Sterling College Meeting Minutes

Sterling College Environmental Literacy Conversation

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meeting Minutes

Participants responded to the question, “What do you see when you picture an environmentally literate community?  What’s happening?  What are individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, etc. doing in your future vision?” as follows:

Public Institutions

  • Infrastructure – bike paths solar panels, compost pick-up
  • Outside play for children during recess to be able to connect with nature – No Black Tops!
  • Model from school level through public buildings recycling, compost and waste reduction, energy efficiency, local sourcing, free boxes, non-toxics, etc.
  • Experience with nature is as important as knowledge.
  • Paradigm shift – No More Capitalism.
  • Transportation – bike paths, pedestrian friendly, car pools, car share, etc.
  • End of disposable society
  • Days in the year are set aside to clean up the spaces we constantly interact with.

Private Sector

  • Turn waste into product.
  • Small-scale local agriculture
  • Shrink-wrapped and pre-packaged lifestyle is non-existent.
  • Rewards and incentives are available for the folks who create opportunity and put thoughts into practice.
  • Alternative energy and less energy use.

Individuals

  • There is a sense of responsibility among people to keep their community thriving.
  • People ride bikes to get places.
  • People have an intimate connection to food.
  • There’s less electronic fun – more forts and imagination!
  • There is no litter on the ground.
  • People are AWARE and have intentions to their actions.  They are part of a community where measuring one’s self worth is put aside and bettering oneself for the community is a vital asset.
  • Lifestyles change with the season.
  • “Less is more” lifestyle is taught and mentored by all.
  • All human activity mimics natural cycles.

Associations

No visions were posted under this category.

Additional Vision

  • Sense of interconnectedness

Participants responded to the request to, “Share some of the environmental projects and initiatives that already are happening in your workplace or community that bring us closer to an environmentally literate Vermont.” as follows:

Public Institutions

  • Four Winds Nature Institute in schools
  • Ride Share, carpooling, HOV lanes, etc.
  • Sterling College school garden
  • Public school gardens
  • Four Seasons Preschool garden
  • Salvation Farm – High Mowing Seeds, Food Bank
  • Sterling College and UVM’s compost
  • Library museum passes – shared resource for admission to museums that encourages visitation
  • Eugene, OR bus pass
  • Service learning components in high schools
  • Green-up Day
  • Sterling College Green-up
  • Adventure Race (Adrian)
  • Farm to School
  • Stowe dump has a room where people can find free things to take home.
  • Solid Waste District – recycling is less expensive than trash
  • Free box at Sterling College
  • Students for Environmental Action (SEA)
  • Community clean up groups
  • Vermont’s State House is welcoming.
  • Laws allow you to walk on private land unless it is posted.
  • Rail trail systems
  • Upward Bound – writing to right the earth
  • Draft horses do Bristol, VT trash/recycling.
  • Kindergarten natural history observation in Virginia
  • Walden Project
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) has school-based crews
  • MVU environmental club
  • Johnson State College does environmental service projects.
  • Wonder & Wisdom in Greensboro
  • World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
  • Ride Share VT
  • Efficiency VT
  • Craftsbury Fire Department
  • Farm to Family offers food stamps for farmers’ markets.
  • Vermont Health Access Program (VHAP)
  • Free Weight Watchers for Copley employees

 

Private Sector

  • Community sugar house in Hardwick
  • Vermont Compost
  • L.L. Bean has an employee recreation day
  • Kingdom Community Wind
  • Buffalo Mountain Co-op in Hardwick
  • Green Mountain Power has solar incentives
  • Cabot whey distribution to farmers
  • Sterling College green dormitory, grows own food, off-grid barn, etc.
  • Wonder & Wisdom in Greensboro makes intergenerational connections
  • Pete’s Greens
  • Chuck’s Bike’s – school children bike education
  • Sterling College work program
  • Town farmers’/crafts/artisan markets
  • REACH afterschool program at Craftsbury Academy
  • Stowe Mountain – carpooling points to get great parking
  • Computer recycling
  • Ink cartridge recycling/redemption
  • Appalachian Trail women’s shelters
  • Bees Knees, Claire’s, Highland Lodge – are local food and community supported restaurants
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center
  • Yestermorrow
  • Music Box
  • Earthwalk Village School
  • Second Chance thrift store
  • Plainfield Native American museum
  • Willey’s is a general stores that provides local shipping.
  • Vermont Flatbread
  • Vermont Soy
  • Vermont Natural Coatings
  • Metta Earth Institute offers homesteading workshops
  • ESN North Atlantic in Maine offers water quality testing and recommendations
  • Arrowwood Environmental offers habitat restoration
  • Full Belly Farm in Lincoln, VT
  • Stormy Meadow draft horses

Individuals

  • Recycling
  • Green-up Day
  • Composting
  • Gardening
  • Draft animal power (Carl Russell)
  • Homesteading and living off the grid (Heidi Choate, Evan Perkins)
  • Maple syrup
  • Using renewable resources
  • Non-car methods of transportation
  • Collaborate efforts – encourage community
  • Co-housing projects like the one in East Montpelier
  • Passive solar
  • Neighbor economy
  • Town energy committee
  • Personal choices – consumption, energy, etc
  • Responsible management of one’s own land – forest management plans
  • “Use it up.  Wear it out.  Make do or do without.”
  • Skill trade – lumber, childcare, etc.
  • Junk art competitions
  • Sterling College free box
  • Knitting, crafting, fiber arts, etc.
  • Workshops by individuals to bring the community together
  • Biking places
  • “Slow fashion”
  • “Slow food”
  • Green cleaning
  • Farmers’ markets
  • CSA supporters
  • Home food storage
  • Choosing quality over quantity
  • Volunteering
  • Donations
  • Do it yourself
  • Local farms selling add-ons
  • Using wild edibles
  • Primitive skills
  • Non-western healthcare
  • Healthy lifestyles

Associations

  • The Common Place is an art space, community space and book store
  • Salvation Farm Food Bank
  • Sterling College art exhibits
  • Co-ops – local food, herbs and products
  • Hardwick Energy Action Resource Team (HEART)
  • Craftsbury Energy
  • Transition towns
  • Center for Ag Economy
  • Porter Brook Environmental Center
  • Project Seasons
  • VT FEED
  • Hosmer Pond conservation group
  • Sterling College Northwood Stewardship Center
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
  • Pete’s Greens
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  • Teaching care of nature
  • YMCA environmental club
  • Two Countries One Forest – USA and Canada continuous wildlife habitat
  • Good Farming Apprenticeship Network
  • National Wildlife Federation backyard habitat project
  • Farm and Wilderness
  • State-Wide Environmental Education Programs alliance (SWEEP)
  • Pathways – Jackson, WY bike path
  • 4H
  • Sierra Club’s designation of protected lands
  • Hardwick Trails children’s ski program
  • Peregrine Fund
  • Craftsbury and Hardwick churches have free community meals
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center
  • Common Ground Fair
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Bread and Puppet
  • Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
  • Farm to School
  • World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
  • Couch surfing
  • Craigslist
  • Freecycle
  • Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Stowe dump’s free room

Participants responded to the question, “In order to get from where we are today to your future vision of environmental literacy, what more needs to happen?” as follows:

Public Institutions

  • Hospitals could integrate more holistic health practices.
  • Media could humanize the understanding of “green.”  The “green” image or lifestyle could be presented with positive stories.
  • Educators could be educated about environmental literacy.
  • Youth could be educated to have a passion for the environment.
  • Community involvement in schools could be increased.
  • Libraries could offer free classes on environmental literacy.
  • Kids could learn and play in natural settings.
  • Local officials could go into communities to listen and lead.

Private Sector

  • Best practices could be shared through panel discussions.
  • Businesses could compare and communicate.  They could share resources, buy in bulk, etc.
  • There could be creative incentives (maybe tax breaks?) for businesses that implement environmental actions.
  • There could be video demonstrations to share best practices.
  • There could be more forms of the CSA model.
  • People could think about how to draw the broader population in.
  • Green businesses could get on social network sites.
  • There could be taxes for environmental costs on the federal level.
  • Laws could be changed to support being “green.”
  • Businesses could be shown how “green” practices can save money.

Individuals

  • Teachers, parents and bosses could role model and strongly suggest positive peer pressure (i.e. make environmental literacy cool).
  • People could wear more layers in the wintertime and turn down their heat.
  • People could stop littering.
  • People could use common sense.
  • People could drive the market by using consumer choice.
  • Recycling bins could be made more available.
  • Bike racks could be made more abundant.
  • Pressure could be put on the legislature.
  • There could be more community gardens.
  • Gardening could be made a part of public education.
  • Electronics and television could be kept out of the house.
  • People could eat with the season.
  • People could end the disconnect that is acquired from the use of electronics.
  • People could erase the separation between humans and the environment.

Associations

  • Associations and businesses could share resources.  There could be less repeat learning.
  • Associations could have regional meetings, shared visions, etc.
  • Art and media could be used to spread messages.  Messages could cross socio-economic boundaries.
  • Social network sites and technology could be used to spread messages.
  • Associations all could think and buy locally.
  • Associations could share membership databases, partner on projects, etc. to collaborate and extend their reach.
  • There could be regional or local employee and business assistance programs.
  • There could be micro grants for businesses.
  • Skills could be traded within businesses and organizations.
  • There could be shared annual reports and celebrations of good work in communities.