Meaningful Movies of Renton


If you have attended one or more of our showings, you have experienced the awesomeness that is Meaningful Movies of Renton. We at Sustainable Renton, believe in critical thinking and building community via film and discussion. We aim to educate and inspire folks to live more sustainably and consciously. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in sponsoring this event in any way, we could use your support. We currently hold our events at Carco Theater. We love this venue and want to remain there. It costs us more than we currently are able to pay. However, if just a few folks stepped up and decided it was important enough to support, we could keep our venue and keep hosting this amazing event once a month. If you are able to help, please visit our website and make your tax-deductible donation today. You can specify in a note that the funds are to be allocated to support Meaningful Movies of Renton. Thank you in advance.

Dumpster Diving is not Illegal

dumpsterdiveAfter the great turn out to the showing of the documentary film Just Eat It, which highlighted the grotesque amount of food that is thrown into the dumpsters across America, the question arose, “Is it legal to salvage food from dumpsters?” I had to admit that I did not know the answer but that I would find out.
The City of Renton Police Department stated that there is no law that exists that would prohibit dumpster diving. You cannot go onto residential property and take things from a dumpster, but commercial properties such as restaurants, grocery stores or bakeries are open market for divers. Salvaging items for resale is illegal but salvaging food for personal consumption is not.
The woman on the phone did say that to be safe she recommended just asking the business if they would mind if their throw away food was taken away instead of thrown away. Seems like a good idea. Happy diving!

Sustainable Renton June Happenings


Greetings Sustainable Renton followers!

We have some great things happening this month- We have the first of three Stone Soup Gatherings up at the farm this month, which we hope to see all of you at. This will be just like it sounds, if you have something to bring to the pot-do it and we will feast on the deliciousness that our community soup will offer up. I would also like to make a quick plug for the Sustainable Renton Study Group which is held on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10am-12 pm. The Roots of Change curriculum is comprehensive and enlightening, the conversations and ideas that spring from the readings are life changing, and ultimately, we hope they are cathartic for our community. Come join us, it’s never too late.

June 2nd-4:00 pm; Azure Standard order deadline for the Kennydale Buying Club.

June 5th-7:00 am; Buying Club order pick-up from Azure Standard at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 1700 Edmonds Ave NE Renton 98056

June 11th-6:00 pm; Renton Food Co-Op Meeting. We meet at 5:30 for a potluck followed by the meeting. We are trudging the grassroots road of starting a food co-op in Renton. If you want to be a part of making history please join us. There is plenty for everyone to do.

June 14th-10am to 12pm; Sustainable Renton Study Group This month we are talking about the Paradoxes of Progress and Growth. If you want to join this group please email our Board President, Preston at and you will be added.   For more information please see the Facebook event page:

June 14th-1 pm; Gardeners Meeting/potluck and Work Party. If you haven’t been to the garden yet this year you will be amazed at the progress being made up there. We have a lot to do so come and get your hands dirty, eat some food and be merry.

June 19th-1 pm; Meaningful Movies of Renton presents What’s the Economy for Anyway? This movie will discuss the history of the economy and how our economic situation got to where it is now. This movie is shown at The Renton Housing Authority and is FREE and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted. Refreshments provided.  Here’s a clip from the film:

June 19th-6pm; Sustainable Renton Board Meeting. Everyone welcome.

June 22nd-6pm; Stone Soup Gathering/Sing Along. Bring your addition to the soup and join in the feast. We will have two dutch ovens-one vegetarian, one-not, we will also have music around the campfire with general merriment to be had by all. Bring your own bowl and spoon. Come join us for the amazing things that community can create. This event is held at Sustainable Renton Community Farm.

June 23rd-Midnight Blue Valley Meat order deadline.

June 27th-7 pm; Meaningful Movies of Renton presents More Than Honey. Bees are dying out at an unprecedented rate, and this loss threatens our food supply.  We are showing this movie in conjunction with many other area venues to celebrate National Pollinator Week. Local beekeepers Mario Luppino and Aaron Crow will be available for questions and discussion after the showing. The movie is FREE and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted. Refreshments provided. Here’s the trailer for the film:

June 28th-1:30pm; Blue Valley Meat delivery

July 8th-3 to 7 pm; Sustainable Renton at The Renton Farmer’s Market


Sustainable Renton Office is located at 970 Harrington Ave NE Renton 98056

Sustainable Renton Community Farm is located behind Celebration Church at 11840 148th Ave SE Renton 98059

Renton Housing Authority is located at 2900 NE 10th St Renton 98056


For more information on any of these events please contact


Hope to see you all sometime this month!

Sustainable Renton Meaningful Movies Presents “Feeding Frenzy”


Every day we are bombarded by marketing, and our diet is one of the main targets. We are flooded with messages trying to get us to consume more fast food, sugar, potato chips, soda, and anything else the industry can come up with. On Friday night at 7PM, Meaningful Movies takes a look at the food industry and its marketing practices with the film “Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing & the Creation of a Health Crisis”.

Here’s a synopsis from the film maker:

“Over the past three decades, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled for children and tripled for adolescents — and a startling 70% of adults are now obese or overweight. The result has been a widening epidemic of obesity-related health problems, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. While discussions about this spiraling health crisis have tended to focus on the need for more exercise and individual responsibility, Feeding Frenzy trains its focus squarely on the responsibility of the processed food industry and the outmoded government policies it benefits from. It lays bare how taxpayer subsidies designed to feed hungry Americans during the Great Depression have enabled the food industry to flood the market with a rising tide of cheap, addictive, high calorie food products, and offers an engrossing look at the tactics of the multibillion-dollar marketing machine charged with making sure that every one of those surplus calories is consumed.”

The film features industry analysts, health experts, and advertising scholars, including Marion Nestle, Kelly Brownell, Sut Jhally, Brian Wansink, and Michele Simon.

The film has received critical praise. Here’s a sampling:

 “Joining Supersize Me and King Corn as one of the decade’s very best food documentaries, Feeding Frenzy covers important and, as of yet, unchartered territory as it turns a keen and critical eye on the marketing practices of the food industry. A must-see!”

– Justin Lewis | Head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media, and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University

“Powerful, important, and damning. Zeroing in on the corporate practices of the multibillion-dollar food industry, this film adds a fresh and essential perspective to current debates about corporate power, food, and health. Watch this film and show it to your students!”

– Erica Scharrer | Chair of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Given the sheer power of today’s consolidated food industry as a marketing behemoth, it’s a relief to have the critical eye of Media Education Foundation dissect what’s being sold to consumers as a healthy food system. In their new documentary Feeding Frenzy, Sut Jhally and a savvy set of experts and practitioners unpack the contradictory, confusing, ubiquitous, and deeply problematic discourses of agriculture, food, and health, raising critical questions about responsibility, choice, and power without succumbing to the moral panic of many other films. This will be a powerful tool for the public, the classroom, and political discourse.”

– Alice Julier, Ph.D. | Program Director & Associate Professor of Food Studies at Chatham University

“So many videos on food focus on production, but not as much on the market and consumption side. Feeding Frenzy does a fine job of explaining how our food environment is manipulated to get us to buy and eat more than is good for us.”

– Dr. Christine Barbour | Department of Political Science at Indiana University.

Please join us at Sustainable Renton HQ, 970 Harrington Ave NE, Renton, WA 98056, Friday night at 7PM for this interesting film, and great conversation afterwards! See you there!


Meaningful Movies presents American Meat

Revere_8mm_projector_circa_1941Meaningful Movies of Renton shifts this month into a series of films about our food system.  This Friday, February 28 we will be showing the film American Meat.

Here’s a synopsis of the film from the producers:
“American Meat is a solutions-oriented documentary chronicling the current state of the U.S. meat industry. Featuring Joel Salatin, Chuck Wirtz, Fred Kirschenmann, Steve Ells, Paul Willis, and farmers across America, it takes an even-handed look at animal husbandry. First explaining how America arrived at our current industrial system, the story shifts to the present day, showing the feedlots and confinement houses, not through hidden cameras but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work there. From there, the documentary introduces the revolution taking root in animal husbandry, led by the charismatic and passionate Joel Salatin. Stories are shared of farmers across the country who have changed their life to start grass-based farms, and everyday solutions highlight actions people can make to support America’s agriculture.

Here are some quotes from the director of the film, Graham Meriwether:
“Joel Salatin is one of the main characters of our documentary. Filming at Polyface periodically over the course of three years, we show the various seasons on the farm and the ways in which animals, insects and ecosystems work together to create both a healthy environment and an economically profitable farm.”

“One story we tell that’s indicative of a potential sea change in the industry is that of Chipotle and Polyface. Chipotle starts sourcing meat locally from Polyface Farms for their Charlottesville, VA location, and it is a big success for all involved. There’s a lot of reasons that local sourcing makes sense, environmentally, and economically, and if a company with the purchasing power of Chipotle is making the switch, it may not be long until other large restaurant chains follow suit. These kinds of hands-on solutions allow people to leave our documentary feeling optimistic about the future of food in our nation.”

Is it possible to produce meat in a way that works for family farmers and consumers?  Can a localized farming system be better than the industrial farming system?  What can we do as consumers to encourage retailers to stock local, humanely raised meats?  We will discuss these questions and others that the movie raises after the film.  Be sure to join us!

To whet your appetite (pun intended!), here is the trailer for the film:

Harvest Mayhem! & More Sept/Oct Happenings


Now that Summer is passing, and Fall is approaching, Sustainable Renton is really kicking into high gear with the harvest season in full swing. We have a number of workshops, meetings, and events over the next couple of months that we’d love to share with you. We’ll be having our largest event ever this Sunday, September 15th-Harvest Mayhem. Read all about it and our many other events below. We look forward to welcoming you!

All events listed are held either at our office or the community farm.

Sustainable Renton office: 970 Harrington Ave NE, Renton WA, 98056

Sustainable Renton Community Farm: 11840 148th Ave NE, Renton WA, 98059


Sun, Sept 15 – Harvest Mayhem. Location: Community Farm. 4-7pm. This is a fundraiser and community potluck event, complete with gardeners and their beautiful friends and families. Entertainment includes live music with local musicians Ron Stilwell and Callista Salazar, and a raffle for items like baskets of preserves, pickles, and coupons to local businesses! This is a community potluck-please bring something yummy to share. A bonfire with s’mores will round out the evening. Come tour the farm, meet the board members and participating gardeners, play in the sand box, eat, and be merry! All funds raised will support Sustainable Renton and the Community Farm.

Fri, Sept 27 – Meaningful Movies: Occupy Love. Location: Office. 7pm. We will be watching the film ‘Occupy Love’. This film follows the Occupy movement over a year’s period of time and shows the lasting effect this movement has had and continues to have on political and social life. This event is FREE but donations are greatly needed and appreciated.


1009839_509327289173623_962192451_nFri, Sept 13 (TONIGHT!) – Seed Saving Workshop w/ the Urban Food Warrior, Caitlin Moore. Location: Community Farm. 6pm. Have you ever wondered what this seed saving business is all about? Caitlin Moore, founder of the Olympia Seed Exchange, will teach some basic seed saving skills to get you started saving seed in your garden or farm. She will cover basic terminology, techniques, and some in-field how-to’s in this two hour workshop. There will be a $5 fee for this workshop. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Thurs, Oct 3 – Soap Making Workshop w/Sustainable Renton Community Farm Manager, Lara Randolph. Location: Office. 7pm. We will make a vegetable base soap. Everyone will leave with a bar of soap to take home and enjoy. There is a $5 supplies fee paid at the time of event. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Date TBD – Winter Gardening Workshop w/ Cascadia Edible Landscapes. Location: Community Farm.


Wed, Oct 2 – Renton Food Co-op Steering Committee. 6:30: potluck; 7pm: meeting. Come and get involved in helping to plan and pursue bringing a locally owned and operated food co-op to Renton. Your energy and ideas are needed!

Thurs, Oct 10 – Sustainable Renton Board. 7pm. Our monthly board meeting to oversee the operations, management, and happenings of Sustainable Renton. We are always open to new input, and have space available for additional board members if you are interested.

Of course, you can follow us and our different projects over on Facebook. Click any of the following links to ‘like’ our various pages.

Sustainable Renton

Renton Food Co-op

Sustainable Renton Community Farm

Meaningful Movies of Renton

Meaningful Movie sheds light on Cooperatives


Once every quarter Meaningful Movies of Renton, in addition to our monthly movie, is combining efforts with Meaningful Movies of Kirkland and Meaningful Movies of the Eastside, with help from Meaningful Movies of Wallingford, for a showing of what is turning out to be timely topics. On July 25th we held the first movie in this joint venture. We watched the amazing 2012 film ‘Shift Change’. Filmmakers Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young were both available to field questions after the movie. What an intelligent and lively discussion it turned out to be.

The focus of the film was on worker-owned cooperatives and the impact that they have within a community. Cooperatives are making a comeback since the obliteration of our economic structure through what most people view as cooperate greed. Cooperatives offer empowerment to the individual because everyone has one vote and therefore equal say in what decisions are made within the company. Cooperatives are an excellent example of what democracy ought to look like.

Cooperatives also empower the community because the economic structure is such that job security is strengthened rather than threatened. Profit becomes secondary to the worker. Profit is important, for obviously there would be no company without it, but the profit is returned to the workers and the company, not into a CEO’s bank account.

The difference between a worker-owned cooperative and a worker-owned company was made clear from the film. There are upwards of 14,000 worker owned businesses in the United States. WINCO comes to mind. These are different than worker owned cooperatives, of which there are only 400 in the U.S. A worker-owned business most likely continues to operate as other businesses do, from the top down. The example was given that if all the workers at Boeing collectively bought all the shares for The Boeing Company, then it would be worker-owned, but the management of the company would stay the same, which is a top down hierarchical structure. However, a worker-owned cooperative has a business model that implements a lateral structure. No one person has more power in the company than the other. Committees and Boards are voted in by a democratic process.

Here are the 7 principles of a Cooperative:

  1. Voluntary membership.

  2. Democratic member control.

  3. Members’ economic participation.

  4. Autonomy and Independence.

  5. Education, training, and information.

  6. Cooperation among cooperatives.

  7. Concern for community.

For more information about cooperatives please go to this link:

Co-op-Wordle1Sustainable Renton is working very hard at starting the Renton Food Co-Op. The idea came up last night that perhaps this could be a worker’s cooperative as well as a consumer cooperative. This type of cooperative is what is known as a hybrid. There was some mention that Olympia Food Co-Op operates this way. It will definitely be brought up at our next Food Co-Op meeting, which is Tuesday, August 27th at our office space in the Renton Highlands. Potluck at 5:30, with a general meeting beginning at 6:00. If you are at all interested in seeing how a cooperative can change a community come and be a part of making local history. We need a lot of help and would appreciate any input.

A little about Holy Cross Lutheran where the quarterly movies are being held. This congregation is dedicated to social justice through its efforts called ‘The Earthkeeping Ministry’. This ministry’s primary focus is on alleviating hunger and educating the community about food-How to grow it, preserve it and share it. They have an active educational component and have partnered with other local organizations to make their dream a reality, and what a beautiful dream it is. If you would like to find out more about The Earthkeeping Ministry at Holy Cross Lutheran you can find it here.

If you have never been to Holy Cross Lutheran’s beautiful P-Patch they have located on their property, you definitely should take some time to check it out. .

Now a word about the filmmakers of ‘Shift Change’. Their tireless and courageous efforts at talking about important social justice issues has to be commended. Since 1986, Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young, Whidbey Island natives, have brought us 22 films and counting. Topics covered are DNA testing, genetic engineering of food, AIDS, farm workers of Washington, politics in Central America, education, salmon health, human gene patenting, and more. For more information on their endeavors please visit

The next scheduled event for Meaningful Movies of Renton is on Friday, August 30th at 7 pm at the Office in the Renton Highlands (970 Harrington Ave NE, Renton 98056). We will be showing ‘Crossroads’, here is a synopsis of the movie:

Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview, is a documentary exploring the depths of the current human condition and the emergence of a worldview that is recreating our world from the inside out.
Weaving together insights and findings from biology, psychology, network science, systems science, business, culture and media, the film reveals the inner workings of the human experience in the 21st century, urging viewers to step out of the box and challenge their own assumptions about who we really are, and why we do what we do.
Crossroads places evolutionary context to today’s escalating social unrest, natural disasters, and economic failures. It illuminates the footsteps of an integrated worldview, penetrating its way through the power of social networks to the forefront of our personal and collective awareness.

The next collaborative meaningful movies effort will be held on October 17th at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, in Factoria. We haven’t decided on the exact movie but we know that the topic will be GMO’s. This topic is timely due to the issue coming up on the November ballot.

Mark your calendars, come and be a part of a group of people that want to make a positive change in our community.

As always, please like us on Facebook:

Sustainable Renton

Sustainable Renton Community Farm

Renton Food Co-Op


Meaningful Movies in Renton


For those of you that didn’t know it, Sustainable Renton hosts Meaningful Movies of Renton the last Friday of every month. This event is located at our office space in the Renton Highlands, and begins at 7 pm. Our purpose is to watch documentary films that focus on social justice issues. We follow these viewings with a community discussion about the thoughts and feelings that arise from the film as well as possible actions that can be taken in our local community to make a difference with the particular problem that we are talking about.

We watched a great movie this month called ‘Money and Life’. This is the third film in our series on the discussion of economics. The movie gave us a basic Economics 101 education for those of us that find economics confusing and downright unappetizing, and it also gave us an education of the history of this agreement we have made called ‘money’.  This agreement was originally made for the transfer of goods and services for the betterment of our relationships to each other and the local community we lived in. Like many great inventions, such as nuclear power or drones, the original intention is for the betterment of the community or the world, but the ultimate perversion has led us down a road to possible ultimate devastation.

The community discussion was about how we can live a more simple life, rich with healthy foods and relationships, but devoid of the pressure to “get ahead”. The idea of “getting ahead” comes from a sense of scarcity and there is no real scarcity in the world, only the perceived scarcity that we have instilled into this agreement we made, so that money has the illusion of being necessary.

I love the paradigm shift that our collective consciousness is in the middle of right now. The Arab Spring, the European Summer, the Occupy Movement have all worked together to create a global shift in how we need to live to make the life we have here more valuable and it has nothing to do with the acquisition of wealth. It helps that it is nearly impossible to achieve the so called “American Dream” anymore because we are forced to look elsewhere for our happiness.

We at Sustainable Renton believe that our local community is where we need to look for not only happiness but for connection. While everyone is busy being connected on their electronic devices we invite you to come and get connected with the Earth at the new Sustainable Renton Community Farm, or get connected with positive change and creating a movement with the beginning of Renton Food Co-Op, or to get connected with real issues and real people of your community at Meaningful Movies of Renton.

This is our city, we can make it what we want it to be-resilient, passionate, bountiful and beautiful.

Come and find out more how you can be involved with the amazing things Sustainable Renton has going on.


Lara Randolph

Sustainable Renton Board Member/Farm Manager


May Events @ Sustainable Renton

May is shaping up to be another busy month for Sustainable Renton. Please read below to find out more about the different meetings and activities happening throughout the month. Unless otherwise specified, all meetings happen at our offices at 970 Harrington Ave NE in Renton. There are so many great things happening-we’d love to make a space for you to come and get involved.

May 4 – Sustainable Renton Community Farm: Work Party;  10am-4pm. Location: 11840 148th Ave. S.E., Renton, Washington 98059. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

how_to_startMay 9 – Renton Food Co-op: Visioning Meeting; 7pm. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

May 16 – Sustainable Renton Board Meeting; 7pm.

May 31 – Meaningful Movies: Manufactured Landscapes; 7pm. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.


MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

This is a FREE event with a suggested donation of $5. Refreshments provided.

April Happenings @ Sustainable Renton

There are a number of upcoming events/meetings that Sustainable Renton is hosting this month. All events are held at our offices at 970 Harrington Ave NE in Renton. Contact for more information. See you all soon!

April 18- Renton Food Co-op: Continue the Conversation. 7pm. Sustainable Renton is looking into starting a Food Co-Op and are in the beginning stages of making this dream a reality. We are in need of dedicated and passionate people. We are difinitely looking into becoming a buying club first until we can make the transition into something bigger. Come and be a part of history. You can RSVP on the Facebook event page.

April 25-Sustainable Renton Board Meeting. 7pm. All are welcome to come and join in the workings of our board. We currently have a couple of large projects that are getting started, and your input and participation is encouraged.

April 26-Meaningful Movies: No Impact Man. 7pm.