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: http://origins.well.org/movie/?contactId=466018&inf_contact_key=150fab727b0095191f4f813d22e96e6313c70467a284f8c280060c53fcedfead&inf_field_Email=elisabeck%40aol.com&inf_BH3oNHedtWJ98YNq=
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, http://1317eastcarson.blogspot.com, 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
LIKE Sustainable Monroeville on Facebook!

http://1317eastcarson .blogspot.com
LIKE Schwartz Living Market on Facebook!


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 ILFI.org or Living-Futures.org for details!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beekeeping with John Yakim on October 6 and The Climate Marchers in Monroeville, PA on October 16, 2014!

The Monroeville Food Garden....

 Thanks so much to Laura and Sandy and all of the amazing volunteers!
 Thanks so much to Lois Drumheller!

Join us on Monday evening, October 6, 2014, at the Monroeville Public Library to hear John Yakim talk about his beehives in Monroeville. Lois Drumheller will show us how the Monroeville Food Garden behind the Monroeville Public Library is being "put to sleep"!

Join us also on Thursday, October 16, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM for a pot luck dinner with about 50 Climate Marchers at the Monroeville Church of the Brethren on Center Road! The Climate Marchers started their journey in California in March, 2014, and we are honored to host them on Thursday, October 16!

Information about the Great March For Climate Action can be found here: http://www.icontact-archive.com/GvQYexmXvqPhARbh3npQzEgWEeiGdtLk?w=3

If you'd like to offer your home to host a few folks, let us know. E-mail to sustainablemonroeville@gmail.com, or contact us through the Sustainable Monroeville Facebook page!

See you soon!

Elisa Beck :)

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 l_drumheller@me.com
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 www.sustainablecommunityessentials.org 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 NutritionFacts.org. 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 :)