Falcons are going green

Published 3:57 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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By Emma Kate West for Pfeiffer University

Part of what makes Pfeiffer home is the beautiful setting that surrounds the Misenheimer campus, and Pfeiffer Green is dedicated to protecting it. The environmental-based student organization aims to maintain a clean, safe habitat for today’s students and future generations of Falcons.

Pfeiffer Green was founded in 2018 by its faculty advisor, Dr. Carrie DeJaco, associate professor of biology and environmental science, and her equally passionate students.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the club could not participate on campus as it once did, putting a damper on membership. That is, until the spring of 2023 when sophomores Kaidyn Waggoner and Natasha Feaster led the organization’s revitalization. The two said they felt inspired to rebuild the club after taking some environmental science courses with DeJaco. According to Pfeiffer Green’s student members, DeJaco has catalyzed their interest in sustainability and environmentalism.

With a new twinkle in their eyes, Waggoner and Feaster worked to promote the organization around campus and on social media. Since spring 2023, Pfeiffer Green has gained more than 20 new members. Explaining the quick increase in membership, Waggoner stated, “As students, we have insight into the lives of other students; we know what it’s like and how to make the organization fit into students’ busy schedules.”

Pfeiffer Green aims to educate the Falcon community on environmentalism and encourage more sustainable campus living. The organization has successfully fostered the growth of indigenous plant and pollinator gardens on Pfeiffer’s Misenheimer campus. These gardens not only enhance the beauty of the campus for students, faculty and the larger Falcon community but also serve as a home for the native wildlife that inhabit the area surrounding Pfeiffer’s campus.

Pfeiffer Green recently launched a new campus-wide effort as a part of the NexTrex Recycling Challenge. Trex is a manufacturer that creates eco-friendly outdoor products from recycled plastic film. The organization sponsors environmental groups across the United States by providing them with more accessible solutions to recycling. Their solution is unique: community groups can access an online portal to weigh, record and photograph their progress.

Trex also provides a network of connections to local drop-off retailer locations. Trex challenges organizations to collect at least 1,000 pounds of recyclable materials in 12 months. Upon achieving this goal, Pfeiffer Green will receive a Trex bench made entirely of local, eco-friendly, recycled materials for Pfeiffer’s campus.
Waggoner and Feaster are now the co-presidents of Pfeiffer Green.

Both students are excited about the new project, as well as how Pfeiffer Green has impacted their Pfeiffer experience.

“Pfeiffer Green is one of my favorite parts of my Pfeiffer journey,” said Feaster. “We have created a tight-knit community of like-minded students passionate about making a difference on campus.”

Pfeiffer Green is accepting new members and community volunteers to help achieve its goal of recycling 1,000 pounds by September. The co-presidents are confident their team will complete the NexTrex Challenge through the power of community engagement. If you want to help make a difference as a member or a community volunteer, contact Pfeiffer Green’s leadership team on Instagram @pfeiffer.green.