Food Freedom Through Climate Change Activism

Sustainable Connections is a local nonprofit that works to create thriving communities through innovative ideas, collaboration, and action. Sustainable Connections work with a diverse network of local stakeholders, including community members, government and non-profit allies, and local businesses, to facilitate a variety of sustainability and social equity initiatives that improve the quality of life for all in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island County, with a focus on the long-term health of the environment.  This year Sustainable Connections is celebrating 20 years of work in the community.

Sustainable Connections has five core programs: Think Local First, Food & Farming, Toward Zero Waste, Housing & Smart Growth, and Energy & Green Building. The Toward Zero Waste Program is joining us in this talk titled, ‘Food Freedom through Climate Change Activism” to teach about the connections between food waste and climate change, the Food Recovery Program and food waste reduction, and local resources for accessing free food.

The Toward Zero Waste Team includes Jenna Deane, Brandi Hutton, and Elodie Cerauskis.

About the Speaker

The three zero waste team members at an event
Jenna Deane, Brandi Hutton, and Elodie Cerauskis
Toward Zero Waste Team


Jenna has spent over a decade in the field of environmental education and brings a passion for supporting climate change solutions and community resilience. From sharing tide pools and redwood trees with fifth graders, investigating science topics in the garden with elementary students, to providing experiential workshops on teaching climate change to local teachers, she believes that people are most likely to act when they feel like they will make a difference.  As part of the Toward Zero Waste Team, she is passionate about increasing access to composting and recycling services and helping businesses transition from single-use plastics. 

Jenna has a B.A in Environmental Education from Western Washington University and has worked in residential outdoor education, school gardens, and for environmental education non-profits.


Brandi loves connecting with our community and helping to inspire a brighter future. She has been a part of the Toward Zero Waste Team at Sustainable Connections for three years where she has had the opportunity to have an active role in helping shape the Food Recovery Program. Brandi also brings her creative energy to helping events and businesses better reduce and manage operation waste.   Originally a Midwest native, Brandi arrived in Bellingham in 2006 to pursue a degree in Environmental Conservation from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. Since graduating, she has passionately pursued and developed an authentic understanding of practical approaches to natural resource management. Whether it be working with private landowners through Whatcom County to protect water quality, or educating the public through specific outreach programs, Brandi’s unwavering commitment to our community is a constant.


Elodie came to Bellingham in 2017 from California, to pursue her education at Western. Inspired by her previous community service educating youth about their environment and farming local foods, she decided to pursue an Interdisciplinary Concentration at Fairhaven College. Where she wrote her concentration titled, “Global Energy, Policy and Food Systems” she also majored in French (her native language) and minored in environmental justice. While on her educational journey she decided to pursue her culinary passion and has cooked at several restaurants in Bellingham over the years. Through her work in the food industry and regular visits to the Outback Farm at Fairhaven College, Elodie began volunteering for several food recovery and distribution programs in town, such as the Foothills Food Bank, the Ferndale Food Bank, and Sustainable Connections’ Food Recovery Program. She is now an AmeriCorps Vista for the Food Recovery Program . Elodie’s role is to help build efficiency within the program, expand the program’s outreach, and educate the community about the Food Recovery Program.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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