library

Join us on Monday evening, July 7, 2014, at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library to see the award winning documentary Peaceable Kingdom: the journey home, for the July meeting of Sustainable Monroeville. Free and open to the public!

"Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home is a riveting story of transformation and healing. This award-winning film explores the awakening conscience of several people who grew up in traditional farming culture and who have now come to question the basic assumptions of their way of life. Presented through a woven tapestry of memories, music, and breathtaking accounts of life-altering moments, the film provides insight into the farmers sometimes amazing connections with the animals under their care, while also making clear the complex web of social, psychological and economic forces that have led them to their present dilemma."

Peaceable Kingdom (documentary).jpg
Directed byJenny Stein
Produced byJames LaVeck
StarringLorri Bauston, Gene Bauston, Harold Brown, Howard Lyman, Jim Mason, Jessi Seif, Peaches Gillete, Jerry Cook
Running time70 min.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Monday evening, June 2, 2014, on Wind Energy at June meeting of Sustainable Monroeville!

Lupines leaves looking like windmills!

James Lease, with Do Good, a project of American Efficient, will be speaking about transitioning part of your electric bill to Wind Energy at the upcoming meeting of Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, June 2, 2014, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

All meetings of Sustainable Monroeville are free and open to the public. We meet in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Join Us, and bring along a friend or two or three!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sustainable Monroeville, Jack Sedlack Litter Pick Up Day, the PRC Litterbug, and more!

What a fun picnic at Monroeville Park following litter pick up on Jack Sedlack Clean Up Day in the Municipality of Monroeville, April 26, 2014! Thanks to Pam Barroso of Sustainable Monroeville for showing kids and adults the Litter IQ Boards, a project of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and loaned to us from PA Cleanways. Thanks to PA Resources Council for loaning us the Litterbug costume for the day, and thanks to that anonymous Litterbug and all of the amazing folks that picked up an awful lot of litter! 

Join us for the next meeting of Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, May 5, 2014, in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. The speaker will be Save Mintz of the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium on how insects create habitat! He'll have a LIVE Tasmanian cockroach with him to show everyone!! Join us with a friend or two. Sustainable Monroeville meetings are on the first Monday evening of each month and are free and open to the public.

 Joe Sedlack and the Litterbug!

 Monroeville Lions Club volunteers with the Litterbug!

 Monroeville Municipal Manager Mr. Tim Little with Interact volunteers from Gateway High School!

 The Litterbug checking his Litter IQ on the DCNR Board loaned from PA Cleanways!
Litterbug, girl scouts, and Max and Irma in the background!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Court Gould of Sustainable Pittsburgh on Certifying Sustainable Municipalities! Monday evening, April 7, 2014

Join Sustainable Monroeville at 7:00 PM on Monday evening, April 7, 2014, in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library to hear Court Gould, Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh speak about how Monroeville can become the next Certified Sustainable Municipality! 

Accolades for the 18 Certified Sustainable Municipalities

Through an underwriting campaign on 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, Sustainable Pittsburgh is bringing community accolades to the eighteen municipalities in southwestern Pennsylvania that have earned recognition through SP’s Sustainable Community Essentials Certification.

Ranging in certification level from Bronze through Gold, these municipalities have met the program's rigorous performance criteria, which tracks 131 policies and practices that define a sustainable community.

The Sustainable Community Essentials Certification assists municipalities with saving money, conserving resources and serving vibrant communities. Municipal officials, there is still time to complete the certification and be recognized. We can even provide hands-on assistance to get you started. Call us at (412) 258-6643 or visit to learn more.

What you will find on the certification website

The certification website is chock full of useful information:
- Click “View Certified Municipalities near you” to see a list of certified municipalities and also those that have pledged to become certified.

- View the information municipalities provided to earn certification.
Once you access the list of certified municipalities, you will notice their names are live web links. These links allow access to the policies and practices the municipality claimed and points earned. From here one can follow web links (little green boxes) provided by the municipality to material on their website that the municipality provided as validation of their certification points earned.

- The “Learn” button on the home page includes a drop down menu link to a “Library of Sustainable Municipal Policies and Practices.” Tracking all 131 certification criteria, this library is automatically populated as municipalities provide their web links to validate their points earned.

Applause for Certified Sustainable Municipalities!
Forest Hills, Connellsville, Moon, Scott, Latrobe, Cranberry, Upper St. Clair, Baldwin, Monaca

Edgewood, Dormont, Etna, Heidelberg, Findlay, Millvale, Peters, Mt. Lebanon


Monday, February 24, 2014

Join us this coming Monday evening, March 3, 2014, for a plant based pot luck dinner at 6:00 PM, and to see the movie The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil  starting at 7:00 PM. Film run time is 53 minutes."When Cuba lost access to Soviet oil in the early 1990's, the country faced an immediate crisis-feeding the population-and an ongoing challenge: how to create a new low energy society. Cuba transitioned from large, fossil-fuel intensive farming to small, less energy intensive organic farms and urban gardens, and from a highly industrial society to a more sustainable one.

This film tells the story of the Cuban people's hardship, ingenuity, and triumph over sudden adversity-through cooperation, conservation and community, told in their own words. " "As the world (is experiencing) approaches (is the word in this text), Peak Oil. Cuba provides a valuable example of how to successfully address the challenge of reducing our energy use."

"Everyone who is concerned about Peak Oil needs to see this film. Cuba survived an energy famine during the 1990's, and how it did so constitutes one of the most important and hopeful stories of the past few decades. It is the story not just of individual achievement, but of the collective mobilization of an entire society to meet an enormous challenge." Richard Heinberg, author of The Party's Over, Powerdown

The time is now y'all. Let's learn together! Following the film on the Power of Community, we will show a few short excerpts of next month's film on the Latest in Clinical Nutrition by Michael Greger, M.D. creator of Dr. Greger is an amazing resource and appears each year at the North American Vegetarian Society meeting and recaps all of the literature produced from the prior year regarding nutrition. I call him a comedian doctor!

Join us with a friend or two and some of your family! This meeting is free and open to the public and you can be from any community! We'd love for you to join us! 
Elisa Beck :)
Founder, Sustainable Monroeville 

Cross pollinating communities; Join us!

Laura Beck and Pam Barroso of Monroeville at Schwartz Living Market's Upcycle/ARTZ Market!

Pat Fulkerson and his lovely wife, of Monroeville, participating in the South Side Soup Contest at the Schwartz Living Market! 

 Last month's Fifth Anniversary Pot luck dinner party of Sustainable Monroeville!
 Happy Five Years Sustainable Monroeville~!
 Hal Saville of EIS Solar demonstrating a solar panel at last month's meeting of Sustainable Monroeville. Thanks Hal!
 Houses with solar panels and smiling faces!
Life is Good! On Route 376 traveling towards Pittsburgh, PA!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sustainable Monroeville's Five Year Anniversary Party Celebration! February 3, 2014, 6:00 PM Pot Luck dinner and 7:00 PM Hal Saville of EIS Solar.

Happy Anniversary to Sustainable Monroeville ! Join us for a wonderful pot luck party on Monday evening, February 3, 2014 at 6:00 PM in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library for the pot luck, and 7:00 PM to learn hands on practical SOLAR information for yourself, your family, and the community!

Hal talking about SOLAR at Schwartz Living Market during a meeting of SUNWPA folks!
Join us on Monday evening, February 3, 2014, to hear Hal Saville of EIS Solar talk with us about working together as a community to implement solar panels on all of the places we live and work.  Let's get started in Monroeville and surrounding communities collectively and collaboratively! When we work together, the price comes down.  

Monroeville is now "Solar-Ready"! The township's new solar ordinance, lays the path to encourage the growth of clean renewable energy on local homes and businesses. Energy Independent Solutions, the solar developer for Phipps Conservatory and many other local solar installations will host a free workshop explaining solar power basics, the new ordinance's purpose and how to get started with solar, including site evaluation, government incentives and project financing. Have your solar questions answered and your home or business evaluated at this informative workshop.

Hal Saville leaning on a Solar Array

We'll start out the five year anniversary celebration with a pot luck dinner at 6:00 PM. The meeting and talk by Hal Saville will begin at 7:00 PM. Remember to bring along your plate, silverware and a cup too, along with a friend, family, and a few neighbors. 

SAVE THE DATES: Sustainable Monroeville Meetings for 2014: February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, December 1, 2014 Elisa Beck :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Vegan Pot Luck dinner meeting for December 2, 2013 at 6:00 PM; 7:00 PM What is the Living Building Challenge?

We will meet at 6:00 PM for a Vegan Pot Luck dinner in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Bring along a dish to share along with your utensils, plate and a cup. After dinner, we will have a planning meeting for 2014 and Elisa Beck will give a talk on "What is the Living Building Challenge?"

All meetings of Sustainable Monroeville are free and open to the public. Join Us!

Summer Dogwood in Monroeville, PA

Windmills in Somerset, PA

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Honoring Bill Mckibben in Pittsburgh at the Sheraton Station Square on November 4, 2013 at 6:00 PM. Join us!

On November 4, 2013 Bill Mckibben, environmentalist, journalist, and founder of is being honored by the Thomas Merton Center so let's go support the center and their amazing cause and hear Bill Mckibben's words of wisdom!

There will not be a meeting of Sustainable Monroeville in November. On November 4, 2013 some of us will be going to Pittsburgh to hear Bill Mckibben and participate in the fundraiser for the Thomas Merton Center. If you'd like to carpool, let us know through the Sustainable Monroeville Facebook page!

We will see you on Monday evening, December 2, 2013, at the Monroeville Public Library for the December meeting. If you have an idea for a program or would like to offer a program, let us know!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ingredients: The Local Food Movement Takes Root at the October meeting of Sustainable Monroeville; 6:00 PM Plant based pot luck; 7:00 PM documentary screening

Monday evening, October 7, 2013, Sustainable Monroeville will show the documentary: Ingredients: The local food movement takes root

6:00 PM Pot Luck with locally sourced plant based food; Pack in and out so bring cutlery and plates!

7:00 PM Film~Screen time is 67 minutes with discussion following

Thanks to Amy Baer for suggesting we screen this film! We are looking for sponsors to pay the $100.00 fee. Contact us if you'd like to donate. There will be a $5.00 suggested donation at the door. Proceeds will be sent to the filmmakers.

To Great Health!

The Monroeville Food Garden is behind the Monroeville Public Library. This amazing garden has supplied 500 pounds of fresh vegetables to four local food banks for the third year in a row! Kudos to Councilwomen Lois Drumheller, the Monroeville Public Library, the Municipality of Monroeville and all of the tireless volunteers!

Garfield Community Farm in Pittsburgh, PA
Solar panels on new bioshelter at Garfield Community Farm
Children running in Garfield Community Farm Garden
Black Snake crossing Frick Park

 Rooftop in eastern Pennsylvania

Lavender Buddha & Sage 
Sunflower from the home garden

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Joys, Trials, and Tribulations of a Permaculture Landscape in the Suburbs! Wednesday evening, September 11, 2013, at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library

Join Sustainable Monroeville on Wednesday evening, September 11, 2013, at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library. As the founder of Sustainable Monroeville in February, 2009, I will talk about the wonders and joys and challenges of the Permaculture Landscape at our home in Monroeville. Bring along a locally sourced plant based snack to share, if you'd like. All meetings are free and open to the public. Join Us!

Here's some photos to enjoy in the meantime.  If you are interested in seeing our almost 20 year old Permaculture Landscape prior to the meeting for a half hour tour beginning at 6:00 PM, please contact me by messaging me through the Sustainable Monroeville Facebook page, and join me for the grand tour of our suburban Monroeville landscape.
Jewelweed, antidote for Poison Ivy
Delicious Kale 

Delicious Apples

Maple & Tulip Poplar Trees
Hibicus flowers

Rain barrel
Our family attended the North American Vegetarian Society Meeting on the University of Pittsburgh's Johnstown Campus this summer. We enjoyed the T-shirts that said: Only KALE will save the world! We sure enjoyed growing it in our front yard this season and eating and juicing it too!