On Friday, March 16, 2012, 13 motivated Johnson & Wales Environmental Leadership Academy students and staff packed Fluid Meeting Spaces in Denver to learn more about environmental issues and what they can do to address them. The Cottonwood Institute put together an exciting day of activities and guest speakers to highlight examples of people and organizations that are truly changing the world. Here are a few takeaways from the day:
In the morning, Ford Church spoke about how he started the Cottonwood Institute, we walked through an interactive process highlighting how their students tackle local environmental issues, and learned about the Cycle of Cynicism and the Cycle of Hope. After showing Derek Siver’s video called How To Start A Movement, a big takeaway was that you don’t always have to be a leader to change the world – the first follower is critical to starting any movement.
We showed a video called the Story of Stuff and learned more about our waste cycle, including extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal and what we can do to help. We were shocked to learn that 99% of the things we buy from stores end up in a landfill within six months. Click Here for 10 little and big things you can do to address this problem.
Next, we heard from Jeff Aitken, Owner of Fluid Coffee Bar. He shared the core values of Fluid Coffee Bar and how they make decisions through a triple bottom line lens. If opportunities are not good for profit, planet, and people, they get creative about how they can partner with other folks to solve the problem or table the idea.
JD Prater from Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) gave an incredibly powerful, interactive presentation about climate change, including examples of ways that people all over the world are responding to this crisis. The big takeaway from JD’s presentation was to Do One Thing (DOT).
Adam Schlegel, the Co-Founder of Snooze A.M. Eatery, hosted an amazing lunch for us and told us more about how he and his brother launched their wildly popular breakfast joint. A big takeaway from Adam’s presentation was to start small and make environmental initiatives fun. Most restaurants do not recycle, so Snooze started small by starting a recycling program. Then they added composting and now divert close to 90% of their waste stream!
Finally, we wrapped up the day with John-Paul Maxfield, Founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next-generation, sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. Waste Farmers is an excellent example of a for-profit, socially conscious venture that is a true leader in the sustainable agriculture movement.
A special thanks goes out to Johnson & Wales and all of our dynamic speakers who volunteered their time to inspire us to continue to come up with creative solutions to our most pressing environmental problems.
We just received the official announcement that the Cottonwood Institute won the 2011 Markham Mark of Distinction Award and $25,000 to support our programs to connect kids to the outdoors.
Specifically, funding will support our partnerships with West Denver Prep to connect low-income students to the outdoors, Operation: Military Kids to get children from military families outdoors while their parents are serving our country, and public school students from New Vista High School to attend weekend camping trips through our Community Adventure Program.
In order to say thanks, we want give you an opportunity to sample Markham Vineyards wine for yourself, simply:
- Go to our Facebook Page by Clicking Here
- Click the “Like” button at the top of the page
- On November 1, 2011, we will randomly select 4 Cottonwood Institute Facebook Page members to receive a bottle of Markham’s Merlot that you can use to help toast our victory.
- You must be 21+ year old to win
- If you do not have a Facebook account, but still want to enter the drawing, shoot us an email and we will put your name in the hat!
There are too many people to thank for helping us win, but we wanted to give a quick shout out to Kellie Grengs, Jessica Haddy, April and Ken Pishna, Ashley Nelson, James Foy, Argonaut Liquor, Fluid Coffee Bar, Prescott College, University of Denver Marketing Department, Blues Jean Bar, and Colorado & Company for encouraging their networks to vote. We could not have won without you. We are so grateful for your support and very humbled by this entire experience! And of course none of this would have been possible without Markham Vineyards, so thank you so much for empowering us to continue, “changing the world, one adventure at a time!”
We are teaming up with our friends at Fluid Coffee Bar for our Third Annual Holiday Cheer Party on Thursday, December 17 from 7pm – 9 pm. Join us for warm beverages, holiday treats, and live music! Spread the good word and bring your friends. This event is free and open to the public as we are using it to as an opportunity to pack Fluid Coffee Bar to help with their goal to save 40,000 coffee cups this year, so don’t forget to bring your own mug or to order your drink to stay.
This is a big deal, not just because it has a positive impact on the environment, community and businesses but because it is a giant step in demonstrating how collaboration and creativity between the Cottonwood Institute, Fluid Coffee Bar and the local community can lead to positive change.
Drop by Fluid on either of the days listed below and you can say that you were involved in changing the world, one adventure at a time. Remembering your cell phone on the way out the door is a challenge, but remembering your coffee cup is an adventure!
1) December 12th and 13th – “A Weekend Without” disposable cups. Bring your mug or use our mug. No disposable cups will be available. Really. (10% of weekend sales will be donated to community partners.)
2) December 14th -19th – Share the Fluid Experience. Bring a friend to Fluid and order Coffee for two (French Press) or Tea for two (Tea Press) in a reusable mug and receive a free drink on your fluid card for your next visit.
4) December 30th and 31st – Lets make this happen! Bring your mug or use our mug. No disposable cups will be available. Really.