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Environmentally-conscious Ferris students are on a mission

BIG RAPIDS – When Megan Truskoski tries to imagine what life and the environment might be like on planet Earth generations from now she wants to imagine something to smile about.

As a result, Truskoski, a 20-year-old sophomore and pre-pharmacy major from Grand Rapids, and a group of fellow Ferris State University students resolved to help make the University more of an eco-friendly place. In the fall, the environmentally-conscious group of students founded Ferris Recyclers, a first-year Registered Student Organization, with the hope of doing their part to make Ferris and the world a better place for future generations.

For Truskoski, recycling is a mission that has a lot at stake – including the long-term future of the planet. Largely on the basis of that motive, the group of students decided they wanted to do something that will have a positive environmental impact.

“Even though what we’re doing with recycling may not affect people now, we still know that this is an effort that is going to be helpful in the future,” said Truskoski, who serves as vice president of Ferris Recyclers. “Recycling is something that is going to be very important for our children and for our children’s children and that is one of the reasons we wanted to do something like this here at Ferris.”

The group, which currently includes 40 to 50 members with a six-student executive board, estimates that in the short time it has existed it has collected in the neighborhood of 25,000 items since fall 2007 and hopes to continue to step up that effort in the future. Ferris Recyclers collects many items, including office paper, newspapers, books, fiberboard, magazines, phone books, tin cans, aluminum cans, plastic, cardboard and more. The group, which works with the local Mecosta County Recycling Center, conducts weekly pickups from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through visits to the campus residence halls.

“I’m very environmentally-conscious and, as students, we really wanted to do something to help make a difference,” said Kimberly Betters, a 20-year-old sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Carney, who is president of the RSO. “Ferris hasn’t really had any kind of recycling groups for students, and we wanted to do something that would get students involved and be a part of that overall campus effort to recycle.”

In addition to Betters and Truskoski, the Ferris Recyclers e-board consists of Secretary Amanda Gomley; Treasurer Janelle Turino; Rachel Topping, who handles community service; and Jason Williamson, who is responsible for advertising and fundraising efforts. Paul Klatt, an assistant professor in Biology at Ferris, serves as the RSO’s faculty advisor.