Blanketing Miami University with environmentally friendly reusable water bottles – everywhere from student events to board of trustees meetings – is just one part of a sustainability campaign for EcoReps.

The group includes up to 40 students on the Oxford campus, conducting trash audits and collecting specialty recyclables including batteries, plastic bags, and printer cartridges.

“Miami has a lot of potential for improving all kinds of sustainability,” said Allison South, the senior from Westerville who is president of EcoReps. “We have had students active in residence halls and in their communities, and it grows that grass-roots support.”

EcoReps has started a program that will distribute 7,200 water bottles in five years, and the group raises money each year for more, trying to replace some of the thousands of disposable plastic water bottles that are thrown away every day.

South the 2020-2021 Associated Student Government secretary for infrastructure and sustainability —  is co-majoring in political science and energy & sustainability and also will earn a master’s degree in environmental science. She said sustainability is important because it’s necessary.

“Without transitions in lifestyle now, the quality of my adult life and the lives of future generations will be greatly reduced,” she said.