If you walked through Wilson Commons on a Friday afternoon last semester, you most likely noticed a smiling student sitting at a table next to a rack of clothing. You’re free to take any of the items of clothing, as long as you give one of your own in exchange. The Clothing Exchange booth is only one of the many programs Grassroots has implemented to support its role as UR’s environmental action and awareness group.Most people think of Grassroots for the free coffee mugs or Earth Day. However, with an active membership of about 45 students, Grassroots is always doing something to benefit the environment. “Just this past weekend, Grassroots organized and sponsored a trip to the Public Market, co-sponsored a bike ride along the nearby Greenway with the Andrew Hall’s City Cycles Program, enjoyed a potluck lunch off-campus and worked with URtheVote at their BBQ to educate voters on the environmental platforms of the two presidential candidates,” co-president and sophomore Carl Adair said.The secret to the strength and number of Grassroots’ programs lies in the individual members. “Long-term projects are driven by the passions of our members,” Adair said. One such program is the ongoing effort with UR Facilities to improve campus recycling. They are currently working on adding batteries and ink cartridges to the list of recyclable items.Members have extended their passion for the environment beyond the UR campus through various projects such as community gardening in the 19th Ward and an Environmental Education program in area elementary schools. Connecting UR to Rochester is only a small way the members of Grassroots value their ideal, “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally.”With so many undertakings happening, you’d think Grassroots is all about work. “Grassroots is also about purely having fun and enjoying the world around us,” Adair said. The UR community can participate in Grassroots fun by attending its annual “Occupational Funk Party” this Halloween.Grassroots is always looking to welcome new members into its friendly, enthusiastic clan. Meetings are held in Wilson Commons 122 every Monday night at 8 p.m. and usually include delicious baked goods and always include open discussion of various issues and projects.Just because you’re not a member or future member of Grassroots doesn’t mean you can’t participate in helping the environment. “Of course, there are a million ways be kind to the Earth every day: Recycle, take a bike ride instead of a drive, print on both sides of your paper, stop by the Clothing Exchange, avoid Styrofoam and extra packaging, and the list goes on and on,” Adair said.Borchardt can be reached email@example.com.
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