Christopher Van Putten

Class of 2013
Portland, Oregon

Christopher grew up on an island in Washington and has a deep passion for stewardship. During his final semester at L&C he wrote a grant proposal to help the forests around campus from the invasive ivy that strangles trees and chokes out native undergrowth. After helping over 600 trees and compiling a habitat restoration status report he chose entrepreneurship for the following 9 years. His self-employment took many forms and was guided by the principles he learned during a Permaculture Design Course he took in 2014. Sharing joy is one of his core values, and this drove him to make dozens of cupcakes weekly to give away during his senior year.

His nickname ‘Birdz’ came organically from his work in the forests, as he didn’t want to ignore the birds that would chirp at him when removing invasive holly and blackberry along with the ivy. Permaculture has three main tenants, Earth-care, community-care, and self-care. Christopher-Birdz soon found himself fascinated by this approach, especially with regards to the concepts that he touched on through intro courses in sociology and psychology. He dove into social permaculture, which is about community stewardship, identifying and addressing invisible structures such as colonization, capitalism, and patriarchy. Christopher realized that heart-centered allyship in addition to activism is crucial to creating a more beautiful world.

It’s his belief that we’re here to diligently take care of each other, ourselves, and the planet. Christopher has an eclectic taste in music, cuisine, and adores the ocean. As a networker he makes sure to prioritize quality before quantity of connections and knows the importance of active listening. Christopher-Birdz has two cats, a mother-daughter pair, and during his free time can usually be found gardening, eating chocolate, or petting his cats.