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A Latin name is the only esoteric thing about the TCU Environmental Club.
This grassroots effort is determined to get the campus community more earth-centric.

By Rachel Stowe Master '91

When students launched what is likely the first environmental student club on campus in March 2006, they aptly named the group: Adduco Viridis, which means lead green in Latin. The organization grew out of an environmental stewardship class (which draws students from all majors) that has been offered since 2002.

"The students and professors of the class felt that our campus was missing the mark on many important environmental issues and that as a place of higher education, we should be a leader in the community on those issues," said Bethanne Edwards '07, a founding co-president.

Now between 15 and 20 members show up for the twice-monthly meetings and about 100 people are on the club's e-mail list. And while their overarching goal of greening-up campus may seem ambitious, they are making a dent -- recycling continues to be a priority, as does the club's awareness campaign centered on its Sustainability Pledge.

"Anyone can sign this pledge -- which states that they will make an effort to lead a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life -- and take away a wallet-sized reminder card with not only the pledge but a list of small, easy steps that can help them change their daily habits," said Kimberly Banzhaf, a senior environmental science major and the club's current president.

The club tries to organize at least one community project -- like a park cleanup -- each semester. This year members plan to participate in environmental education projects at local schools. The group has also turned its eyes internationally with an annual Concert for the Macaws, which raises funds for preservation of the endangered green macaw habitat in Costa Rican rainforests. This year's concert will be on campus during a week of Earth Day (April 22) activities.

"Even small steps, like convincing a few students to throw their water bottles into a recycling bin, is an accomplishment because it has a positive impact on our environment," Edwards said. "As the environmental club continues this year, its members can work on turning those few students into a whole campus, one person and one water bottle at a time."

Club projects under way:

Clean Rivers. The club has adopted a section of the Trinity River to clean up and maintain.

Recyclemania. This nationwide program pits residence halls against one another in a quest to recyle the most refuse.

Earth Week: The long list of activities planned for two weeks surrounding Earth Day, April 22, include a can crush, raffle, promotion of green awareness and the Concert for the McCaws.
Concert for the McCaws. This fundraiser will help buy trees for the endangered McCaw habitat in Costa Rica. Local bands will perform.

Urban Organic Gardening. The club is partnering with a program at Elizabeth Anna's Old World Garden, a nearby business.

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