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“Sleeping Naked is Green” author and eco-steward Vanessa Farquharson to present 2014 Heinz Distinguished Lecture

PITTSBURGH  (March 13, 2014) … Every day for a full year, admitted "product junkie" Vanessa Farquharson made one eco-friendly change to her to see if going green would truly have an impact on her life. And it did in more ways than she could imagine.

The University of Pittsburgh's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and the Carnegie Mellon University Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research will present Ms. Farquharson as the 2014 Heinz Distinguished Lecturer on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 4:30 pm in the William Pitt Union Ballroom, 3959 Fifth Avenue in Oakland. "Sleeping Naked and Showering in the Dark: The Fun Path to Green Living" recaps her year long journey chronicled first in her blog and then in her book, " Sleeping Naked is Green: How an eco-cynic unplugged her fridge, sold her car, and found love in 366 days."

For more information and to register visit  www.mascarocenter.pitt.edu/heinzlecture  . Validated parking will be provided directly across from the William Pitt Union in the Soldiers and Sailors Parking Garage, 4215 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Participants should bring parking tickets to the registration desk for validation. For more information, e-mail Kim Wisniewski at  kaw54@pitt.edu .

A journalist with the  National Post  focused on practical environmentalism, Ms. Farquharson brings a sense of humor to the current green dialogue, whether it's an anecdote about her unusual shower routine involving a jug of vinegar and total darkness, or advice on how to compost that ensures one doesn't end up with 50 "red wriggler" worms crawling all over the living room floor. The foundation of Ms. Farquharson's lecture is an easy-to-follow breakdown of what she learned while making 366 eco-friendly modifications to her life-lessons that are centered on perspective shifts and include everything from acknowledging the fine line between encouraging and enforcing acts of green, as well as the importance of embracing our hypocrisy and understanding how a card-carrying environmentalist may also bank a lot of air miles.

In a 2009 review of  Sleeping NakedThe New Yorker 's Elizabeth Kolbert provided a backhanded compliment: "At twenty-eight, Farquharson is almost exactly the age that Thoreau was when he set off for Walden Pond. And she's a lot like him, too, if he'd been the type who enjoys blowing a 'month's savings on a bottle of pink Veuve Clicquot and pairing it with back-to-back reruns of America's Next Top Model.'" Ms. Farquharson admits she is "guilty as charged."

The Heinz Distinguished Lecture  is supported by a gift from the Heinz Endowments for the establishment of a Green Construction and Sustainable Development Program in the Pitt Swanson School of Engineering's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The lectureship is an annual event, cosponsored by Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and the Carnegie Mellon University Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, that presents innovative, thought-provoking, and forward-looking concepts appropriate for sustainable development to Pitt and CMU audiences, as well as to the public at large.


Contact: Paul Kovach