TSEP is hiring!

Exciting announcement: TSEP has an immediate need for an experienced documentary film producer!

The ideal candidate will be effective, experienced, creative and available immediately, as fundraising for a late Summer 2014 Production is already underway.  You can read more about the opportunity here.

Please spread the word!  Doing so will help bring us closer to a sustainable feature-length documentary film.   Continue reading


Making Space for the Emotional Story of Sustainability

When I first set out in 2008 to craft a 100% sustainable lifestyle that would be accessible for anyone in the world to mimic, I had my heart in the right place.

I believed that “sustainability” was a matter of too many humans and too little Earth.  I imagined that if I reduced my ecological footprint to zero–that is, producing no waste, just perfectly balanced inputs and outputs of food, water, and energy–then I would have essentially subtracted myself from the imbalanced equation, and created a model from which anyone could borrow, so they too could subtract themselves from the problem of global unsustainability.

It seems quite strange to me, looking back, that I considered myself and my impact on the world–as measurable only in terms of my material substance.  In other words, that I was only “a body”–and not my education, my relationships, or any of that stuff.  Also, that accounting for my body had to be done with literally no consequences to the material world.  It’s almost like, as I say in Episode 1 of the Sust Enable series, that in terms of my physical footprint, I would disappear completely.

Instead, as soon as I began to try to live along the lines of my warped, rigid plans for 100% sustainability–I didn’t disappear.  “I” came into sharp, uncomfortable focus.  Many of my internal assumptions and attitudes, which were “behind the scenes” while I carefully planned and strategized what my perfectly 100% sustainable life would look like, were suddenly exposed by conflicting experiences that defied my expectations.

Some parts of that initial lifestyle expanded my realm of awareness and have become a positive, integral part of my life (such as learning to identify plants).  Some parts were so recklessly ignorant that I compromised my actual life to meet their criteria (like, not having the know-how to grow my own food, I lost an unhealthy amount of weight).  I also saw how some parts, like the project’s design of me acting as both film producer and subject of the 100% sustainable lifestyle, actually contradicted and undercut my attempt to make a sustainable lifestyle.  I was trying to cram a whole new, unfamiliar lifestyle–and the load of producing and directing an eight-part episode series with crew and interviewees–into just one life, and of course, the pieces didn’t always fit together.  Sometimes I was my own barrier in achieving the 100% sustainability I sought.  Indeed… I began noticing that the most interesting part of this experiment had little to do with the material facts of my footprint, like whether I was using 5 or 20 liters of water in a day–but rather, how my direct experiences were shattering my expectations and forcing me to examine my own deeply-rooted internal assumptions–derived from my culture, my upbringing, my own goals–about sustainability and much more, that I never knew I had

To make a long story short, I ended the 2008 Sust Enable experiment with an enormous and beautifully tangled mess on my hands.  It is my dream to unravel this tangled mess and its numerous lessons in a feature-length artistic documentary film.

What I want to do with the upcoming film, Sust Enable: The Metamentary, is to hold space for the emotional story of sustainability.

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News (new people, new workshops, new momentum!)

The Sust Enable team would like to welcome Meg Koleck and Sarah Megyesy to our project! Meg and Sarah will be serving as Assistant Producer interns for this semester. We really look forward to working with you. And thanks for being so inspired, and for appreciating–or at least tolerating–our ever-in-flux “organic” filmmaking process.

With the help from these two new producers, Sust Enable’s production capacity has expanded! We are looking for people who would like to share their definition of sustainability with us from around the Pittsburgh area. What does it mean to you to “live sustainably?” What parts of your life are “sustainable?”  Why does sustainability matter to you? If you’d like to be interviewed, or know someone who should be interviewed, contact our director Caroline at carolinesavery [at] gmail [dot] com.

Belated thanks to Kevin May (Phil Osophical) for teaching at our last Sustainability Jam on August 11. The topic was “How to Conduct a Gift Circle” and how gift circles relate to sustainability. Our next Sustainability Jam will be on September 8, and the topic is “Maintaining your Bicycle”.  You’re invited! Check out the full invitation here.

In other news… Caroline Savery, our director, will be teaching a workshop on “applying the wisdom of sustainability to activist organizing” at the Building Change Conference in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, October 15th!  Check out the amazing initiative behind the Building Change conference, and read about Caroline’s workshop here.

We are also proud to announce that we have just received our LLC status from the state of Pennsylvania. Hooray, we’re legit!  A lot of good things are happening now, with much forward momentum…

Thanks for your involvement!

– The Sust Enable Crew