November 3, 2015                                                Fall 2015 : Issue 30

I was in Minneapolis last week for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference. It was all at once exciting, inspiring, energizing, and overwhelming to be amidst the convergence of somewhere around 2,300 sustainability professionals from around the country and world. 

One of the most salient points for me was summed up in the traditional greeting that Illarion Merculieff, an indigenous wisdom-keeper, used to open his session, "Hello, my other self." A greeting that reminds us of connection and community. A greeting to affirm we are all equal. A greeting that I think helps to set the stage to truly listen. To listen not just to words with our ears but with the entirety of our beings. Of course, there were many, many sessions presenting practical examples and inspiring work on a grand scale moving institutions towards achieving audacious goals around sustainability and I would love to share these things too but, of course, it all starts with saying hello and listening. So, hello out there to all my other selves. Thank you for listening.

In this digest be sure to check out Randy's particularly important piece on the upcoming hearings regarding the Clean Power Plan. Also, Duke Jackson, our Local Food Fellow, wrote a beautiful blog post highlighting the community that can come from connecting to the soil. Enjoy. 

      Ricky Green
      EC Assistant Coordinator

Garden Gratitude Party

The frost has officially come and we have pulled the last tomato out of the garden. This year, we were able to host over 100 students in the garden to learn about the power of local food, harvest over 200 lbs of organic, student-grown produce, and feed San Juan Dining's 4000 weekly eaters. All of this wouldn't have been possible without you! We are grateful to each of you who contributed to making this growing season a success, whether through planting seeds, trimming suckers, or amending beds. To show our gratitude, please join us for a fun gathering featuring Carver Brewing and Cream Bean Berry Root Beer floats and our Local Food Security Team!

When: Tuesday, November 3 from 4-5 pm 
Where:  Environmental Center
to RSVP: contact Duke Jackson at  

Be Local Coupon Book Pre-Sales, Accepting Orders now!

Come one, come all to pick up this year's edition of the Be Local Coupon Book! These books feature great coupons to many of Durango's awesome independent and locally owned businesses. Favorites always include the 2-for-1 train ticket, discounted pints at all of the great brewpubs in town, great meal discounts, offers on health and fitness and more! 

The Environmental Center is honored to be a supplier of the Be Local Coupon Book this year. Each book costs $18 with a portion of the proceeds going to support Local First and a small portion going to the Environmental Center. 

Thanks so much for supporting Durango's locally owned, independent businesses, Local First, and the Environmental Center!

To order your book(s), email Rachel Landis at and we will place your books on hold until you are able to pick them up or can schedule a delivery.

Free Store

The Campus Free Store is seeking out clean, gently used winter clothing and outerwear items. Please deliver your items to the Environmental Center M-F from 9-5. Or, multi-task, and do a bit of shopping while you make your delivery at the Free Store's weekly hours on Tuesday from 11:30-1:00 outside the Student Union.

For more information: contact, Free Store Manager, Amaya McKenna at

Extended Recycling Services

Thanks to programs offered by TerraCycle and Community Recycling the Environmental Center has expanded its Extended Recycling Services. In addition to collecting batteries, ink jets, toners, and cell phones, the Environmental Center now accepts your old pens, markers, and shoes. All items can be dropped off M-F 9-5 at the Environmental Center, located on the main floor of the Fort Lewis College Student Union.

For More information: contact Ricky Green,

Seeking Volunteers for the FLC Food Waste Audit

In the first step towards reducing our food waste footprint, the Environmental Center has partnered with an Environmental Studies Senior Colloquium group to examine our on-campus food waste stream. Currently, we are looking for volunteers to help manage the waste audits, coming up Wednesday, November 11th and 18th. 

For more information:  contact Ryan McClung at

Growth from Fertile Souls

Within the past year of working with the Environmental Center, I feel that I have grown more as a person than in my whole college experience. For my first two years of school here, I was fairly disengaged from everything this school has to offer. I would go to my classes... and then go home. There wasn't much more to it than that and I felt a void in my experience, in my soul.
Fulfillment arrived when I became involved with the E.C. A good friend of mine invited to me to one the Local Food Team's "Crop Mobs." We went to Adobe House Farm, and spent an hour harvesting tomatoes from fertile soil amidst a field full of radiant plant life. I knew I'd stumbled onto the edge of something special, of something important, and I was hooked.
I began working with Local Food Team as an aspiring (and slightly naïve) volunteer. The Local Food Team works to fill the gaps of local food security in our area, and to educate the public about how they can help fill the gaps as well. We've hosted multiple workshops on artisan skillsets such as canning and composting. We've taught community members how to prune fruit trees, how to prepare garden beds, how to brew their own beer, and much more! We believe that connecting to soil and the food it can provide us, and connecting to the ones who grow what eat, creates a profound sense of community and positivity for all.
For me, my passion manifested from my experience in the campus orchard and garden. I awakened a love for plants in myself, and without the E.C, I may have never discovered this passion. Today, I am the caretaker for the campus garden and orchard. The official position name is called the "Local Food Fellow." As a Local Food Fellow, I have learned so much about sustainable farming practices, leadership, and education. Currently, I am working on building a small, mobile hoop house for the garden, so that next years local food fellow can extend their growing season!

Some pictures that show some of my favorite times from the Local Food Team:

Duke Jackson
Local Food Fellow - Local Food Team

Trash Talk: Results from the Southwest Colorado Waste Audit

The Southwest Colorado Council of Governments (SWCCOG), which promotes regional cooperation and collaboration among local governments and between levels of governments for Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties, will present their findings from a 2014 Regional Waste Audit and next steps toward increasing recycling in Southwest Colorado.

Where: Henry Strater Theater
When: Wednesday, November 4th at 12pm
Cost: $15, $18 for walk-ins

Traveling Art Show to Protect Wolf Creek

The fight isn't over. We refuse to allow the construction of an 8,000-person "village" the size of Aspen on top of Wolf Creek Pass. Now, more than ever, we must come together as a community to protect Wolf Creek - and that is precisely what a diverse group of artists did in June when they convened on top of the pass to celebrate the landscape.

Over 70 pieces resulted from the art day, each inspired by the natural wonders of Wolf Creek. The traveling show "Art for the Endangered Landscape: Honoring Wolf Creek Art Show and Sale" will open in Durango with a reception next week at the Taylor Raymond Gallery. The Cyprus Cafe and Star Liquors have graciously donated appetizers and wine for the event.
Proceeds from sales will go to show sponsors in their efforts to protect Wolf Creek Pass in southern Colorado. 

Where: Taylor Raymond Gallery (835 Main Ave., Durango)
When: Thursday, November 5th at 5:00pm

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Have you ever thought about how your diet effects the environment?  

Student Union Productions will be showing Cowspiracy a groundbreaking documentary that reveals the devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability to meet the needs of a growing population. With causes for climate change, pollution, loss of habitat, species decline and other environmental issues in the hands of self-serving governments and multinational corporations, it is reassuring to know that each of us can start changing the world NOW, by simply changing our diets. 

There will be free organic vegan food offered at the event, as well as vegan/vegetarian recipe ideas.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 17th at 7:00pm
Where: Vallecito Room in the Fort Lewis College Student Union

Black Mesa Support Caravan

This service project aims to create a caravan of 15-20 motivated students and community members. They will work and help indigenous families on Black Mesa with a number of tasks. The Navajo and Hopi families we will support are resisting relocation from the Peabody coal mining operation, and they have asked for volunteers. In need of volunteers for herding sheep, elder care, chopping wood, delivering water, winterizing homes, and digging watersheds.

When: November 22 - November 28
Where:  Black Mesa, Arizona
For more Info. Contact: Lexi Demos or vist the Black Mesa Support Caravan Facbook page or website
Take Action Bibliophila

GOOD PEOPLE! The FLC Environmental Center and Conservation Colorado have banded together to sign you up to fight the good fight. Here's an opportunity to make a difference on something very important. Important because of the issue itself and the fact that it hits us where we live. 

With the Clean Power Plan (CPP), The Obama Administration set a 2030 target aimed at shrinking carbon pollution from Power Plants by over 30%. Here in the Four Corners, we host some of the worst polluting power plants in the Nation. Furthermore, there is an effort being made to derail the CPP's realization so WE NEED YOU to make a showing at the state's public hearings on the plan.  Each state is given an opportunity, and the flexibility, to fashion their own plan to accomplish the pollution reduction in a way that best fits the state. Governor Hickenlooper has embraced this by enlisting the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to create a plan that surpasses the objective with a 35% reduction for Colorado. Go Governor! 

Indubitably, with the LIGHT also comes the DARK. It seems that our very own Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, has some political ambitions and is countering Hickenlooper's efforts by signing Colorado up with a mulit-state lawsuit  that seeks to block implementation of the Clean Power Plan. 

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF you show up to the public hearings. The first one in our area is on Monday, November 9th , 4:30 PM - 6 PM, held in the Vallecito Room of the Fort Lewis College Student Union building. An RSVP would be appreciated. Here's the facebook invite and Conservation Colorado's invite for you to share. 


"What does the sky say?" a child asks. What does it say on a winter day, or on a Saturday night, or when the rain beats on its chest, or its mouth is full of moon?

In What Does the Sky Say? a child watches the sky in changing seasons and in all kinds of weather and learns to listen to its voice. 

Nancy White Carlstrom's imaginative and poetic text encourages readers of all ages to wake up to and participate in the opportunities for joy and learning each day offers. And Tim Ladwig's extraordinary illustrations perfectly capture the moods of weather and season, the magic of childhood, and our deep connection to all creation and its Creator.