December 1, 2015                                               Fall 2015 : Issue 32
Taking a break from checking in on the conjectures, expectations, and discussion of potential progress surrounding the Paris Climate talks currently underway, I was reading an article by Rose Marcario, President and CEO of Patagonia, in which she declares an early New Year's resolution for us all to become radical environmentalists. This might out of context seem extreme, impractical, and ill-advised (depending on what one might interpret her to mean by radical environmentalist). The process of exploring how the meaning of that statement changed based on the definition that I brought to it reminded me of one of my favorite zen stories.

An accomplished Buddhist scholar goes to visit a Zen master. Following the customary bows the scholar asks the master to teach him about Zen and proceeds to talk about his background, qualifications, and the sutras he has studied. The master patiently listens and begins to make some tea while the scholar continues talking. When it is ready she pours it into the scholar's cup until it is full and continues pouring until the cup begins to overflow and tea begins to run onto the table and into the scholar's lap, upon which the scholar finally notices and jumps up and exclaims "Stop, Stop! The cup is full! You can't pour anymore in." The master stops pouring and says: "You are like this cup; full of your own ideas and preconceptions. You come and ask for teaching but your cup is full. Before you can learn you have to empty your cup."

What Marcario was talking about was repairing. She argues that in the context of a culture of consumerism, fast fashion and planned obsolescence that fixing something has become a radical act. She wants us to shift from being consumers to being owners; to take responsibility of our possessions in order to reduce our collective consumption footprint.  

I agree. We need to become radical environmentalists and take responsibility. We need to repair, re-purpose, reuse and recycle. I also think we need to remember to empty our cups of the ideas, systems, trends and dominant narratives of today and search. Remember as Alan Watts said, "You didn't come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."

Empty your cup, catch a wave, and darn some socks.

Ricky Green 
EC Assistant Coordinator
Sunlight over a Lake near Snowdon, Llanberis, North Wales, Cornelius Varley, 1800 - 1810

Jumbo Wild showing at The Fort on 12/10

Join the Environmental Center, Student Union Products, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Outdoor Pursuits and Big Mountain Ski Team for Jumbo Wild at the Fort Lewis College's Winterfest on December 10th. 

The movie details a fight against a development in British Columbia's iconic Jumbo Valley. It is strangely reminiscent of our own battle against the Pillage at Wolf Creek. And the footage? INCREDIBLE. Also, we'll be presenting on the campaign to protect Wolf Creek Pass from a similar development threat. The fight's not over, so come learn how you can make a difference. This is open to both campus and the community.

When: 12/10 at 7 p.m.
Where: FLC Student Union, Vallecito Room
Cost: Free!
For more information: visit the Facebook event page.

Be Local Coupon Books have arrived and are available for pick up

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 $20 with a portion of the proceeds going to support Local First and a small portion going to the Environmental Center.

To get your book, swing by the Environmental Center M-F, 9-5 or send an email to Rachel Landis at

The EC is hiring Spring Interns

The Environmental Center has three, totally-rad-incredibly-wonderful- equal-parts-fun-and-impactful internships open for the Spring 2015. Each internship is approximately 150 hours in length and available for academic credit through your sponsoring department. 

For complete job descriptions, please visit the Environmental Center's website: .
  • Real Food Challenge Internship: Work in partnership with the EC, Real Food Challenge and Sodexo to advance RFC efforts on campus.
  • Zero Waste Dining Internship: Work in partnership with the EC and Sodexo to build on existing waste studies and identify strategies to reduce food waste that align with the USDA's Food Recovery Hierarchy.
  • Alternative Spring Break Internship: Work in partnership with the EC, Outdoor Pursuits, Leadership Programs and Grand Canyon Trust to design and ultimately lead an service- and adventure-oriented alternative spring break experience on the Colorado Plateau.

Old, rusted garden tools wanted

The Environmental Center's Aesthetic Activists, a team of students utilizing art to promote environmental action, is working on an art installation for the San Juan dining hall that intends to educate and inspire students about local, fair, ecologically-sound and humane food and all of our colle ctive efforts to make the Real Food Challenge a reality here at FLC and beyond. 

We want YOU to be part of this effort. This mixed-media piece is currently in search of vintage, weathered, and not necessarily functional farm/garden implements. If you have any rusty, old shovels, pitchforks, hoes, or smaller handtools, please consider turning your trash into our treasure!


Bring out your cans

The EC has partnered with FLC Engineering students to build a totally awesome, Green Designed and Constructed garden & compost shed!... and we need your help to do so! 

Donate your empty, clean soda pop cans to the Environmental Center...and have them turn into our shed's roof! 

Donations accepted Monday-Friday from 9-5 p.m.

The Real Food Challenge Team is a part of a national campaign that leverages the power of youth to create a healthy, fair, and green food system. We are working to shift 20% of the money spent on food to products that qualify as Humane, Fair, Local and/or ecologically sound by 2020. With this in mind our Fort Lewis Team is working on education and outreach focusing on what the Real Food Challenge is and why we should choose real, this includes presentations and working on a website that will give students and community members access to information about our efforts. We are also working in partnership with Sodexo to shift what products they buy and training them as to what products count as real under the real food challenge's qualifications.

I have always been a health nut and I have been a vegetarian for about seven years, so the impact of the food system on the environment has always been something I am passionate about. Working at the EC for the Real Food Challenge has given me a way to reach out to other people and make an impact. Much of the work that I have been doing is communicating with vendors that can increase our real food percentage and working on possibilities for student and community outreach. Through this work I have learned that educating the public about these kinds of problems is very important, it gives them a reason to change their behaviors. When given the opportunity and the information I have noticed that people in our community are willing to change. The Fort Lewis community, though small, has the power to give the world an example of how a community can be conscientious of their impact on the world around them. 

Katrina Rachwitz
Real Food Challenge Team

Figuren in zeventiende-eeuwse kleding, Cornelis Springer, 1882

Colorado, The Clean Power Plan, and U.S. Climate Commitments on the Road to Paris

How will the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever national standard for limiting carbon pollution for power plants, affect Colorado? Our regional impact will be explored in the context of overall U.S. commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and the international negotiations that will be taking place in Paris.

Patrick Cummins is a Durango resident and Fort Lewis College graduate who has spent the last 25 years working with Western states and stakeholders to develop and implement programs to address air quality and climate change.  Patrick served as the Director of Air Quality Programs at the Western Governors' Association and as the Executive Director of the Western Climate Initiative.  He currently works for former Governor Bill Ritter at Colorado State University where he is coordinating a Western states Clean Power Plan initiative that includes energy and environmental regulators from 13 Western states, along with representatives of 25 Western utilities and other key stakeholders.

C lick  here  to learn more and reserve your seat.

When: Wednesday, December 2nd at 12pm
Where: Henry Strater Theater
Cost:  $15, $18 for walk-ins

Localist Rendezvous

When: Friday, December 4th at 4 p.m.
Where: meet at El Moro

NOLS Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability GIS Internship

The GIS intern will have the opportunity to learn and practice real-world application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) including map composition, data entry and simple analyses, developing outreach and informational materials, creating interactive web maps, among others. The intern will also have the opportunity to gain experience developing GIS capabilities in a global organization by supporting NOLS stewardship, sustainability, and global campus operations.

Dates: J anuary 2016 through May 2016
Location:  Lander, WY, NOLS Headquarters
Stipend: $125 per week, dispersed every two weeks
Closing Date for Applications: December 7, 2015
How to Apply: Interested individuals should email a cover letter, resumé, and list of three references to:
Evan Reimondo
NOLS Environmental Stewardship Coordinator

Rocky Mountain PBS & Indie Lens Pop-up

Autism in Love  - Tuesday, December 8 - a feature length doc about adults with autism navigating love and relationships...

"... raises questions about love and life that strike a universal chord and have nothing to do with being on the spectrum."

Read the press for Autism in Love.

When: Tuesday, December 8 at 6 p.m.
Where: the Main Program Room, Durango Public Library

Southwest Conservation Corps Staff Openings

Southwest Conservation Corps is hiring for a few positions in Durango and potentially in Salida. Check out the postings here.

Celebrate Shorebirds Internship Program with Environment for the Americas

The National Park Service and Environment  for the America's (EFTA) Celebrate Shorebirds Internship  was developed to engage the next generation of Latino
conservation stewards. The program is design to encourage Latino  youth to explore careers in natural resource management,  environmental conservation and scientific research. Interns will work side by side with managers, educators and biologist at sites chosen for their importance  to migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Interns will be responsible for an array of  wildlife field work, public outreach and educational programs. Interns will have the ability  to gain invaluable experience and mentoring in many aspects of environmental and wildlife  science.

All internships are paid a monthly stipend ranging from $1000 to $1500 per month and most are provided with housing. 

Latinos between ages 18 and 35 interested in applying should visit
Take Action Bibliophila

The FLC Environmental Center has teamed up with the National Young Farmer's Coalition  to encourage up and coming generations towards a career in farming. Turns out that f armers over the age of 65 outnumber farmers under the age of 35 by a margin of 6-to-1. Student loan debt has served to compound this by preventing this gap from being filled. 

Student Loan Debt hinders the decision to choose a career in farming as it serves to prevent qualification for the loans needed to acquire land and the necessary wares to farm the land. Know who thinks this is good news? The likes of Big Agriculture, monoculture farming, and the corporations profiting from GMOs and the abusive use of pesticides and herbicides. Scared yet? 

The Young Farmer Success Act of 2015, or HR 2590, has recently been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in an effort to get our potential farmers qualified for the Public Loan Service Program . Now , the U.S. Senate needs some encouragement to embrace this action, including Colorado's Cory Gardner. Team up with the FLC EC/National Young farmer's Coalition dynamic duo and   TAKE SOME ACTION. Peace!

Economics as if People Mattered

An excerpt from Theodore Roszak's Introduction:

"The great majority of economists," Schumacher laments, "are still pursuing the absurd ideal of making their 'science' as scientific and precise as physics, as if there were no qualitative difference between mindless atoms and men made in the image of God." He reminds us that economics has only become scientific by becoming statistical. But at the bottom of its statistics, sunk well out of sight, are so many sweeping assumptions about people like you and me - about our needs and motivations and the purpose we have given to our lives. Again and again Schumacher insists that economics as it is practiced today - whether it is socialist or capitalist economics - is a "derived body of thought." It is derived from dubious, "meta-economic" preconceptions regarding man and nature that are never questioned, that dare not be questioned if economic science is to be the science it purports to be rather than (as it should be) a humanistic social wisdom that trusts to experienced intuition, plays by ear, and risks a moral exhortation or two.