Greentoppers plan sustainability events for upcoming semester

Kayla Swanson

A WKU organization is looking to make campus a little greener, one reusable bottle at a time.

The WKU GreenToppers had their first meeting of the semester Monday night, where students, faculty, staff and community members discussed several ways in which they could improve the sustainability of campus.

Meeting attendees were also made aware of upcoming events that the GreenToppers will be promoting this semester.

The GreenToppers were originally formed in 2006, but as leaders of the group graduated, the group took on a lesser role on campus.

Lexington senior Morgan Mickelson, one of the student representatives of the group, opened the meeting and led the discussion about possible events, including showing environmental movies, car-pooling incentives, banning plastic bags and bottles on campus and giving students reusable bags and bottles in exchange for plastic ones.

“We want to create a mentality that will help others look at their lifestyle choices differently,” Mickelson said.

Elizabethtown senior Andrew Gott, a student who attended the meeting, agreed.

“Hopefully it will bring the impact that we have on the environment and our community to the forefront,” he said.

Two events are in the works for the GreenToppers this semester — Recycle Mania and a week-long celebration of Earth Day in April. Recycle Mania is a campus wide initiative to encourage more recycling among the WKU community.

“We want to target residence hall students and hopefully get some RAs involved,” said Sara Ferguson, Recycling and Surplus coordinator and GreenToppers staff adviser.

Recycle Mania has already started and runs through May 8. 

The weeklong Earth Day celebration, which is set to begin April 16, will include events that encourage sustainability across campus. The events will conclude with a festival on April 20 where vendors from across the community will have booths on display.

 The GreenToppers have held similar events in the past, including a cardboard collection drive when students moved in at the beginning of the year and a “Lighten Your Load” drive during finals week where students could donate items they no longer wanted or needed.

When Ferguson was a student at WKU, she helped to organize the first Earth Day celebration the GreenToppers ever sponsored.

Ferguson is also responsible for helping the group reinvent themselves after being inactive. She supervises seven students and was motivated by the ideas they brought to her that could be best pursued in GreenToppers.

“When faculty and staff have really good ideas and we talk to the administration or higher ups about those ideas, they don’t resonate as much as when a student comes to them with those ideas,” Ferguson said.

To find out more information, send an email to [email protected] or view the Office of Sustainability and WKU Recycling Facebook pages.