The Grove City High School Environmental Club has been in the midst of a fundraiser, but the beneficiaries won't be local.
They will be on the other side of the world.
"We wanted to help out the animals that have been displaced or injured in the Australian wildfires, so we're selling these little koala bear key chains our school has 3D printed in the lunchroom for donations," senior Hannah Villines said.
The money will be routed through the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to the Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.
The aim of the key-chain sale is to raise funds and awareness about the effect the wildfires have had on animals in Australia, senior Megan Nicholson said.
That is a specific example of the overall mission of the environmental club she and Villines established in 2018, Nicholson said.
"We founded the environmental club at Grove City High School with the mission of educating the population about environmental issues," she said.
The idea for starting an environmental club came up during a conversation at a friend's party, Nicholson said.
"We were sitting around a bonfire and just talking about what we'd like to see happen at school," she said. "We're both interested in the environment and were planning to take the (Advanced Placement) environmental science class."
The environmental club is a way for students to explore issues affecting the environment and learn more about what they can do to make a difference, Villines said.
Each biweekly meeting focuses on a specific topic, and the club often invites guest speakers to discuss a topic, she said.
"We try not to make it like a class," Villines said. "We always have an activity or two to make it fun."
A recent meeting included student presentations about the environmental benefits of pollination and the possible impacts of climate change and other environmental factors on bees and pollination.
Along with the information, students tasted and rated several varieties of honey and made a bee house using an upcycled tin can and hollow bamboo tubes.
About 15 to 20 students attend each club meeting, Nicholson said.
More students are becoming interested in the environment and climate change and are looking for ways to help, Villines said.
"We're the generation that is going to have to deal with the effects of climate change and all the harm done to the environment over the last century," Nicholson said.
"We just want to help get people thinking more about the environment and the things they can do individually to make a difference," Villines said. "Just doing little things yourself, like recycling and reducing the amount of food your waste at home can make a big difference if we all pitch in."
One of the club's goals is to encourage an expansion of recycling and composting efforts at the high school, she said.
Christina Nicol, an environmental-science and biology teacher at the school, serves as the club's adviser but said the students are the ones who drive activities.
"It's totally student-led. I'm just here to supervise," she said. "They come up with all the ideas and do all the research for each meeting.
"A lot of kids are concerned about the environment because they see it as a problem that's going to have a big impact on their lives," Nicol said.