When Caroline James was 9, she saw a documentary about landfills. It sparked her passion for the environment.
“I remember being absolutely horrified,” the 18-year-old student said recently. “I couldn’t believe that this was happening and how no one had told me about it and no one was worried.”
Soon, Caroline began to research about more problems. At age 13, she watched “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign against global warming, which only increased her passion for the environment.
When she started attending Westminster Schools in the seventh grade, she wanted to join environmental clubs. In the ninth grade, Caroline signed up for ECO, short for Environmental Campus Organization. In her junior and senior year, she became president of the club, which is in charge of setting up a bridge between the administration and student body.
ECO hosts various events, such as Earth Week. The group hosted speakers, held tree plantings and staged candle-lit lunches in the campus dining room to stir student interest in environmental competitions.
Caroline also spent time meeting with the members of the school administration to check on what the school was doing about its “green” aspects.
Through the ECO club Caroline connected to the Gardening club. Gardening is also one of Caroline’s hobbies.
“It’s apparent how much we can do by just growing food ourselves, which I have become more aware of by gardening,” she said. “Biologically, it’s fascinating, and, environmentally, it’s necessary.”
Caroline has had her own organic garden since she was little. She started growing her own trees when she discovered little tree saplings around the garden and “stuck them into a pot and they began to grow.”
She sold them in her neighborhood, she said, to spread the word about how simple it is to grow your own trees. She planted two at the Westminster campus, one during her sophomore year and the second during her senior year.
Apart from devoting her time to the ECO club and gardening, Caroline enjoys music. She was a member of the a cappella group at Westminster and other chorus groups. She has played the piano since age 4. She enjoys reading, especially contemporary drama plays and also enjoys writing; she has four different blogs and contributes to “Evolutions,” a campus literary magazine.
Caroline, who graduated from Westminster this year, will be attending Georgetown University in the fall. She plans to major in Environmental Biology and possibly double major in English.