Students should join the environmental conversation

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to proudly show the UK community just how green your thumbs really are? As much as I love sticking it to the man, Earth Day is coming ever nearer and with it, a resurgence in our national and local dialogue about what we are doing to our planet that will either help or hurt our species.

It is not a lighthearted conversation, but it is one that members of Greenthumb, a University of Kentucky environmental club, say is necessary.

The UK Greenthumb Environmental Club sprouted in 1993 and has since acted as a home-grown organization of students who desire to get their hands dirty, and spread their roots through environmental activism on campus and throughout the Commonwealth.

As a campus organization, Greenthumb primarily focuses on engaging the UK Administration and community in an active discussion about the need for a more sustainable campus through petitions, letter drops, and table events where students can meet members and sign up for more information.

Students and other members of the UK community may remember that members of Greenthumb spread a banner out on the lawn of the William T. Young Library in January of 2012 to advocate their support for alternative energy and dialogue on the topic around campus. Greenthumb has proven that they are a driven bunch, as they continue to fight the good fight.

It is no longer a hot potato for dim witted politicians to toss back and forth; carbon emissions are a pollutant that negatively affects us and our environment.

“We as students and shareholders in UK have a say in how much carbon is emitted and how it is dealt with at UK,” said sociology and environmental sustainability sophomore Katherine Smith, an active member of Greenthumb. “Greenthumb is currently sending an open invitation for other organizations to join our coalition.”

Smith began working with Greenthumb during the Fall Semester of 2014 after she was introduced at a tabling event. She, like many other current members of Greenthumb, have found a voice and a “labor of love” through this campus organization. In her own words, Katherine stated, “I believe that from personal experience, a lot of students have trouble finding a voice on campus. Greenthumb is a good way to find that voice, get involved, meet new people and make a difference.”

As we approach the coming spring with flip-flops and walks in the park, and we enjoy the warmth of sunny days and the pleasant awe-inspiring array of blooming plants and trees beginning to wake from their slumber, let us take a moment to consider our planet’s resources and just how special they are to us.