Sunday, November 1, 2015

FREE Virtual Sustainability Summit and Wanda Guthrie of the The Thomas Merton Center speaks her truth at the November 2, 2015 meeting of Sustainable Monroeville!

Hello there, and Happy November! 

Join us on Monday November 2, 2015, at 7:00 PM to hear Wanda Guthrie, one of the original regional sustainability activists and pioneers talk at the Monroeville Public Library for the November meeting of Sustainable Monroeville.

From Wanda Guthrie:

"There is much movement in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area as people all over the world anticipate the decisions of the UN Paris Summit on Climate Change known as COP 21.

The Thomas Merton Center has a number of projects dedicated to environmental justice and climate justice. Our newest project is Pittsburgh 350 and we have been working together with other local groups to build momentum for local climate change actions and information. 

We are working with to create momentum for local, national and international actions addressing fossil fuels and climate change.

Please come and hear about our OFF + ON CAMPAIGN, POWER THROUGH PARIS, and our very important DIVEST PITTSBURGH: Asking the City of Pittsburgh to Divest from all fossil fuels."

On another note check out this virtual Sustainability Summit starting tonight for 12 consecutive days, absolutely FREE!!! Here's the link:

See y'all tomorrow evening in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. This meeting is free and open to the public. Feel free to invite others and share widely!

Elisa :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Join Us on Monday, October 5, 2015 for Sustainable Monroeville on COP21 Climate Change negotiations with Filmaker Mark Dixon of YERT fame!

Dear Sustainable Monroeville fans and community members in beautiful Western Pennsylvania,

Happy early Autumn! We are honored to host Filmmaker Mark Dixon for the October meeting of Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, October 5, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Sustainable Monroeville meetings are free and open to the public so bring along a friend or two or three! Save some room for some delicious surprise dessert that surely will have something to do with our sustainable and regenerative future!

From Mark: "This December nations around the world will send delegates to the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, France. This is quite possibly the most important climate-related event in all of human history, and Mark Dixon will be bringing his eyes, ears, and voice (and audio/video/photography gear) to this gathering to raise awareness about this important issue and urge responsible action by lawmakers – particularly in the Pittsburgh region.
Already an accomplished environmental filmmaker (YERT – Your Environmental Road Trip, and The Power of One Voice: A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson) and climate presenter, Mark Dixon further bolstered his awareness of the UN climate negotiations by formally representing Pittsburgh’s Mayor Peduto at an official UN COP21 precursor event: the World Summit Climate and Territories in Lyon, France. Based on this event and subsequent research, Mark has developed a detailed COP21 climate presentation to inform and entertain audiences with the drama and nuance around our civilization’s greatest attempt to address the climate crisis. Mark has pre-processed the complexities of the COP21 process and our collective global response so that you can be well-informed without devoting days of your life to working through all the details. We hope you can make it! More information at . And my crowdfunding campaign here: . "

We look forward to seeing you on Monday evening, October 5. Hey, let's learn together about shifting consciousness and creating an even more beautiful world!

Many blessings for a restorative, regenerative future,

Elisa Beck:)
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Sustainability Pioneers Film screenings and Documentary Filmmaker Kirsi Jansa on Monday, September 21, 2015 at 7:00 PM; Whole Foods Plant Based Pot Luck dinner at 6:00 PM

Happy Summertime! We are so excited to be hosting documentary filmmaker Kirsi Jansa, creator of Sustainability Pioneers for our September meeting of Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening September 21, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library!

Join us for 6:00 PM for a Whole Foods Plant Based meal, followed by some amazing documentaries and discussion with Kirsi!

Here's the link for more details :

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

Elisa Beck :)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

An Ecology of Mind, the movie, followed by discussion for the August 3, 2015 meeting of Sustainable Monroeville at 7:00 PM!

What's life on this planet and in this universe all about? How can we understand the nature of life without understanding our connection to the natural world and that we are nature? That our inner ecosystems are part of the "outer" world?

Join us for the August meeting of Sustainable Monroeville on Monday evening, August 3, 2015 at the Monroeville Public Library to see the documentary An Ecology of Mind produced Nora Bateson, daughter of Gregory Bateson. The movie screening will be followed by discussion and action!

Here's the link for more details about the documentary:

See y'all on Monday evening, August 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library, Sustainable Monroeville meetings are free and open to the public. Feel free to bring along your colleagues, friends and neighbors!

Many blessings and much love for an amazingly aware and sustainable, resilient future to all of us!

Elisa :)

Elisa Beck, Founder
Sustainable Monroeville
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

July 6, 2015 Sustainable Monroeville Meeting on Beekeeping and more!

July, 2015 with Sustainable Monroeville!

Join us on Monday, July 6, 2015 in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library to learn about Beekeeping! We have two amazing local speakers on bees, Christina Newmann and John Yakim. We'll also continue the Sustainable Community Certification conversation with Pam. Thanks so much to our amazing volunteers! Elisa Beck :)

Virginia Bluebells in early spring with bee pollinating!

Bees love to pollinate Echinacea, a wonderful medicinal plant!

Goldenrod and Asters in a yard in Monroeville for the bees!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

June 1, 2015 at Sustainable Monroeville! Six PM Pot Luck and 7:00 PM Meeting at the Monroeville Public Library!

 The June meeting of Sustainable Monroeville on June 1, 2015 is in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. At 6:00 PM we'll have a plant based, as locally sourced as possible, including your yard as a source of foraged food!!!, pot luck dinner followed by our meeting at 7:00 PM. Please pack in and out. Bring utensils, plates and cups!

Lois Drumheller who has spearheaded the Monroeville Food Garden along with several other amazing volunteers will give an overview of what's coming this season! 

Pamela Barroso who has been participating in Sustainable Monroeville since the group was founded in 2009 is spearheading the effort to document Monroeville as a Sustainable Community through the certification program of Sustainable Pittsburgh. Go to for more details about this program.

Pam's topic at the June 1, 2015 meeting of Sustainable Monroeville will focus on Local and Regional Cooperation. Questions to be addressed for Local and Regional Cooperation are below: 

Inline image 1 
The numbers on the right hand side of the statements are the maximum number of points that can be acquired for these items on the questionnaire that is being filled out. I am looking forward to the meeting to learn a lot, as I have not a clue what the Council of Governments is, nor how our municipality might work with the ICA's mentioned above!!

What is this Sustainable Community certification process all about and why is it important for the Municipality of Monroeville to participate in this program of Sustainable Pittsburgh? 

In my view this questionnaire is getting the conversation started community wide about the meaning of the word sustainability and is key to facilitate documentation of what is already sustainable about our amazing community! As  the conversation continues, community members, educators, school children, businesses, and politicians have questions we work on answering. We are all working together to manifest a more and more sustainably oriented community as we move along into the middle of the 21st century!

Looking forward to seeing you in June! 
All meetings of Sustainable Monroeville are free and open to the public.

Thanks so much to all of our volunteers, and Happy late Springtime!

Elisa :)

Elisa Beck, Founder
LIKE Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 on Sustainable Community Certification with Pamela Barroso!

On Monday evening, March 23, 2015 in the conference room of the Monroeville Public Library, Pamela Barroso, long time Sustainable Monroeville participant and organizer will continue presenting and facilitating discussion on Sustainable Communities. Thanks so much Pam! Sustainable Monroeville in conjunction with The Municipality of Monroeville is working towards Sustainable Community Certification through the non profit Sustainable Pittsburgh's Sustainable Community Certification program. Join Us! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Backyard composting with Pennsylvania Resources Council on Monday evening, February 2, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Monroeville Public Library!

Join us on Monday evening, February 2, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM with PA Resources Council in collaboration with the Monroeville Public Library to learn about Composting in your yard! Please note there is a fee for this program and you will go home with a composting bin! Woo Hoo!

Backyard Composting

Composting is nature’s way of recycling. By utilizing the natural process of decomposition, organic materials often considered “waste,” such as grass clippings, food scraps, autumn leaves and even paper, can be recycled back into a rich soil conditioner. Through this transition, soil organisms, many of which are too small to see, break down the organic material in a compost pile so that valuable plant nutrients can be released for future generations of plants to use. Composting helps you reduce your waste stream, it improves the health of your gardens, and most of all its easy to do and enjoyable. 

Workshop Details:

This workshop thoroughly covers the importance of composting, setting up a compost pile, proper maintenance and ways of using finished compost. Participants will receive an Earth Machine Compost Bin with attendance. This bin, approved across the state as an ideal bin for urban and suburban areas, has an eighty-gallon capacity. 

Backyard Composting Workshops

Sign up for a Backyard Composting Workshop and turn your yard waste and food scraps into a valuable resource for your garden. If you would like to receive workshop updates by email, please send a request to the contact information below.
For more information, email or call: (412) 488-7490 ext. 226
Cost: $50 per person/$55 per couple

Please note that meetings of Sustainable Monroeville are generally FREE, but there is a cost for this workshop! 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Screening of Urban Roots at January 5, 2015 Meeting of Sustainable Monroeville~ 7:00 PM! Composting Class in February!

Join Sustainable Monroeville in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library on Monday evening January 5, 2015, at 7:00 PM, to see the documentary Urban Roots!

Urban Roots is Produced by Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) and Mathew Schmid, and directed by Mark MacInnis. "The film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future."

 Following this 93 minute film, the participants will choose to watch one of two special features, Protecting the Right To Grow Food, A short by Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund about how to protect the right to grow food, 7 minutes; Insights and Tips on Urban Farming, with Urban Roots farmers sharing their expertise on how to start and maintain an urban farm throughout the year, 18 minutes, or have a discussion of the film.

Suggested $5.00 donation will go to which donates a portion of proceeds to "Putting Farms in Schools."


Save the date for Sustainable Monroeville's February 2, 2015, meeting. PA Resources Nancy Martin will teach a class on composting: It’s Time to Compost!!

Not sure what to do with your kitchen, garden and yard scraps? Would you like natural, home-made compost for your lawns and gardens in the spring? Expand your recycling efforts to include kitchen scraps and yard debris.

You receive a composting bin at class!

This PA Resources Council workshop thoroughly covers the importance and benefits of composting, the process, setting up a compost pile, proper maintenance, and ways of using finished compost. Participants will receive an Earth Machine Compost Bin with attendance. This bin, approved across the state as an ideal bin for urban and suburban areas, has an eighty-gallon capacity. 

Cost $50 single/ $55 couple and includes one compost bin

Where: Monroeville Public Library/Sustainable Monroeville’s February meeting
When: February 2, 2015 at 7:00 – 8:30 PM

For more info or to register go to:
or call 412-488-7490 X 226

This workshop is made possible by the generous support of the Giant Eagle Foundation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sahar Arbab on Sustainable Community Certification for Monroeville, PA, and Party; 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Monday evening, December 1, 2014!

You Are Invited! Join us on Monday evening, December 1, 2014, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM, for our fun plant based pot luck dinner and to hear Sahar Arbab, of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and working this year with Sustainable Pittsburgh, brief us, and work with us on our Sustainable Community Certification for the Municipality of Monroeville! Bring a plant based dish along with a cup, plate and utensils as we strive towards zero waste events!

Sustainable Monroeville meetings are free and open to the public and happen in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Invite a friend or two, come listen and learn, and share some delicious plant-based food! We do not limit our meetings to the residents of Monroeville, so feel free to invite friends and family from far and wide!

If you have time over the next few days, watch the movie ORIGINS on-line. You'll learn all about why eating a mostly plant based diet is a great sustainable, environmental thing to do! Here's the link:
the movie and related amazing videos are free to view for the next few days!

Someone said to me recently that I cannot consider myself an environmentalist if I eat meat. Chew on that line for awhile!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Elisa Beck :)
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lessons learned from The Great Climate Marchers and Sustainable Monroeville in Monroeville, PA !

The Great Climate Marchers came through our town! We are blessed Monroeville, PA!

College students walking across the country! That's called experiential learning!

Scouting out the route is one of the important jobs. The route from The Monroeville Church of the Brethren on Haymaker Road, crossing Route 22 and 48 to travel to Saunders Station is not yet bicycle or pedestrian friendly! No young children in the rickshaw for this part of the journey!

 Playing and cheering along the way! The young ones, they preserve the spirit of play!! So much fun!
 Thank you founder of the Great Climate March from Iowa!

Solar panels, bicycles, rickshaw and walkers....
Not much space to walk on the side of the road in Monroeville, PA while approaching the intersection of Routes 22 and 48....Lots of potential for this second busiest intersection in the state of PA!

 We have lots to learn about composting toilets. Cradle to cradle and the whole ecosystem functions so efficiently as we educate ourselves to come back to ourselves and be wise about using all of our resources!!!

What lessons did I learn through this experience with and likely because of my involvement with Sustainable Monroeville for these past many years ?

1) Sustainable Monroeville's Carol Cutler sure knows the lessons of perseverance! Thanks Carol from the bottom of our hearts for persisting by calling so many churches and temples to finally, after 12 calls to religious institutions in Monroeville, PA, find an institution willing to graciously host the Great Climate Marchers! That amazing space is called the Monroeville Church of the Brethren. This church's generous spirit and trust was truly a blessing for hosting many of the Climate Marchers while they were in Monroeville, PA.

2) The religious institutions in our town are not yet acculturated to understand how important it is to open their doors to tired, amazing individuals that are working to make the world a better place. Time will heal!

3) The Climate Marchers taught me how important it is top lighten our loads, remain unattached to material goods, and never give up!

Thanks, thank you, WOW, THANK YOU 50 Great Climate Marchers for your courage, your wisdom, for sharing your lives with us, even for the brief moment that you crossed our paths in Monroeville, PA! We honor you, we bless you, and we hope to see you again soon! Thanks so much to all of the amazing individuals that live in Monroeville, PA for hosting marchers in their homes!

The Great Climate Marchers will be arriving in Washington D.C. on November 1. If you go to meet them and make your voice heard about cultural shifting, let them know you are from Monroeville, PA, and you support them. They are happy to accept monetary donations for their work!

Elisa Beck, Founder
Sustainable Monroeville
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Opportunity in Climate Change: Seeing and Seeding Joy, Love and Peace! Pot Luck Dinner Thursday, October 16, 6:00 to 8:00 PM in Monroeville, PA!

The Opportunity in Climate Change has arrived in Monroeville, PA!

  • Turning the negative into the positive
  • Letting go of pre-conceived notions and political boundaries 
  • Blessing everyone and everything!

My life is full of fun and adventure these days. I ponder how boring life would be without the adventure of figuring out what programs and wonderful individuals to bring to Sustainable Monroeville's mostly monthly meetings; Meeting the Living Building Challenge of an Existing Historic Structure at the project I work on at 1317 East Carson Street,, the home of Schwartz Living Market; and as a developmental optometrist, meeting the wonderful challenges, trials and tribulations of playing and working with children and adults with vision related learning disabilities, post traumatic brain injured folks, post concussion and post stroke, with multiple visual issues including double vision, difficulty tracking across the printed page and trouble perceiving three dimensionality.

Three dimensionality? How many dimensions are we really able to perceive? What of the paradigm shift that is happening right now, right here in Monroeville, PA, in Pittsburgh, PA, in the USA, and all around the globe? Participate, Dance, Live Life Fully, Dance, Sing, look your family, friends and neighbors in the eye and celebrate that we have all been chosen to celebrate life with one another at this moment in time, at this moment in he(i)rstory! Or is that heresy?!

We are so excited to be co-hosting the Great Climate Marchers right here in Monroeville, PA, on Thursday, October 16, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Monroeville Church of the Brethren. Thanks so much Pastor Schultz for opening your facility to the community! Thanks so much Carol Cutler for all of your efforts related to planning the hosting of 50 Climate Marchers and for organizing the pot luck dinner!

The pot luck dinner this coming Thursday evening is FREE and open to the public! Please come and bring along a friend or two or three that would like to learn about the opportunities in Climate Change!

Blessings and more blessings!

Elisa Beck :)
Founder, Sustainable Monroeville
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Thanks Sandy for your amazing work in the Monroeville Food Garden behind the Monroeville Public Library! The library produce over 600 pounds of fresh produce for four local food banks this season with the help of many volunteers!

Explore the LIVING BUILDING CHALLENGE for your apartment, your home, your building! 
Go to or for details!