Who We Are: Communecos is an environmental education non-profit which supports workshops, skillshares and social enterprise projects. Our funding comes primarily from the Recyclique retail shop at 2811 Hillsborough Rd. and from donations.
We have sponsored over 180 educational workshops in the last three and a half years — included topics such as solar cooperatives, solar heater construction, the science and politics of natural gas fracking, mosaic stepping stones, backyard chickens, aquaponics, lamp repair, vermicomposting, vegetable planting, films on permaculture, coal-powered energy and workplace co-ops, and bee-keeping, sewing and building raised beds and cold frames, rain barrel making and painting, mask-making, crocheting with plastic bag material (PLARN), aromatherapy and essential oils, backyard composting, pranic healing, paper-making, solar oven making, and African drumming.
We celebrated our 2nd anniversary in June 2013 with presentations on Japanese gardens by Prof. Norris Johnson and saving money with new-generation solar LED lights by Patricia Murray, of Durham Skywriter radio.
Our enviro-ed events are sometimes free, or they use a suggested donation system, usually in the $5-15 range, and no one is turned away from an event for inability to pay, as long as there is room. A few workshops have set fees, and RSVP is needed for some due to space limits, for more info: email: Sandy at yikes.contact @ gmail.com.
Our Eco-Lounge educational space [which was expanded in summer 2013] has also served as a resource for a global warming reading group, a money/debt reading group, an eco-village group, the ROFFA sustainable food research team, Transitions Durham, the Education Committee of Occupy Durham, and other groups. If you would like to use our space for a community meeting that is in line with our mission, email us at yikes.contact @ gmail.com. We appreciate donations for use of the space and our staff time to open/close the building. We also refurbished an outdoor gazebo in spring 2013 and are building an outdoor classroom space around it.
Other recent sustainability projects we have helped organize include the Green Tracks Training Program (2011-2012) for seven cohorts of Durham Economic Resource Center students, funded by a Golden Leaf Foundation grant. We provided instructors on recycling, principles of sustainability, solar energy, and sustainable building/manufacturing for the Green Tracks program. We also collaborated in organizing a Renewable Energy Seminar held on Thursday afternoons during the spring term of 2012 at the NC School of Science & Mathematics. This series was videotaped for distance learning programs in NC high schools and is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL87250C51BB97E4F6.
We also do rain barrel making/painting (with info on water-saving) workshops for special groups. Rain barrel making and painting is fun and educational — a great way to introduce sustainability themes to young people.
- We did a series of six parent and child workshops created through Living Social –one Sat. a month April – Sept. 2012.
- We’ve collaborated on two workshops — one on rain barrel construction and one on shitake mushroom innoculation with SEEDS. We also did rain barrel painting workshops for the summer programs of J-Ruth Manor and Frog Hollow Outdoor Outfitters in 2012. In the past we have done painting sessions for high school, church and scout groups and at YO-Durham.
- We’ve done two workshops–one on solar ovens and one on rain barrel painting and water conservation for the Durham library teen summer program. And we have a joint grant proposal submitted with the library to expand to 8 workshops in summer 2015.
- We manage a rain barrel painting booth at the Eno Festival each year; [2013 will be our fifth year at the festival, and this year we’ll be sharing the booth with Transition Durham]. We’ve also done rain barrel painting booths at Durham Centerfest and Chapel Hill’s Earth Action Day in past years. Contact us at yikes.contact @ gmail.com if you are interested in holding such an event for your church, scouting or community group.
Please see our History Page for detail on projects in the 2007 – 2010 period.