Written by: MJ Watkins
You asked, we listened. Here are three more green clubs around Miami's campus worth checking out!
The organization got started a few years ago, and has held countless events over the years. Some of their biggest and most regular events include their pop-up thrift store in Armstrong Student Center and weekly trash pickups.
“Our big event we do every week is going out on trash pickups uptown. We go every Saturday at 10:30 and clear a couple of blocks. The amount of trash we collect is honestly absurd. Every bush seems to have 25 cans or bottles in it waiting to be collected,” said president Ryan Rosu, a senior English literature major.
Participants knows they can’t pick up all of the trash but still feel like the work is meaningful. Zero Waste aims to bring awareness of trash issues in the Oxford community with events like the weekly trash pickups.
“We know we can’t pick up all of the trash. It takes everyone managing their waste properly to keep the streets clean, but that doesn’t mean it isn't meaningful. It honestly just feels good going out picking up to a 100 cans to keep from landfill or just sitting on a random lawn,” said Rosu
In addition to their weekly trash cleanup, Zero Waste Oxford holds weekly meetings where members typically work on DIY projects. In the past the organization has done hat making, paper making and button making. This semester, the organization plans to host an event on "trash bricks", bottles filled with smaller plastics to make a new recyclable plastic.
Zero Waste Oxford meets every Saturday Morning at 10:30 outside of King Library for trash pick up and holds general body meetings every Tuesday in 022 Peabody Hall at 6 p.m.If you want to get involved, Zero Waste Oxford welcomes all for either event. To find out more information about the club, email them or reach out on their Instagram page.
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Do you consider yourself a foodie? Then Plant Futures might be a great organization for you. The club is centered around plant-based eating for a healthier, more sustainable future. The Miami University chapter has ties to leaders of plant-based food companies, including Beyond Meat and Oatly.
But make no mistake--Plant Futures isn't trying to force anyone to switch to a diet that won't work for them.
“We are not the ‘vegan club…,’ we are not like that. We want to make that distinction. Veganism has a lot of its own connotations, but our goal is not to convert our members to a specific diet. It is about bringing awareness to sustainable farming practices and healthy eating,” says member Grace Dougherty, a senior biology major.
The Miami chapter is one of 20 nationwide Plant Future chapters that are all working to accelerate the transition to a plant-centric diet by ensuring students become ethical leaders in their community. The organization speaks on issues of food sustainability and environmental impact of the agriculture industry.
The club is open to any student no matter their major or background. The day-to-day meetings vary from discussions, guest speakers, potluck dinners, cooking nights and social outings.
“This chapter is a window for students to gain a better understanding of the [agricultural] industry and the consequences as well as an outlook for professional development with networking opportunities with professionals in the community,” said Grace Dougherty, a senior biology major.
Members regularly make calls and network with policy officials, food companies, farmers and more to voice opinions and concerns. They learn first-hand from a diverse range of professionals working in the agricultural and food scene to gain understanding into how food choices affect the environment.
This semester plant futures is hosting a fungi expert to speak on how mushrooms and other fungi can be a sustainable meat protein substitute. The organization will also collaborate with the Oxford Farmers market to get students exposed to small farming practices and build deeper relationships with their food and the labor that goes into producing them.
Plant Futures is a new organization to Miami University's campus that meets on Monday evenings with times and locations changing frequently. For more information about Plant Futures reach out to the club email.
EcoReps advocates for students to live sustainable lives both within and outside of the residence halls.
The group is a campus wide organization with student representatives in each residence hall. Individual EcoReps send out weekly emails on environmental and sustainability so students can say different ways of life and ways to achieve sustainable living.
Their biggest project each year is the water bottle project. Each year they find sponsors from different departments on campus and businesses in the Oxford Community to sponsor their reusable water bottles to hand out at MEGA fair each fall semester.
In addition to the water bottle EcoReps is most known for their trash audits.
“For a few years now we have gone to residence halls to look through their trash and recycling to assess food waste and ensure things are being properly recycled. Each semester we all do three audits, and after a while it just becomes a part of your routine,” said Sydney Kent, a sophomore sustainability major.
While EcoReps primarily focuses on residential, the group does have a cohort of off-campus members who participate in trash audits, MEGA fair and any other events put on each semester.
The weekly general body meetings open with a question of the day--like “what kitchen utensil would you be and why?”--before discussing the EcoFacts for the week to be sent out in the residence halls. They often host guest speakers as well to share professional insight into issues such as renewable energy and carbon footprints.
Missed our previous article? Click here for a profile of three different environmental organizations around campus worth checking out!