Engineers for a Sustainable World help students build terrariums

Catherine Marfin

As part of Sustainability Week on campus, the Engineers for a Sustainable World hosted “Build Your Own Terrarium” on Tuesday, an event where students across campus were able to construct a habitat for their very own sustainable plant.

Hosted by the Campus Environmental Center, campus Sustainability Week events focus on sustainability issues and topics. Tuesday’s theme centered around gardening and each subsequent day will feature a different sustainability topic.

“The goal of this event is to raise awareness about what sustainability really means,” Caroline Kung, chemical engineering sophomore and member of the organization, said. “The plants we chose for these terrariums require very little resources to take care of once you have them in the right environment, which is the whole idea behind sustainability.”

Organized by Jennette Saunders, sustainability co-chair for the organization and chemical engineering junior, “Build Your Own Terrarium” was funded by the Student Engineering Council in order to educate students on sustainable gardening.

“The plants we chose are perfect for college students, since they are really low-maintenance and don’t require constant watering,” Saunders said. “The coolest part is that the plants are their own ecosystems in the jar.”

Students built terrariums in small glass jars and filled with moss, gravel, charcoal and soil. After the necessary items were packed into the jar, students chose a succulent to complete their terrarium.

“I never would have guessed what all goes into gardening before coming here,” chemical engineering sophomore Lianne Martin said. “The coolest part was that I actually got to get dirty and make this myself, so I really feel like it’s my own.”

The organization is comprised mainly of engineering majors, but students from all areas of study are able to join. The Engineers for a Sustainable World also hosts other projects year round that promote environmental sustainability.

“As a member of the organization, you can get involved in as many of our projects as you want,” Kung said. “If you have an idea for a new project that promotes the environment, then you can get funded for it, and anyone from the organization can be involved in it.”

Saunders said she thinks this event was particularly useful in raising environmental awareness.

“The hands-on activity really fits our purpose here,” Saunders said. “I really like seeing that this event made people love learning about sustainability.”