Planting a future for The Voice

Environmental Club sells seed paper made from old copies of the magazine.


J. Gone

Caitlyn LeTran and other environmental club members pressing seeds into the biodegradable paper.

By Jessy Gone

It is the week of Valentine’s Day, and love is filling the halls of Huntley High School. Flowers are being delivered from secret admirers, and couples are celebrating their love for each other. Chocolates and stuffed animals are great, but what better way to surprise your significant other than to give a gift that keeps on giving?

During lunch periods, Environmental Club will be selling biodegradable seed paper from Feb. 13-16. This seed paper has been made from old copies of The Voice magazines and is embedded with wildflower seeds and flowers.

“If you want to give it to your partner and plant your future together, you can do that, or you can give it to your friend,” co-president of Environmental Club Emily Dunfrund said.

Once a person is done with the paper, they can plant it in their backyard, which will break down over time. Then, the biodegradable paper will grow native Illinoisan or Midwestern flowers, which look pretty and help the environment.

“We’re shredding up The Voice [magazines] because there are so many that people don’t take home, and we wanted to upcycle and make them into biodegradable papers,” co-president of Environmental Club Caitlyn LeTran said.

Madelyn Hanson, a member of Environmental Club, first came up with the idea when she noticed how many copies of The Voice were being wasted around the school. She brought the idea to the club, and together, they found a way to make the project a reality.

The Leadership Team and Environmental Club members spent last week preparing the materials and the paper to be ready to sell this week. The process of making the paper was simple, but it took a while to perfect the formula to make the perfect paper.

First, the old magazines had to be shredded into smaller pieces and put into a blender with water. Then, the pulp mixture was put into a tray and strained through a square mesh frame. The excess water was taken out by pressing the paper with a sponge. 

Finally, the paper was taken out of the frame, pressed with the seeds and flowers, and left to dry. Once all the papers were dry, club members cut them into cards and prepared them to sell this week.

“I’m very passionate about caring for the environment in many ways, like when it comes to fast fashion, composting, and recycling,” LeTran said.

This has been one of the more significant projects that Environmental Club has done this year. Still, they have also picked up trash around the community, painted pots, held fundraisers, and sold stickers, for which the profits went to different organizations.

“I want to be part of the solution,” Environmental Club member Charles Shuman-Lysen said. “This is our home, and we need to take better care of it.”

Environmental Club has given a new life to the old copies of The Voice. By finding a way to reuse the magazines that would have gone to waste, they are helping better the environment and our school.