With evidence mounting about the existence and measurability of global climate change and its effects on our planet, students saw the need and found the opportunity to take action.
According to its mission statement, Women of the Earth, one of campus’ newest student organizations, seeks to “discuss ways (to) actively serve our community in support of our environment” and “determine ways to contribute to the health of our planet and its inhabitants.”
Although Women of the Earth was initiated by psychology professor Jenna Andrews-McClymont, freshman education major and current president Maile Wortham was one of the students to get the organization up and running.
“I feel like bringing more awareness to our environment has no negative effects, and I really believe in taking steps to make our world better for everyone,” Wortham said.
While Wortham is not alone in her beliefs, there are still a relatively small number of participating students. “Getting more people involved is a huge goal of ours and has been since we started,” she said.
Another goal is working with the Children’s School. The students there will learn how plants grow by working in their classroom with Women of the Earth to start seeds for a garden; the organization then plans to take those seeds, transplant them into Stephens’ greenhouse located near the Children’s School and maintain their own garden.
“This is an experiment of sorts, and we are hoping that if the garden goes well it will be a project that continues to grow and adapt over future years of the organization,” Wortham explained.
Freshman creative writing student and organization secretary Heather Beger said the group had an activity planned for earlier in February. The Lunch & Learn activity would have given students an opportunity to learn about gardening and volunteering from someone working at Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.
“Unfortunately, that had to be canceled last minute, so we’re hoping to reschedule that,” Beger said.
The group is also continuing its efforts make more recycling containers available on campus and around the community. Women of the Earth hopes that by including more students in its efforts, the organization will be able to fundraise more effectively and complete more projects.
“I know being a part of this group has already helped me in becoming greener, and I think it’s something that every college student can benefit from,” Beger said. “I feel like, in this group, I have a voice and a purpose and it’s pretty exciting that we’re just starting out.”
Women of the Earth meets at 3:50 p.m. every other Thursday in Walter 101. Anyone who is interested in becoming greener and doing her best to make this planet better is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.
“To me, being involved in Women of the Earth means that I am taking a step forward and saying that I care about this planet, so I’m going to do my best to make it better,” Wortham said.