The Foundations for Leaders Organizing for Water and Sustainability team, also known as FLOWS, works to combat climate change in a variety of ways, including a free service that sends student technicians into affordable housing communities in Boulder County to help renters save money and reduce their ecological footprint. As part of KGNU’s ongoing FLOWS series, we joined FLOWS student technicians Tatiana Blanco Quiroga and Magnolia Landa-Posas on one of their home visit trips.
The home visits are a central part of FLOWS’ climate justice work and each time the team is welcomed inside they accomplish a variety of goals related to the group’s mission.
Some of those goals include, furthering their green job skills training, installing resource saving eco-upgrades, and strengthening the connection between the sustainability movement and the existing eco-leadership and sustainable practices often overlooked and unrecognized in low-income communities.
Many FLOWS members say their favorite element of the visits are moments when the sustainability learning goes both ways. The affordable housing residents FLOWS serves often already utilize sustainability practices that make low-income community members the part of society with the smallest carbon footprints. They may live sustainably to save money or because it’s how they were raised but whether they realize it or not they are sustainability leaders with valuable resource saving knowledge the FLOWS team can share with others.
FLOWS believes the city of Boulder and the nation need to realize how vital cutting household energy and water use is to successfully curbing and coping with climate change. With so much room for improvement and the hope that their focus on residential change catches on, FLOWS will continue encouraging people to fully embrace sustainable living one home visit at a time.
This FLOWS radio series is made possible by a grant from Boulder County.
FLOWS is currently accepting applications from Boulder residents with low/moderate incomes interested in becoming technicians for the program. Residents will receive green job skills, trainings and a stipend for their participation. Find out more at colorado.edu/ecenter/FLOWS