Earth Club’s reusing and repurposing: Valentine’s Day

One for you, and you, and you.

Walking around the classroom, elementary school students traditionally place their Valentine’s day cards into the decorated shoeboxes of their classmates, saving their favorite for a special someone. Decked out in red, pink, and white paper, the Valentines usually end up thrown away. The widespread wastage of paper is what Earth Club sought to counter at their Valentine’s Day celebration, where members learned how to turn discarded paper into brand-new cards the past Wednesday afternoon.

Valentine’s Day is a beloved holiday of Olivia Wexler (‘21) and Jenna Muehleck (‘21), co-founders of NCHS Earth Club, who share an interest in “spreading love and kindness,” Wexler said.

“Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to tell your friends and family how much you appreciate them,” Muehleck said.

However, planet Earth is in need of a little love and support as well. Muehleck was inspired to incorporate an ecofriendly bonding activity into an Earth Club meeting after reading an article about how much paper gets wasted during the holiday season.

To reduce the consumption and wastage of paper, club members reused old paper scraps to create new, colorful, homemade Valentines to give to others.

Group members gathered up their old paper scraps and “blend[ed] it up with water, mold[ed] it, and [heated] it” with a hairdryer or iron, Wexler explained.

Transforming the old into the new was a long process, but well worth the wait, as the paper turned out good as new. Each card had its own, original touch that the creators could hand out to someone of their choice.

Looking to the future, Earth Club plans to host a clothing swap in March “where people can bring in clothes to trade with friends,” Muehleck said. They hope to show members how to help the Earth and refresh their wardrobes at once through secondhand clothing.

Earth Club’s efforts to make a mark on the planet may be small, but they are simple, fun, and help to raise environmental awareness. And that’s something that everyone can love.