Embedding sustainability into daily life in Central Oregon

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At The Environmental Center, we use education and advocacy to embed sustainable thinking and behavior into daily life in our community.

Learn more about our current programs by clicking on one of the links below.

Kansas Avenue Learning Garden

Our Learning Garden connects students to the basis of all life—food.  We transformed a vacant, weed-infested lot into an outdoor classroom where children tend to the seeds they plant, make discoveries through weekly observations and experiments, apply math and science skills, and get their hands dirty.

The Energy Challenge

he Energy Challenge was created to help everyone in Bend save energy and make their homes healthier, more comfortable, and more environmentally friendly. First launched as the Bend Energy Challenge in 2015, we competed for a  $5 million prize in nationwide energy-saving competition throughout 2015 and 2016. In 2017, we’ve taken on a new name and are expanding our borders to serve beyond Bend.

Youth Education

We design and deliver a variety of youth education programs to the future generation of thinkers, teachers and leaders, including classroom presentations, outdoor school days and learning gardens.  We also help local schools put sustainability into practice, so they can serve as sustainable learning labs and models for their students.

Rethink Waste

A sustainable community reflects natural systems where nothing is wasted. Our Rethink Waste Project helps businesses rethink waste in the workplace, and citizens rethink waste at home.  Our goal is to prevent waste and increase reuse, recycling and composting in our community.

Sustainable Community

Bringing people together to learn about and celebrate sustainability has always been an important part of what we do.  It’s how we build the community of like-minded people who care about the future.  We organize and host several community events—like Green Drinks, the Earth Day Fair and Parade, and our Sustainability Awards—and our building in downtown Bend serves as the environmental hub and “green gathering place” and for our community.

Sustainable Business

A sustainable economy is possible when consumers choose to keep their dollars local with businesses that tread lightly on the environment.  We support and promote local, conscious consumerism and sustainable business practices through The Green Spot, our online sustainable business directory.