EC Digest
Fall 2014: Issue 12
In This Issue




Coordinator's Note: Soul Food for Ms. LaDuke...and FLC Students, too!

By Rachel Landis

As leaves and snow both plummet groundward, I have found myself every more fascinated with the mechanisms of change---what are those specific actions that we here at the EC can take whose impacts will ultimately ripple and replicate? This past week, the EC had an opportunity to participate in one such opportunity: To enhance the student and community benefits associated with Ms. Winona LaDuke's recent visit to FLC, we partnered with the Native American Center to source a lunch from entirely local ingredients, prepare it, and ultimately share a meal and conversation with Ms. LaDuke....all in the name of becoming more effective citizens for positive change. 

While a relatively simple program, this event intentionally activated several core principles affiliated with social change. On the one hand, our efforts had a measurable-albeit admittedly small-- impact on the resilience of our local community. To feed our attendees, hundreds of pounds of local produce were moved off the farm and into the classroom. Additionally, three EC students worked to shift institutional decision making and governance -- critical elements of social change-- by training to Native American Center and FLC Catering Department decision makers on a system for sourcing local ingredients for future purchases. This event also specifically targeted one of the most critical elements of social change-unifying diverse groups in support of common causes. Specific to the Environmental Movement, findings in the New Ecological Majority present that the national ecological base is currently comprised of 89% white individuals, though the current demographic of the United States reflects that 31% of the population identify as not white.[i]. Lastly, this event coupled effective practice with progressive education---students participated in everything from contacting farmers to cooking a meal to sitting next to Ms. LaDuke and discussing strategies for change have the opportunity to shift their paradigm.


Following lunch with Ms. LaDuke, EC Zero Waste Student Staff member and soon-to-be FLC Graduate, Brandon Jesus, sat down with me at the EC to spell out what he had taken away from his lunchtime conversation. Together, we poured over Google Maps and Brandon painted me his vision for restoring local food security on Navajo Nation, one small family farm at a meal at a time. Ripples and replication...all over a good bowl of soup. 

For more on our recent Local Food Lunch, check out this recent article in the Durango Herald:

[i] 4

Mohai, Paul. 2003. African American Concern for the Environment: Dispelling Old Myths.

Environment. June. (accessed

April 29, 2007).

Support the Environmental Center

 Local First Be Local Coupon Book Sales

The Environmental Center is honored to be a supplier of the 2015 Be Local Coupon Book featurings thousands of dollars of savings at our unique, locally-owned, independent businesses. 

The books tend to sell out quickly, so get yours today! Swing on by the Environmental Center or place your order via email ( or phone (970-247-7091) and we will place your books on hold until you are able to pick them up (In town deliveries available upon request)., 970-247-7091

Cost: $18 with proceeds benefiting Local First and the Environmental Center

Community Events & Opportunities


SW Farmer Coalition Farmer & Rancher Mixer


Southwest young farmers & ranchers are hosting a mixer to meet new people, celebrate the season and announce the launch of our new chapter. Live music, raffle prizes, and more. We'd love to have you join us! 


Date: December 5th, 5p.m.

Location:Mountain Roots Produce, 41095 G Road, Mancos, CO

Contact:Kate Greenberg, 

Cost: None, but bring a dish to pass and your dancing shoes..that said, donations are encouraged

The Beehive Design Collective presents the "True Cost of Coal"

"The True Cost of Coal" is an elaborate art piece that explores the complex story of mountain top removal coal mining and the broader impacts of coal.

You are welcome to join for an engaging presentation and discussion of this remarkable work of art. Learn more at: 


DateDecember 8th, 6p.m.

Location:Mt. Lookout Grange, Mancos, CO

Contact: Gretchen Groenke, Livewell Montezuma at 509-830-4380 or



Old Fort Market Garden Incubator Applications Due


The Old Fort Market Garden Incubator program is accepting applications for the 2015 growing season.  The incubator program in Hesperus, CO offers an alternative point of entry for beginning farmers and provides them with access to support services to enable them to develop the skills necessary to succeed.  Successful applicants will receive winter training, hands-on instruction, access to land, water and equipment. 


DateCompleted applications are due Friday, December 12th at 5 pm.
Contact: Please direct any questions to Beth at 970-385-4574



Jobs & Volunteer Opportunities

Membership & Events Coordinator, Distributed Wind Energy Association

DWEA seeks a detail-oriented, self-guided assistant to support the Executive Director with membership activities and events logistics, including managing numerous Committee and Subgroup rosters and special projects. This position would ideally be Durango or Denver based. Learn more here or visit 


Greening Your Holidays the Durango way

by Nicoll Hunt, EC Campus Sustainability Student Staff

Thanksgiving is approaching. As you contemplate what you are thankful for, be sure to give a big thanks to Mother Nature. From our home (the EC) to yours, here are a few Durango specific tips to "green" up your holidays. They may seem like small gestures, but with millions of people celebrating, a few small changes can make a big difference and show the Earth our thanks.  


Reduce: Headed out for an extended weekend? Reduce your energy consumption and drop your energy bill by unplugging all unused electronics. By removing chargers and powering down your computer when not in use, the average home can save 335 lbs of CO2 emissions every year

Reuse: While the Bag It vote may not have passed in Durango, you can still help to cut down on our collective footprint by bringing your totes to the store.

RecycleCompost vegetable peels and other food scraps instead of throwing them away. Here is a link to Durango Compost Company's Do-It-Yourself vermiculture guide

Pass on Turkey: This year, take a stand and eat meat-free. By cutting out one day of meat eating every week, you could drop your annual emissions by as much as 10%.

Travel Smart: Did you know SUCAP now sponsors daily regional bus service from Ignacio to Grand Junction? Check out regional transit schedules at To get plugged into locally-based rideshares, join the Facebook group Durango Rideshare or visit and check out their rideshare board. 

Give Thanks and Give Back: If you are looking for a way to actively give thanks by giving back, contact your area non-profits and human services to see what can be done. Current options in Durango include joining in the Black Mesa Support Caravan (, writing a Letter to the Editor to put pressure on the recent Wolf Creek Land Swap (learn more at and writing to the EPA 
to let them know your thoughts on the proposed Clean Power Plan (public comment ends 12/1)


Thanksgiving is the time of year to spend it with family. Make it a time to appreciate the people and things in your life that matter most. Make memories, every moment counts.

Happy Holidays from the Environmental Center Students & Staff!






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