Green Growth from Seeds of Change: Introduction

Amelia is studying a Masters in Applied Gender Studies at Strathclyde University and completed her placement with us in April. Read her first in a series of blogs focusing on GWL’s environmentalism and green work…

Introduction to Environmentalism at GWL

In 2021, Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) welcomed its 30th anniversary and thus decided to create content to highlight its work over the last 30 years, as well as what is to come in the future, through different significant themes. GWL has always been an activist, grassroots organisation with women at its core, their aim is to empower and value all women as well as educating others, and themselves, about many meaningful issues in our society. You can read more about their values and aims by following this link.

Blooming Seeds of change front cover of issue 29 of the GWL Newsletter
Cropped cover image of Issue 29 (2004), GWL Newsletter, Front Cover: Josie and Rebecca at GWL’s Women’s Community Garden, photo: Raman Mundair

Environmentalism, and climate change, are pressing issues throughout the world right now as we are beginning to finally see the urgency required to make positive changes in the way we use the resources we have and how we treat the world that we live in. The environment, and the way we treat it, is an important issue to GWL and has been for many years, as the people within the library can see how imperative is that we learn about the impact humans have had on the climate and try to develop solutions to overcome these problems and achieve a greener way of living. As well as this, it has been shown that climate change will have the biggest impact on marginalised groups, based on “socially and environmentally mediated factors”, for example “socioeconomic status, gender, race and education” (Hayes et al, 2018). These are the people that the library was created to help amplify their voices, and fight for their rights, within society. This makes it even more important for GWL to address climate issues and put green thinking at the forefront of everything they do. Women are leading the fight against climate change all over the world, especially indigenous women, and the library is the perfect place to showcase what these women are doing and encourage others to do the same. To learn more about women who are at the heart of climate justice follow this link.

In this blog series I will be highlighting the work that GWL has done to help teach people about the climate crisis and show what projects they themselves have taken on to reduce their carbon footprint. The Green Cluster is a group of women at GWL who are striving to make changes to the library in order to make it more environmentally conscious. In a later blog I will be talking with the women involved in the cluster about climate issues, asking them how the library is trying to lessen its impact on the environment. Alongside this I am looking back at previous events and projects, relating to environmentalism, that women at GWL have been a part of over the last 30 years, whilst highlighting important archival material in this area.

Finally, a little about me. I am currently a student at Strathclyde University studying a masters course called Applied Gender Studies. The course aims to teach important feminist histories and discuss the fundamental building blocks of feminism and gender within society. I have always been passionate about the environment, and ecofeminism, and so was delighted to be a part of GWL’s 30th anniversary project looking at how women can play an important role in championing climate justice.


  1. K, Hayes., G, Blashki., J, Wiseman., S, Burke. & L, Reifels. (2018). ‘Climate Change and Mental Health: risks, impacts and priority actions’. International Journal of Mental Health Systems 12, 28.

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