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Inkspot

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

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  • Olivia Wexler (’21), co-founder of Earth Club, helps group members create the paper and water mixture.

    Sandra Le ('21)
  • Grace Witzig (’21) uses an iron as she finishes off her Valentine’s paper, which she created from old paper scraps.

    Sandra Le
  • Aubrey Richter (’21) and Amelie Mwilambwe (’21) work together to pour their paper mixture into a mold.

    Sandra Le
  • Ashley Strupp (’21) completes her paper creation by heating it with a hair dryer.

    Sandra Le
  • Imperfections in the paper showcases all of the old scraps that were reused to make something new.

    Sandra Le
  • Loving Valentines cards and decorations were made from the eco-friendly paper they created; a positive effort made to spread compassion while helping the planet.

    Sandra Le
  • Earth Club participants – Aubrey Richter and Sandra Le – proudly show off their final product.

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.

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About the Contributors
Olivia Plangger, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Olivia Plangger is a senior at Normal Community and a second-year Inkspot reporter. Throughout her time in high school, she has competed on the Lady Iron basketball team, performed with the NCHS Chamber Orchestra, and formed bonds while in Generation Connect club.  A favorite film of mine is the Sandlot. The best advice I could give to an underclassman is to take advantage of every opportunity, stay involved, and enjoy your time.
Mantra Dave, Staff Writer
Mantra Dave is a senior at Normal Community High School and the captain of the varsity speech and scholastic bowl teams, as well as a four-year member of the varsity Ironmen tennis program. This is his first year working as a staff reporter for the Inkspot.  My guilty pleasures include The Bachelorette and The Good Place. A book that moved me was Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air. I love to watch Tottenham Hotspur FC and listen to Hozier.
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