Campus group to go green with shoe drive

Jordan Hicks

The Citizens of the World club is perfect for those who care about saving the environment.

COW’s goal is to increase awareness about the environment. They have many ideas including campus and park clean-ups. COW actively suggests ways for students be green, advertising, and doing fundraisers for local and global charities such as Red Cross and Dollars for Darfur, and volunteers at the Joplin Recycling Center.

Olga Bulgurova, sophomore biology major, describes the group as, “the people who will pick up random trash bottles and toss them into the recycling bins on our way to classes.”

COW began as the result of the Service Learning Honors course, where the lack of involvement in our communities and an increase in global effort to care for the Earth were discussed. The first big event for COW will be its old athletic shoe drive.

“This was inspired by Nike’s initiative to reduce, reuse, recycle old, worn-out tennis shoes that would otherwise get thrown away,” Bulgurova said.

During the week of spring break, there will be collection bins placed in four locations around the campus: by the side doors of Webster Hall, the Lions’ Den, in the lobby of Young Gym and in the Student Life Center.

The shoe drive will last the entire week immediately following spring break. Any old sneakers, with the exceptions of shoes containing metal, are acceptable, no matter the brand or size. Though, the group would prefer if there was no mud or moisture on the shoes.

“So we want everyone to search through their closets and garages, ask their parents and siblings, and bring their shoes back from spring break with them,” Bulgurova said.

After the shoes have all been collected, they will be taken to a Nike store in Branson and then shipped to a recycling facility in Oregon.

“There, they will be made into athletic surfaces, all-weather tracks, basketball courts, zippers, zipper pulls, buttons, etc.,” Bulgurova said.