Greetings from St. Louis, Costa Rica, and TEDx Pittsburgh!

Whew, I just got back from St. Louis, Costa Rica, and Pittsburgh…and boy are my arms tired. 😉 It’s been a fantastic couple of weeks for the YERT film – (hey, we just won Best Feature Documentary for our international premiere at the Costa Rica International Film Festival!!). Here are some snapshots and a few things I learned while traveling.

St. Louis (11/11-13):
* Always remember your wallet when taking a road trip to St. Louis (or your Aunt Karen will never let you live it down when you get there).

* When in St. Louis’ incredible City Museum, keep track of your 3-year-old…no, really.

* Treating said 3-year-old to a celebratory ice cream cone and root beer at said museum may seem like a good idea at the time…

…it is not.

* The St. Louis International Film Festival is really cool. They’ll even take a picture of you outside their marquee.

Costa Rica (11/14-18):
* Always remember your passport when flying to Cos…don’t worry, I did actually remember my passport. 😉

* 48 hours is not nearly enough time in Montezuma, Costa Rica.

* But, if 48 hours is all you can get in Montezuma, Costa Rica…take it!

* Don’t try to cross the river to hike through the jungle to get to the big waterfall if it rained the night before because the river will look like this and you will die.

Instead, cross the river the next day when it’s calmer…

Of course, when the waterfall you’re trying to get to looks like this…

…I can understand why people might throw caution to the wind.

* Zip lines are harder to pull off as you get older.

* The Costa Rica International Film Festival is also really cool! And they dig fun environmental docs!

TEDx (11/19-20):
After a long day of travel from San Jose, Costa Rica to Farmington, PA by way of MIA and PIT, I finally rendezvoused with Mark at what can only be described as rural Pennsylvania’s answer to the Palace of Versailles for a truly remarkable experience presenting YERT highlights at Pittsburgh’s TEDx conference where we were very well received.

* Pennsylvania doesn’t have Las Vegas, but it does have Nemacolin Resort. And holy honkin’ hotel, Batman! This place is decked out!

* There is a certain inescapable irony about holding a conference focused on “power” in an enormous, sprawling hotel with giant chandeliers in every hotel room. Kind of like an environmental road trip…

* In a pinch, a hotel room bathtub can be used as a washer and an iron as a clothes dryer…for all of your wet, stinky Costa Rica “jungle clothes”…on the morning of your presentation.

* TEDx is really cool. You might even meet someone like, oh, say…C-3PO. Though he’s harder to spot without the full metal body suit.

Finally, as exciting as the traveling’s been, it’s always a joy to come back home to family.

Here’s to an even more fruitful and exciting 2012! Oh, and don’t forget to BUY YOUR YERT DVDs before the holidays – they make great gifts!

Happy Holidays!
-B (& J & M)

Pittsburgh Premiere of YERT: Sept. 20, 7pm

You are warmly invited to the Pittsburgh Premiere of the feature documentary “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” on Sept. 20th, 7pm at the Eddy Theater at Chatham University. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the filmmakers Mark Dixon and Ben Evans.

Date: Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Time: Doors open at 6:30pm, screening from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, followed by Q&A
Location: Eddy Theater, Chatham University, 1 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA

Ticket reservations are essential. Reserve tickets here:

“…A deeply absorbing and often hilarious road trip…By the dramatic end of Your Environmental Road Trip, audiences will not only cheer, but feel compelled to spring to their feet to join an inspiring movement for change. If only our nation’s policymakers will watch this important film and do the same.”
– Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip is an award-winning film (Audience Award – Environmental Film Festival at Yale 2011) celebrating the American spirit in the face of adversity – a unique docu-comedy profiling the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history.

Covering 50 states in 1 year and virtually every environmental issue coast to coast with a blend of humor and depth, the film features such luminaries as Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Michael Bloomberg, Deepak Chopra, Janine Benyus, Will Allen, David Orr, Michael Reynolds, Joel Salatin, David Korten, and members of Congress…as well as ordinary citizens from all walks of life. It was an alternately heart-rending, mind-blowing, and gut-busting adventure – but ultimately an inspiring one.

Mark Dixon, YERT’s Co-founder and Producer, moved to Pittsburgh prior to the launch of the YERT project back in 2006. Meanwhile, YERT Co-founder and Director, Ben Evans, was a big fan of the Steel City, having starred in several productions at City Theatre on the South Side, including (conveniently enough) a one-man show in the summer of 2007. Because of strong support from the Pittsburgh environmental community and inspiration from the legacy of hometown environmental hero Rachel Carson, YERT’s adventure launched from the Rachel Carson homestead just outside of Pittsburgh on July 4, 2007, just a few days after Bill Peduto helped to make “Your Environmental Road Trip Day” official in the city of Pittsburgh. At the conclusion of the road trip, Mark, Ben & Julie (and their new baby Bailey), were joined by supporters for a homecoming party at the Rachel Carson Homestead. Following the trip, Ben returned briefly to Pittsburgh for another production at City Theatre, while Mark now lives in Pittsburgh’s Highland Park with his wife. The YERT team continues its environmental outreach through lively presentations at venues across the country, including local events at CMU, Chatham, Duquesne, Pitt, Slippery Rock University, Sustainable Monroeville, and the 3RiversBioneers.

This event is generously hosted by the Rachel Carson Institute in the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University. This event is also sponsored in part by Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) and their Black and Gold City Goes Green, Three Rivers Solar Source, and Breathe Easy, Stay Healthy campaigns.

YERT would like to thank Pittsburgh for such incredible support over the last few years. We can’t wait to see you at this very special event!

Mark Dixon
Producer / co-Director

Ben Evans
Director / co-Producer

Ticket reservations are essential. Reserve tickets here:

Great turnout at Pitt Mini-Screening!

Last week’s mini-screening and presentation at Pitt went very well! It seems that each time we have a presentation these days the buzz is building for the film and project, translating into more and more local action around a variety of environmental causes.

At the beginning of the event, as over 100 attendees filed into the auditorium, various student and community groups got up on stage to introduce themselves and the work to which they’re dedicated. Free the Earth, PSEC, Transition Pittsburgh, a new student peak oil group, and Greenpeace, to name a few, leveraged the YERT gathering to connect with the community.

We then screened a mini cut from the YERT feature film, followed by an extensive discussion with the audience for nearly two hours. Questions from the evening ranged from “how can you live your passion AND pay off student loans?” (live with friends and family to save money, shop at thrift stores, and MUCH more…) all the way to “What was your favorite state?” (VT).

We have lots of YERT events coming up, and MANY more in the pipeline that we have yet to announce. We would love to visit and help you kick-start local environmental action in your area. Check out our handy calendar here: and click on this link there to request an event in your area!


Standing room only at YERT screening!

img_0281.JPGWow! What an evening! I’m writing to thank ALL of you who attended last night’s YERT rough-cut screening at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers. I figure we had over 80 people packed into a screening room that only seats 53. (A special thanks to those who sat on the floor. 😉

(Here’s a picture of the eco-gingerbread house raffle prize!)–>

I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to show up last night and find so many friendly faces so excited to see the film. And then to see you all laughing, smiling, and even crying a bit through over two hours of sitting– well, the YERT team and I couldn’t have hoped for more.

Thanks again to Councilman Bill Peduto for kicking off the event, to Sheila Collins and Richard Citrin for closing it, and for all the helping hands all night long who made the event run as smoothly as it did.

I’d also like to thank Will Zavala for inviting me to share the YERT film at his ongoing DocSalon series. You can find more information about future DocSalon events at their website:

And a special thanks to Salt of the Earth for donating the $50 “Dinner with the Filmmaker” for our raffle. Please support Salt and its brilliant chef/owner, Kevin Sousa, when you get the chance:

Until next time,
Mark (and Ben and Julie)

P.S. If you haven’t signed up for the YERT mailing list, please do: . That’s the best place to learn when and how to get your own copy, watch, or screen the film after it is released.

P.P.S. You can check out photos of the eco-gingerbread house here.