Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Our rooftop and The Search for Sustainability Documentary Series produced by Nathan Crane

Hello and Happy February!

Join us to view the entire Search for Sustainability Series produced by Filmmaker Nathan Crane for the rest of the monthly Sustainable Monroeville meetings in 2016. The movies will be followed by discussion. The next Sustainable Monroeville meeting is on Monday, March 7, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Sustainable Monroeville meetings are free and open to the public and take place in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library on the first Monday evening of each month. Please note: * July date will be posted soon....  See you at the movies!

Check out the link below to see the first in the series for free:

My personal Sustainability Lesson for 2015:

My big lesson in sustainability for 2015 was when we needed to put a new roof on our suburban Monroeville home. I wanted to put the greenest, most sustainable rooftop on the face of the planet on our home, but things did not end up that way.
What am I talking about? Well, a metal roof with solar panels, the more sustainable choice in my view would have cost about three times as much as the asphalt rooftop I eventually settled for. The best we could do was put an Energy Star rated rooftop, light in color on our roof. The shingles were made in a relatively local factory somewhere in Ohio....Why is it that the metal roof would be so much more expensive? My understanding is that the oil industry is so heavily subsidized that asphalt shingles which are oil based cost way less than other alternatives including composite materials and natural materials such as slate or ceramic roof tops....

The other rooftop revelation was that at this moment in time,  there is not one place in Western PA or Eastern Ohio that will recycle asphalt shingle. A prominent roofing company in Western PA misled me initially saying that they would take the old shingle and have it recycled with an UPCHARGE. When I checked into this through the PA Resources Council and by following through myself, I found out that indeed this was NOT true. This roofing company was appalled when I told them the truth and they made sure they will not spread untruths any more. They also made sure the company that said they were recycling asphalt shingles, but were not, took that fictitious service off of their web site!

Elisa Beck :)
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Friday, January 29, 2016

You Are Invited: Filmmaker Mark Dixon on COP 21 Paris Adventures! Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the Monroeville Public Library

Join us on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Monroeville Public Library to hear Mark Dixon on his trip to Paris for COP 21 A FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF THE COP21 CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT 
Mark Dixon, known throughout the region for his dedication to more sustainable solutions to our ecological and climate crisis, will be offering his impressions and experiences of the COP21 Climate Change Summit in Paris in December. Mark’s trip to Paris as a representative of western Pennsylvania was funded by members of the Pittsburgh ecological community. Before he left, he spoke to many groups including FUMC about the issues and dynamics that would be at play at the Summit. Now, after having attended the summit as a reporter and an observer, he will be sharing his impressions and insights to our church and the wider Pittsburgh community. This is a bit of planetary history that is crucial to every one of us. Here is your chance to get a first-hand account of an international history making event. 
Watch Mark's presentation leading up to the summit:…
Mark's blog. Scroll down for a 10 minute video summary of the summit:
We'll also hear about an upcoming Hard To Recycle Event in the springtime in Monroeville, PA and the agenda for the rest of the Sustainable Monroeville meetings in 2016. 
Looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday evening & Many Blessings for all of us on this magical spaceship planet Earth!
Elisa Beck :)
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Search For Sustainability

Happy 2016! What an amazing time to be alive! 

Join us on Monday evening, January 4, 2016 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM for the January meeting of Sustainable Monroeville.  Searching For Solutions, the first part of a 12 part Searching For Sustainability documentary will be shown. Join us in the downstairs program room of the Monroeville Public Library. Free and open to the public!


After interviewing 49 leading visionaries in the sustainability movement, we've edited the content into 12 different facets of sustainability and look at everything from land, soil, water, and education - to politics, business, agriculture, self-reliance, and economics - all from the viewfinder of sustainability and regenerative living. 
Every interview has something incredibly valuable to share, and every person we interviewed appears in one or more episodes. 
Filming and editing this series has changed my life, my family's life, and inspired and educated us to live at such a higher level of connection and meaning and sustainability - giving us deeper tools and resources to continue advancing to more sustainable living - and I can't wait for you to experience the value and benefit we all have. 
To a sustainable future, 
Nathan Crane is an award winning author, inspirational speaker, conscious filmmaker, and highly sought after publisher and promoter of personal growth teachings, books, events and training courses.  Nathan is the founder of the Panacea Companies including The Panacea Community, Panacea Publishing, Inc., Panacea Life School, and Panacea Hope.  He is the President and CEO of Integrated Health International, and produces highly transformational events that positively impact and transform hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.  Nathan's full venture, product, and resource list can be found at

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 2015, Sustainable Monroeville, and COP 21 in Paris

Hello and Happy December!

In honor of the COP 21 conference in Paris, we will not have a Sustainable Monroeville meeting in December, 2015. Why no meeting this month? No free movie? No talking about how to create and document a more Sustainable Monroeville and a more Sustainable Metro Pittsburgh and more Sustainable Western PA? Hey, we will save some greenhouse gases! There's never been a person in all the years we've been having these meetings at the Monroeville Public Library that has biked or walked to a meeting in these suburbs. Prove me wrong! Yes, there have been carpools....
How are we individually and collectively going to reduce our carbon footprints?

Take time to catch up with filmmaker Mark Dixon on his journey. Learn from him and all the others who have put amazing time and energy into creating our new reality!

Follow these links for day by day COP 21 updates:
on Facebook: Mark's Climate Journey to COP 21
on the Blog:

Here's the link to the climate lecture Mark presented at a recent meeting of Sustainable Monroeville and has presented all over the Pittsburgh region:

Mark is THE representative lay person who has traveled to Paris from Pittsburgh. Follow Pittsburgh's amazing Mayor, Bill Peduto, to see what is going on during the talks and figure out how you can shift your awareness and consciousness and wrap your heart and spirit around the changes you can make as an individual. Think of how you can be involved in your community to shift awareness and make positive changes towards carbon neutrality!

And get ready for an amazing 2016 life changing time! Happy Holidays and Happy end of 2015 and 2016 and Way Way beyond!!


Elisa Beck:)

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
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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!