November 17, 2015                                              Fall 2015 : Issue 31
When Worlds Collide, Bubbles Burst, and Prejudices are Confronted

One of my favorite alumni visited the office yesterday to seek the answer to one fairly fundamental question that, I believe you could argue, may be one of modern society's biggest elephants in the room: "How does one make sense of, and continue to operate, in the seemingly confused, "human-part" of this world?" This student-turned-citizen cited terrorist attacks in Paris, the current uprising at Mizzou, recent regression against climate action, and FLC's own demonstration against racism. Why does prejudice exist? How do these fanatical notions take credo? As young people committed to fighting an equally as pressing fight in the environmental sector, what is our role in addressing this incipient hatred and affiliated human suffering?

As is often the case, I had no wisdom to provide and most certainly no answers to this gentleman's inquiries. The only thing that came forward from my educator's mind was a mental picture of the rubric that the EC uses to assess our interns Degree of Learning. My mind's eye focused in on two of our Learning Criteria - 1) Degree of Self Awareness and 2) Ability to recognize our own gaps and misunderstandings. So, let Clay's questions be our own-where do we hold prejudice? Are our inaccurate opinions and perceptions of the world around us driving any subtle or overt actions that are perpetuating divides, drawing differences where partnerships should exist? Within our work in the environmental sector, where are these false assumptions causing us to shut out opportunities for genuine connections with people of difference, to build more impactful initiatives that span a broader sector of our world?

Rachel Landis
EC Coordinator
Ushibori, Kawase Hasui, Watanabe Shôzaburô, 1930

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 collective 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 the following items. 

Please let Rachel Landis - know if you have any of the following items and would be excited to have them become part of a work of art:
  • Any Vintage (or weathered) farm/garden tools: shovels, pitchforks, hoes, smaller hand tools, gloves, etc.
  • Chicken Wire (3-4 yards possibly)
Stay tuned for our Launch Party in the spring when we unveil this new artistic addition to our campus!

A great deal of gratitude is due to students (past and present) who have been and are a part of the EC. Students with the vision, passion, and courage that has shaped the EC into what it is today and continue to shape the campus and their community into the place they see in their dreams, feel in their hearts, and know is possible. 

Our student coordinators play a key role in developing and implementing the many initiatives we are working on in the EC and we are excited to announce that this month Jake Hutcherson, our Zero Waste Team Coordinator, is being recognized by the Leadership Center as the Student Leader of the Month. The Zero Waste Team is responsible for bringing you the Free Store, managing our on-campus composting operations, extended recycling services, and is currently working to gather data to better understand how to improve recycling on campus. 

Check out the  Leadership Center's Newsletter   to see Jake, get updates from student government, learn about some fun upcoming events sponsored by Student Union Productions and join in their theme of giving thanks.

Real Food Challenge Win! Old Fort Farms Meat on Wednesdays!

Yum! Way to go Fort Lewis College Dining and the Real Food Challenge! Every Wednesday, FLC diners can order Old Fort Market Gardens', local, organically-raised pork and beef at The Grill in San Juan Dining. 

Let Sodexo know you like these products and that you want more and help us reach our Real Food Challenge goal of 20% real foods by 2020!

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

Learn more about your T-shirt's life story from the  Natural Resources Defense Council.

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

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. The final one in this round is coming up Wednesday, November 18th. 

For more information:  contact Ryan McClung at

Slede met twee kinderen getrokken door een man met hond, Adolf le Comte, 1860 - 1921

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret - TONIGHT!

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

Rocky Mountain PBS & Indie Lens Pop-up

Dear friends of public media and independent filmmaking,

NOTE: As the story of the tragic events in Paris continue to unfold, PBS is working hard to earn its place as the "most trusted source of news."  On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Frontline presents  "ISIS in Afghanistan"
 to be viewed on your TV or online, starting at 10/9c. Watch the trailer  here.

At a local level, Rocky Mountain PBS is always working to enrich and strengthen our member communities.  In contrast with the recent tragedies, it can be enlivening to meet individuals and organizations working to make our world a better place.This week Rocky Mountain PBS, the Durango Public Library and the City of Durango continue the launch of their new partnership with the screening of  Mimi and Dona, the second in our 2015-16 Season of Indie Lens Pop-Up (the program formerly known in Durango as Community Cinema.) 

Mimi and Dona spotlights the all too common story of the challenges of aging caregivers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Watch the trailer.  Read the  press.

"Heart-wrenching. As unflinching as it is beautiful." 
- The New York Times

You are invited to join in conversation after the film with:  La Plata County Senior Services  Director, Sheila Casey;  Annie Satariano , Specialist in  Aging and Disabilities Resources for Colorado (ADRC); and  Julie Dreyfus, President & CEO of   Community Connections.

When: Wednesday, November 18 at 6pm
Where: the Main Program Room, Durango Public Library

Great American Smokeout

Student Wellness Initiatives and the PH 450 Program Planning class invite you to participate in a collaborative art project that demonstrates the effects of tobacco use on the environment. Information for anyone who is interested in quitting tobacco will also be available on site. 

When: Thursday, November 19, 11am - 2pm
Where: in front of Reed Library (weather permitting; backup is in the Union)
For more Info. Contact: Kendra Reichle at or 970-247-7508.

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

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

Click  here to learn more and reserve your seat.

Where: Henry Strater Theater
When: Thursday, December 3rd at 12pm
Cost: $15, $18 for walk-ins
Take Action Bibliophila
Food Ambassadors take notice. Last year, Vermont became the 1 st state to require mandatory GMO labeling. Then in July 2015, under the influence of the big food companies, the House countered by passing HR 1599. They christened the bill "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015." 

Honestly, this serves as a very poor description for what the bill attempts to accomplish. The other names for it, " The DARK Act" or Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, more accurately portray the personality of this bill. It must pass in the Senate to become law and fortunately, it looks like there isn't enough support from the democrats to pass... 

BUT DON'T RELAX YET! To get their way, the big food posse is lobbying forcefully to sway the vote. They had already spent  $51 Million within the first 6 months of 2015. Here are a few insights on HR 1599 that I took from 

1) the bill would negate all existing GMO labeling laws 
2) the system for voluntary labeling of products as Non-GMO would fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) less rigorous certification program
3) local, grassroots efforts would no longer have the ability to decide how they want to control the standing of GMOs within their own jurisdictions 
4) companies could make "natural" claims on packaging even if the food contains GMOs. has made it easy for you to contact the right representative, the FDA, and the most notable Food Companies involved.

Another place to be heard concerning this effort is Credoaction . While you are feeling motivated to Take Action, check out the TPP. This brute just came out from years of hiding and is looking to become a done deal. DemocracyNow did a nice piece on this recently. I swear, awareness can feel really nice!

O ver 40 years ago, when Random House first published Dr. Suess's
The Lorax, it sent forth a clarion call - to industry and consumers alike- to conserve the earth's precious and finite natural resources. The message of this whimsical yet powerful tale resonate today more profoundly than ever. In every corner of the world, we are at risk of losing real-life Brown Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans, Humming-Fish, Truffula Trees, and the forests they all inhabit. 

On Earth Day 2008, Conservation International, Dr. Suess Enterprises, and Random House launched The Lorax Project, a multifaceted initiative designed to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire earth-friendly action worldwide by passionate individuals of all ages. 

To learn more about The Lorax Project and how you can help, visit 

Want to read The Lorax? Come check it out at the EC Library.