Ep. 29 Alicia Carberry helps to “redd up” Pittsburgh neighborhoods

We chat about volunteering, the Garbage Olympics, and hugging a tree since you can’t currently hug your friends.

by Stephanie Brea
May 26, 2020

This episode originally aired on May 26. The 2020 Garbage Olympics are taking place on Sept. 26, you can find the details here.  

iTunes | Spotify | Direct download Ep. 29

Alicia Carberry & The Pittsburgh Garbage Olympics

Q: What do local events the Garbage Olympics, Help or High Water, and the Share Fair all have in common?

A: Pittsburgh resident Alicia Carberry.

To put it simply, Carberry is a helper — someone who spends her spare time making her city a better place. And she’s been doing it for years. In this episode, we chat about her projects and learn how she started to volunteer her time and spend her social capital on getting her friends to help her “redd up” the city on her birthday (don’t worry, they still had a traditional celebration afterward). Currently on the board of Pittsburgh’s Shade Tree Commission, she reminds us that we can still safely hug a tree even though we cannot currently hug our friends. The Shade Tree Commission recently launched an Instagram campaign, and they encourage you to tag your own tree-hugging photos with #pghtreehugger.

The Garbage Olympics started with five neighborhoods that competed to pick up the most trash, and grew to include (as of last year) 34 participating neighborhoods. Now under the umbrella of programming by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission, the event will be slightly modified due to COVID-19, but details will be forthcoming closer to the fall.

For more info on cleaning up your neighborhood: @cleanpghcommission

Take a break from Zooming and send some snail mail

The Bird + The Beard is a local stationery company that is including stamps with every greeting card purchase. It’s an easy way to send a card without needing to mask up and stand in line at the post office. Send a Father’s Day card or a card to your nephew who just graduated. Send your friend a card, just because. We also love their wedding postponement announcements, which, while unfortunate, are a lovely way to communicate the coronavirus changes to your ceremony.

Won’t you feed your neighbor?

Mobile pizza-maker turned brick-and-mortar restaurant Driftwood Oven’s Neighbor Loaves program provides the opportunity for you to purchase a loaf of bread for your neighbor in need. Just click the link and buy a loaf, which is made from at least 50% locally grown flour. The loaves are distributed through Lawrenceville United, who has been adding it to their weekly food distribution boxes.


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Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

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