Dec 14, 2018
Welcome to the Environmental Center (EC) Digest!

Every two weeks, this little gem of digital media arrives in your inbox full of all things environmental, sustainable, socially responsible, and just plain "green."

Scroll down to check out:
  • Environmental Center happenings
  • Community and campus events, initiatives, and opportunities
  • Jobs, internships, workshops, and trainings

And of course, our ever-anticipated (and always thought-provoking) EC musings.

It's that time of year again, when some people are faced with a pretty major decision: real Christmas tree or fake? Now of course, not everyone celebrates Christmas and even those that do don't always get a tree. But I find this debate fascinating, because it follows the same pattern of questions that we get all the time here at the EC: which is better ____ or ____? I've been asked about hand dryers vs. paper towels, organic vs. local food, gas vs. electric heat, the list goes on. People crave a good good debate.

I personally love these questions, as long as people come at them with an open mind and a desire to learn. What we're doing when we compare these choices is a form of life cycle cost analysis. I know, the terminology here is almost too exciting to handle. But really, every time people wrap their minds around what's better or worse for the environment or society, there doing this to some level. The only problem is that people often don't dig deep enough, or they use some rule of thumb that is true in one circumstance but not another (see gas vs. electric above), or worst of all they go into the debate with a bias trying to prove something they are already convinced they're right on.

The point is that there are a lot of factors at play with these debates and choices. I encourage people to strive to be as informed as possible when trying to understand how their choices impact the world around them. At the same time, none of us are perfect. We can't know everything, and we all hold our own personal values. So work to constantly improve, but don't be too hard on yourself if you mess up or have to make a concession from time to time. And expand your frame of reference, maybe it's not actually a two-choice, either-or kind of situation. At the EC, we are educating our students to be able to think critically about all sorts of environmental and social considerations.

So I'll leave you with one more scenario: is it better to donate to the EC or another non-profit? Well, we could debate the merits of either . . . or perhaps the answer is to donate to both ;-)

Marty Pool,
Environmental Center Coordinator
Environmental Center Happenings
The EC Wants YOU to join our Team Next Semester!

Want to reduce our community's climate impact? Learn to grow your own food? Reduce our campus waste? Or maybe you're all about changing the whole dang national food system.

The EC has openings for Team Members for Spring Semester and we're accepting applications now! Not sure what exactly it means to be on our crew? Head over to our webpage to find out more and apply!

Applications due January 6th!
Note: working at the EC may involve sledding, but it's not all we do.
Support the only Fort Lewis College Environmental Center left in the world!

Ok, we're happy to say that we are not an endangered breed. In fact, students around the world are as passionate as ever about creating positive change. It's a movement that we're proud to be a part of.

But, we are indeed one of a kind in our community. If you'd like to support an organization dedicated to strengthening students' commitment to creating a more environmentally and socially responsible world by providing them meaningful opportunities to foster change on campus and in our community, well then, look no further, and donate to the EC today!

On behalf of all our students and the great work they do, a sincere thank you.
Congrats to Amaya, Katrina, and Zach our newest EC and FLC alumni!

The end of every semester is always bittersweet. It's a chance to celebrate all the great work we've done, but it's also always a time of change and transition. We had three amazing ECers graduate this semester. These were students who, in the words of the Lorax, did indeed care "a whole awful lot!"

All the best to you three, we know you'll go on to do amazing things!
Zach reads (performs) the Lorax as Amaya reads along and Katrina captures the moment
Volunteer Opportunities
Thank you to all our amazing volunteers!
The EC is proud to connect passionate Fort Lewis College students to work that fulfills them and makes a difference on campus and in our community.

Are you a student interested in putting in some time for a good cause? Be sure to come by the EC - Student Union room 145 at the start of Spring Semester and ask how to join our work!

Are you a community organization looking for passionate students to help on a project? Email Marty at to learn how to connect with us!
Community Events and Opportunities
Events and Happenings in our Local Community
Sign-Up for LPEA Round Up to fund amazing projects that make our community a better place
In this time of giving, consider one of the easiest community giving options out there! The LPEA Round Up Foundation gets funding from co-op members who sign-up to "round up" their electric bill and donate to the program. For less than a dollar a month you can help fund amazing community projects! The Environmental Center along with dozens of community organizations have benefited by receiving grants from this wonderful program.

LPEA members can sign up online through their SmartHub web-portal. Just go to "Round Up" under the "Billing & Payments" tab. Or call LPEA at (970) 247-5786. For more information visit:
Be a Citizen Scientist

You may have read in the news that native bighorn sheep populations are at risk. In an effort to better understand how domestic sheep are interacting with bighorn sheep, Mountain Studies Institute is working with land management agencies to collect and map sheep observations.

Did you see any bighorn sheep this year? How about domestic sheep away from their grazing allotments (likely away from a large herd)? Tell us about your sightings and, better yet, upload your photos using this easy to use survey! It only take a minute.

On behalf of MSI and the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, thank you!
Jobs, Scholarships, Internships, and more!
Internship Opportunity with Environment Colorado

Do you want to make a difference on the most important environmental and public interest issues today? Work with  Environment Colorado  and help them combat climate change, protect our open spaces, and urge our state officials to act on climate! They are a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that works to protect our land, water, and air by working on the ground in communities across Colorado to make change.

Right now, they are  recruiting interns  to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado by adopting zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standards while also calling on our congressional delegation to act on climate change. The time commitment is about 7-10 hours a week and the position in unpaid, but qualifies for many class credit educational programs.

For more information, or to apply, visit the Environment Colorado webpage.
Applications are due December 17th!
Apply to become a Colorado Master Gardener!

Students in the program will receive training in tree care, vegetables, soils, water wise gardening, pruning and much more. The training utilizes on-site and distant education experts to teach a series of multiple classes. The 12-week series starts Thursday, January 31 and will take place at the La Plata County Fairgrounds every Thursday from 9am-4pm. 

To receive an application packet, please contact or stop by the La Plata County Extension office find it online at:

Applications are due no later than December 31st to the Extension Office: 2500 Main Avenue, Durango, Colorado 81301. 
The Garden Project is Hiring AmeriCorps Members

Interested in working at The Garden Project as an Americorps School Garden Educator? Teach in schools across La Plata County, work in local food systems, and grow produce with this opportunity. Partial Year Term is April 2019-July 2019. Full year terms start August 2019 - July 2020.

Regional & Beyond
Further Resources and Opportunities
Low Income Solar Opportunities!

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) has implemented two cost-effective low-income solar energy offerings as part of an effort to comprehensively address household energy burden. Find out more about the programs at:
Environmental Center | Fort Lewis College | 970-247-7676 |