Pasadena weekend: October 17-19

Read about food waste and attempts to deal with it. Learn about lawns. Join others for a picnic, a festival or a bike ride. Plus: local exhibitions and petitions, and a survey.

Festival. The City of South Pasadena is hosting an event on Saturday to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Nature Park. Visit and enjoy the Nature Park while learning about native plants and water conservation. Also on the program: booths, a guided nature walk, a plant sale and fun for the entire family.

Picnic. The Pasadena Community Garden on Pasadena Avenue and LA Community Gardens are hosting a low-waste picnic on Saturday. Expect live music, children's activities, garden tours and exhibits as well as the honoring of Yvonne Savio for her continued support of community gardens throughout LA County.

Water, gardening. For Sunday morning, the Neighborhood Church has invited native plant expert Roger Klemm (JPL Green Club) to discuss the topic of lawns: Which resources go into keeping grass green? What are the ecological benefits and drawbacks of lawns? Which alternatives are there? The event is titled How To Murder Your Hungry Lawn. On Sunday evening the Urban Village Garage is hosting a presentation on all things water by Dan Sharp, a water management engineer for L.A. County. Transition Pasadena's Throop Learning Garden meets on Sunday morning.

Petition 1, styrofoam. Day One, a Pasadena-based non-profit community organization, has introduced a petition urging the City to phase out the use of polystyrene foam (styrofoam) food containers. The implementation of a styrofoam ban by 2017 is one of the recommendations in the City's Zero Waste Plan. After approval by the Municipal Services Committee earlier this month the Zero Waste Plan will come before the City Council on Monday, October 20. More than 70 cities in California have already banned the use or even the sale of polystyrene foam food containers. Local grassroots groups are pushing for Pasadena to adopt a ban in 2015.

Petition 2, vulnerable road users. The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition has initiated a petition for the City to adopt an ordinance to protect vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and persons with disabilities.

Survey. Pasadena Water and Power is conducting a survey on the city's energy future. To participate go to (Note: PWP has not posted any information on when the survey period ends, but as of this printing the link was still up.)

Cycling. On Sunday morning Pasadena Cyclery will hold Gwen's Group Ride and the Sunday Morning Neighborhood StrollFor details see the calendar page of Pasastainable, CA.

Exhibition 1. As part of the Pasadena Arts Council's AxS Festival, the Armory presents Karin Apollonia Müller's World’s Edge, a photographic exploration of the intersection between the natural landscape and complex urbanization. Ends next summer.

Exhibition 2. An exhibition at Descanso Gardens in La Canada titled Signs of Life aims to look at water "in all its moods and states." The event is part of this year's AxS Festival, a celebration of the arts and sciences that is held in Pasadena every two years.

The Arroyo Food Co-op will be open on Saturday morning for pick-ups and shopping. Orders placed online by Sunday midnight will be available for pick-up next Tuesday and Saturday. Stay tuned for the grand opening of the co-op on October 25!

Got kids? On Saturday morning, the Eaton Canyon Nature Center is hosting a family nature walk. Bring your small children, walking shoes, sunscreen, water and a hat. Also on Saturday morning at the Nature Center: the weekly Nature Tails Story Hour which includes stories, nature walks and puppet shows for children ages 3-5.

Random reads. Did you know that about one third of the food we produce globally never makes it into our mouths? That we could feed three billion people with the food that is lost and wasted worldwide on farms, in kitchens and in-between? A recent article on the website of National Geographic, One-Third of Food Is Lost or Wasted: What Can Be Done, looks at where and why we dump food, at how our behavior impacts water usage and generates greenhouse gases, and at what we can do to fix things. Some of the numbers in the piece — yes, it's a dry read — boggle the mind: "If global food waste were a country," Elizabeth Royte writes, "it would be the third largest generator of greenhouse gases in the world behind China and the United States." On a more uplifting note, the State of Massachusetts implemented a ban on commercial food waste disposal on October 1. The first such statewide ban in the nation, it forces businesses to divert food wastes from disposal to composting, conversion, recycling or reuse. And what's happening locally? According to the draft of the Zero Waste Strategic Plan for the City of Pasadena diversion programs for food scraps, other organics, and compostables are on the horizon. The deadline for their implementation is 2020. (Post updated at 5:30 p.m. on 10/17/14)

- - - - - - - - - - -

Unless otherwise noted, all events take place in Pasadena. For times, addresses and other details please see the calendar page of Pasastainable, CA or the event owner's webpage.