My Letter of Hope

On a cold night in late December last year, I was snuggled up on my couch and catching up on the news.  I saw a headline that a freak weather system had caused the North Pole to reach a temperature of 40 degrees, 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.

I froze (no pun intended).  It was warmer on the North Pole than even here in Colorado.  Unbelievable … In one article a climate scientist said that if there was ever a call for action to do something about climate change, this was it.

I agreed wholeheartedly.  But what?  I couldn’t sleep that night.  The restlessness came from concern for the future of my 4-year-old son.  I often read him colorful books about animals from around the world – he loves learning about those animals.  Sometimes I read him those stories with a lump in my heart, wondering if many of them would exist very much longer with conditions changing so quickly.

So in the middle of that cold, dark night, I felt the one immediate thing I could do was write to my representatives in Congress.  I had time on my hands, my favorite pen and a yellow legal pad.  I started writing straight from the heart and straight from my fears.  Almost as an after thought I wrote one to President Obama, too.  Why not ‘eh?

I got canned responses via email and snail mail from the representatives.  Months went by.  Then just last Tuesday I was about to walk into my house when I noticed a large envelope at my doorstep.  The return address said “The White House”.  I wondered if it was some kind of joke.

Inside the envelope was a short letter and someone had scribbled a signature at the bottom.  “I can’t even tell who this is from,” I thought!  Then I looked, and stared, and looked again, and stared again, “Holy socks on a rooster! This is a personal letter from the President!”  It was signed in real ink, and he made references to my original letter.

The thought that my chicken scratch on a piece of yellow legal pad paper had made it to the desk of the President brought me to tears.  Somebody was listening … And not just anybody, the President of the United States was listening!  Maybe Democracy works!  Maybe there is some hope for climate change and all the challenges we face.

You can bet I will be framing that letter.  I certainly can’t stop taking action now.

Best,

Deb Moses

(EC Coordinator Note: Deb is an avid Environmental Center Supporter, FLC staff member, musician, mother, and overall exceptional human!)letter of hope

Bananas for Apples

Hello world!

My name is Kaidee Akullo, and I am a freshman and proud member of the Real Food Challenge Team!

In my first few weeks with the Environmental Center family I have been able to connect with and relate to someone in each team. This alone has shown me that being part of the EC will provide me with a community like no other.

I am looking forward to becoming environmentally conscious, knowledgeable and well-rounded through my interactions with individuals, communities and organizations through the EC. I recently had my first outreach experience, and I just finished working on a short film for our Vote Real campaign.

My first experience tabling with the EC has been completed and was a success! This year at the Durango Apple Days festival the EC had a table where the Local Food Security Team paired with Cream Bean Berry to make apple ice cream flavors.

I was able to help serve enough scoops of Almond Milk Apple and Apple Pie flavored ice cream to bring in $500 to the EC. At the festival we educated the public about the events the EC puts on and how we are impacting the Fort Lewis community.

My next tabling event was more specific to my team. The Real Food Challenge team went out chatting with and educating people in preparation for our Vote Real event that opened on October 10.  I will table next at the Wellness Fair on October 12.

Vote Real was a huge success last year as we were able to permanently shift 240 pounds of local pesticide-free potatoes into the Sodexo dining plan. This means that the Real Food Challenge percentage has increased 1.3%, and the potato purchasing is contributing $11,000 to the local economy!

To keep the momentum going we are excited to be implementing new marketing techniques. Coming soon is a Vote Real video and Snapchat updates about who we are and what we do. I am personally super excited about the little movie because it is my first one! Our team will soon be official directors and filmmakers with new videos for each campaign season.

I am super excited for the Wellness Fair as it speaks to my background and curiosity about wellness and food. At the fair I will be able to present and discover how sustainability and real foods are associated with wellness.

This issue is one I feel the constant need to share and discuss becuase it relates to the health of our society. The correlation between wellness and eating right is uncanny. Even on a simple level when one eats in a balanced way they feel well and are able to be productive. This productivity leads to development of the whole community.

Real food guidelines are intertwined with the idea of starting from the bottom in order to benefit societal success because humane, ecologically sound, fair, and organic foods help us scientifically and socially grow.

To be able to incorporate real food with wellness is an awesome way for me to bring existing knowledge forward to shape future learning.

Happy learning and growing!

Kaidee

Kaidee Akullo (Left) and RFC Team member, Louie West (Right) scooping up Cream Bean Berry at Apple Days!

Kaidee Akullo (Left) and RFC Team member, Louie West (Right) scooping up Cream Bean Berry at Apple Days!