May 24: Rachel's Sustainable Feast

May 24:  Third Annual Rachel’s Sustainable Feast, sampling the best of western Pennsylvania.  An annual street fair outside the birthplace and home of scientist and author Rachel Carson in Springdale, promoting local, sustainable foods, products, services and organizations that help make our region one  of the “greenest” in the country.  The Rachel Carson Homestead Association (RCHA) started the event in honor Carson's centenary in 2007, to help more of the public to find out about the many sustainable, 'green' resources right in their own back yard. Rachel Carson spent the first half of her life in the Allegheny valley before going on to set in motion the modern environmental movement.  With all these
terrific farmers, chefs, advocacy groups and green vendors, there's a lot to celebrate, and to show the rest of the country.  The greater Pittsburgh region demonstrates clearly how a post-industrial area can turn into one of the hottest green regions in the U.S.

Western Pennsylvania has one of the biggest concentrations of sustainable agriculture in the country, and this one-time secret is beginning to gain recognition.  There are thousands of farmers who value the soil and future generations through practicing organic and sustainable agriculture, countless chefs who support these farmers by purchasing and serving fresh, local produce and a dedicated group of environmental and conservation groups who work to protect our land, air and water.  Another exciting development is the growing number of small start-up businesses that are producing “earth-friendly” products and services. The Feast is designed to celebrate these assets and bring them together with the people who live here.

To further emphasize the sustainable message of the Feast, the RCHA is working with AgRecycle this year to compost the entire event.  In addition, event-goers can save $2 off the ticket price by bringing their own water containers.  There will be water dispensers and compostable cups on site, but plastic bottles will not be provided.  More than 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away each day in this country. The Earth Policy Institute, an independent, nonprofit environmental research organization, estimates that making bottles to meet the U.S. demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel one million cars for a year. There are also potentially harmful substances in some of the plastics.  One of them is called Bisphenol A (BPA) which is an endocrine disruptor that has been shown to leach into bottled water even at room temperature.  Because of the special composting exercise with AgRecycle, people will be asked to take any bottles, cans or non-Feast generated garbage with them.  The RCHA is also challenging visitors to travel to the Feast in as sustainable a manner as possible.

Rachel Carson’s environmental ethic embodies living in harmony with nature, preserving and learning from natural environments, minimizing the impact of man-made chemicals on natural systems of the world and considering the
implications of human actions on the global web of life.  These guiding principles are applied when inviting chefs and exhibitors to Rachel’s Sustainable Feast. 

Included this year are more than 13 local chefs who source their ingredients from local farmers and artisans.  They'll include Eric Wallace of Lidia’s Italy, Keith Fuller of Six Penn Kitchen (who’ll be joined by Steve Salvi of Fede Pasta), Kevin Sousa of Salt of the Earth, Trevett Hooper of Legume Bistro, James Gray of Dozen Bake Shop, Michael Barnhouse from Brillobox, James Lynch from Phipps Café, Jordan Kay of Enrico Biscotti, Kevin Hunninen of Point Brugge Café, Paul Bates of Cura Hospitality, Terry Geracia and Rick Carrillo from Parkhurst Dining Services, as well as food served by Whole Foods Market and East End Food Coop.

Other activities at this year’s Feast include:
·     Venture Outdoors will have its climbing wall onsite.
·     Dr. Nancy Gift of Chatham University will be signing her new book A Weed By Any Other Name, (Beacon Press 2009), which discusses landscape naturalization.
·     Pennsylvania Resources Council will hold a composting class during the afternoon. Pre-registration and pre-payment through PRC is required.
·     Children’s activities will be organized by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.
·     Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy will hold an 8-mile mini-hike along the Rachel Carson Trail ending at the Feast.  Pre-registration through RCTC is required.  Rachel Carson Mini-Trail hikers will be able to attend the Feast for free.

Pre-registration for Rachel's Sustainable Feast is required, and can be done online.  Ticket prices are $10 general admission ($2 off for bringing your own water container); children under 6 get in free.  In honor of Memorial Day Weekend and our military families, Veterans also get in free.

The event will run from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.  
Rachel’s Sustainable Feast organizing partners are Eat ‘N Park Hospitality Group, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Slow Food Pittsburgh and Whole Foods Market.  Major sponsorship is provided by the Dominion Foundation.  Media sponsorship is provided by WDUQ 90.5 FM, WYEP 91.3 FM and Allegheny
Front Radio.  Rachel’s Sustainable Feast is a signature event of the Pittsburgh Great
Outdoors Week.  Visit for more information.

May 20: Rain Barrel/Watershed Awareness workshop

May 20:  Rain Barrel/Watershed Awareness workshop.  Learn how to harvest rainwater from your roof and divert it for on-site usage in the landscape.  Attend a rain barrel workshop and return home equipped (with everything except the 55-gal. drum) to assemble and install a retrofitted rain barrel. It’s easier than you might think.

6:30-8 p.m. at CCI Center on the South Side;  $30/person or $40/couple.  Call 412-488-7490 ext. 247 to register.  More information and other events at

May 20: Town Hall Meeting - Transitioning to a Green Economy

May 20: Town Hall Meeting - Transitioning to a Green Economy. Repower America will be hosting an informational town hall meeting on the transition to a Green Economy. Panelists will include representatives from labor, local business, the environmental movement and more. 

7:00 PM at the Bloomfield Garfield Community Activity Center, 113 N Pacific Ave, Pittsburgh, Pa 15224

 Please call Paolo at (347) 263-5967 or email for more information.


May 18: Bioneers Monday -- Legacy Arts Project

May 18: Bioneers Monday with host the Legacy Arts Project.  Expect to see some amazing performances: a video screening of Bioneers' Sarah Crowell and Destiny Arts, and some phenomenal local artists live - Amir Rashidd (The Legacy Arts Project Resident Storyteller), and a crew of African drummers! 
6 p.m. at the Bedford Hope Center, in the Hill District (here's a map).  
For questions or to RSVP, please contact Maureen at or 412-334-2072

May 16: Hard to Recycle collection event

May 16:  Hard to Recycle collection event in Lawrenceville.  This event will offer residents the opportunity to recycle items like electronics, tires, CFLs, batteries, cell phones, and ink and toner cartridges.  With CCI's new partner Global Links, they'll also be taking medical supplies such as crutches, canes, and walkers!

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Allegheny County Health Department offices in Lawrenceville (39th and Penn Avenue).  Fees apply for some items.  More information on this and other events at .

May 11: Air, Heart, and Lungs

May 11:  Air, Heart, and Lungs:  Making the Connection.  Did you know that while the Pittsburgh region has the same rate of asthma as the nation, use of emergency services by local children with ashtma is 300-400% above the national average...  and that diesel exhaust can increase the risk of heart disease?
Join GASP, Dr. Fernando Holguin (nationally renowned asthma researcher at the Pediatric Environmental Medicine Center) and Dr. Donald Grandis (cardiologist at the Jefferson Regional Medical Center) as they examine how air pollution in the Pittsburgh area affects respiratory and cardiovascular health.  

7-9 p.m. at the Imagine Environmental Charter School at 829 Milton Street in Regent Square (15218);  Free and open to the public.

May 2: Trip to the Strip!

May 2:  Trip to the Strip!  Please Join the Southwestern Air Quality Partnership at an event featuring featuring alternative transportation options to demonstrate how you can save money and help preserve your health and the environment.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.;  23rd Street & Penn Avenue in the Strip District.  Free food and entertainment.

More info is on this flyer.

May 2: Roll Beyond Coal Event

May 2:  Roll Beyond Coal Event.  Roll from Washington’s Landing to Point State Park to show your support for a clean energy future that will stimulate economic growth and move us beyond Dirty Coal’s harmful legacy.  Join the Sierra Club for a fun event to launch the local Beyond Coal campaign!  They'll be gathering on Washington’s Landing near the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Offices and “Rolling” down the river trail to Point State Park for a press Conference with Mary Anne Hitt, Deputy Director of the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” Campaign as well as representatives from the Center for Coalfield Justice, the Environmental Integrity Project, and some special surprise guests. Bring your roller skates, skateboard, bicycle or anything that rolls on human power to be part of the action and tell Pennsylvania’s Governor to stop new coal facilities. 

Meet by 10 a.m. at the upper parking lot on Washington’s Landing;  the press conference will be in Point State Park.
You can RSVP via Facebook (and join the local Sierra Club group if you haven't already) at 

May 2: "Making Whiteness Visible" film showing

May 2:  Film showing:  “Mirrors of Privilege:  Making Whiteness Visible” followed by a  discussion led by Dr. Avis Ellis. 

The film shows by testimony and example how situations pertaining to employment, housing, social interaction, education, finance, etc. develop with different results depending on the color of the skin of those involved.
9:30 a.m. to noon at the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church at 11110 Resaca Place, at the corner of North Ave. and Resaca Place on the Northside;  free and open to the public (donations suggested).  For information, call  412-661-7149.  Sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church.