FHC’s Environmental Club is striving to make a positive change in our community


Every Tuesday, after most of the bustling students leave the school, a small group gathers in science teacher Chad Scholten’s classroom: the Environmental Club.

When the school year first began, FHC lacked an environmental club. Yet, with the determination of junior Dani Ahmetovic and his commitment to the environment, the initiation of a new club commenced.

“I knew that there was a club last year, but I found out that there wasn’t one this year, which I was surprised by,” Dani said. “So, I went to Mr. Scholten and said I wanted to join one, and eventually, we were both just like ‘let’s just start up a new one ourselves.’”

With the accomplishment of getting the club up and running, Dani then moved onto the next step and began to spread the news of the club in an attempt to gather up members. He talked to friends and put up posters around the school, posters that would end up catching the eyes of juniors Kelsey Toole and Ivana Webb.

“[Ivana and I] just looked at the board one day when we were walking through the hall and noticed the Environmental Club sign. We were like, ‘Hey, maybe we should join that!’ and decided to sign up,” Kelsey said. “We wanted to participate in a club, and we finally found one that we were interested in.”

Kelsey then spread news of the club to her friends and helped Dani recruit more people: juniors Mya Parshall, CJ Hier, Ellie Harner, Tommy Anderson, Mitchell Haberman, and Advith Reddy. With more people in the club, the group finally had what it took to take their motivation and make important impacts on the environment to move towards making a difference in our school.

As of now, the main goal the club is working towards is an advancement in recycling throughout the school.

“If you walk through the hallways,” Dani said, “you notice that there is a trash can everywhere, but there are barely any recycling bins, and the ones that are there, are rarely being used at all. There are so many things being thrown away that could be recycled, and that needs to change.”

The club is currently working on the problem of recycling by taking time out of their lunch to walk around to each table with compost and recycling bins. Although it is a small gesture, it has been eye-opening to the members of the club.

“At first, it was weird to just walk up to tables asking for people’s trash,” Kelsey said. “But after going around, it became really astounding [the impact we made]. Many people don’t know [what] they can recycle [or what] trash is compostable or recyclable. By simply walking around the lunchroom, we are able to make a positive environmental impact. It showed me how many students at our school don’t realize that there are other places to put trash than just the garbage.”

Along with working on recycling in the lunchroom, the members plan to have fundraisers in order to save up money to purchase more recycling bins for our school. Starting with a bake sale, they will work towards gathering funds to help make our school greener.

“Our goals through fundraising are basically to make enough money to purchase enough recycling bins that kids will start to notice and use them,” Mya said. “I never noticed how much we needed to recycle until I joined the club.”

The club also plans to take action in the spring at the beaches in Michigan and parks around our community by organizing beach clean-ups.

The most important thing the club is trying to present to the community as a whole is it is important to care about the environment, and it doesn’t take that much to make a huge difference.

“It’s up to us to make our own futures,” Dani said. “Sooner or later, we are going to have to worry about what resources we do and don’t have, and it’s important that we work on becoming a greener community so we don’t have to have as much of this worry. We want this idea of caring for the environment to be something that people remember.”

The Environmental Club members have their minds set on making a difference, and they’re already on their way to turning FHC into a more environmentally-friendly school.

As the club takes steps in a greener direction, the new ideas just keep coming the students’ minds, their creativity being a crucial aspect of the club. Each step the club adds to their path of achieving a healthier environment is generated entirely by the students themselves.

“The students are the ones who come up with the ideas,” Scholten said. “I give advice on if it will work or maybe what they should do differently. I basically just make sure their ideas have the potential to be successful, and I’m there to tell them if something is just an idea they should move past.”

The club, while also impacting the school now, is also setting the example for the younger generation in how to move towards making more environmentally-friendly changes.

“I think it’s very important for the youth, the students, [and] the young adults to be active and involved,” Scholten said. “They are the generation that is going to have the next round of choices; they are the next generation who can create changes.”

Leading the club, Dani hopes to even carry this idea of a “greener FHC” to the middle school where the younger students can then carry these concepts throughout their entire high school careers.

“It starts with one school,” Dani said. “One school can capture the attention of another, which can then attract another school and so on. Soon enough, this could motivate schools across the country to become even more environmentally-positive.”

The Environmental Club is determined to make a change, and their optimistic views on what they can achieve are only helping them. There is immense potential for improvement in the FHC environment and for our school to become an overall better place.

To the club, it’s not just about picking up trash; picking up trash is just the beginning in their minds.

“Our future depends on us,” Dani said. “We have the power to save and destroy our environment. It’s all in our hands now.”