The Coppell High School Eco Club is hosting its inaugural Sustainability Summit on Feb. 28. Courtesy of Coppell High School Yearbook.

Feb. 15, 2024

A local high school’s environmental club is branching out with its first public event.

The Coppell High School Eco Club will host the inaugural Sustainability Summit on Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Coppell High School Auditorium.

Sponsored by the Dallas Sierra Club and the Meaningful Movies Project, the Summit is aimed at “creating change,” according to the event’s website. The format of the event is not the traditional Summit setup. A screening of the feature film, The Story of Plastic, will kick off the evening, followed by a panel discussion on the themes of plastic usage and reduction. 

Ashia Agarwal is one of the organizers of the Coppell High School Sustainability Summit. Courtesy of Coppell High School Yearbook.

Ashia Agarwal, a junior at Coppell High School and member of the Eco Club, is the mind behind the Sustainability Summit, and also one of the speakers. She describes the Summit as increasing “sustainability advocacy.” 

While it’s the first year for the Coppell Eco Club to host the Summit, Agarwal said she has been planning the event since April last year.  

“It was an idea I came up with because I work with another organization called Meaningful Movies Project,” said Agarwal, who said the Summit combines her two interests — advocacy and the environment. 

Agarwal’s dedication to both the Eco Club and the Meaningful Movies Project helped bring this idea to life. 

The Summit, which is open to the public, aims to promote discussions about reducing and reusing plastic and what changes can be implemented regarding plastic usage within the Coppell and DFW communities.

The feature film, called The Story of Plastic, made by, focuses on different aspects of plastic and reveals how plastic pollutes landfills. 

The Story of Plastic Trailer

The Story of Plastic will be screened at the Summit. See trailer above. Courtesy of

Agarwal explains that the movie focuses on places like Indonesia, India and China and how these countries handle plastic from all around the world. She said policies that have “upset” the system of recycling are also brought up in the film. 

Overall, the message is that recycling is not the solution. 

“The film reveals the ugly truth behind plastic pollution and the false solution of plastic recycling,” Agarwal explains. 

The screening will be followed by a panel interview of four speakers, who will “contextualize ideas learned from the film into the Coppell and Dallas community at large,” she said.

In addition to Agarwal, the other three panelists include Dr. Linda Cook, the Professional Developmental Strategy Consultant for Summit K-12Jonathan Ward, the Recreation Supervisor for the Biodiversity Education Center for the City of Coppell; and Tanya Nikan, a Senior at Coppell High School. Tanya currently leads Coppell High School’s Eco Club and Technology Student Association. (More information about panelists.)

Tanya Nikan is the president of the Coppell High School Eco Club. Courtesy of Coppell High School Yearbook.

Organizers hope to reach the Coppell community and beyond throughout DFW to raise awareness for the usage of plastic and recycling methods in our communities.

“This event is geared toward three major facets — city officials, school boards and the citizens, ” Agarwal said, adding each will be  “different calls to action.”

Agarwal emphasizes that the Summit is meant to raise awareness, not shame communities.

“A lot of sustainability events in the past looked to condemn people on their plastic waste and usage. This summit is not about that.”

Agarwal added the Club is proud to have enlisted support from the Dallas Sierra Club, an organization that advocates for  environmental justice, while hosting events that facilitate ways for people to connect with the environment.

The Meaningful Movies Project, which provides support for social justice documentary screenings, is another organization that Agarwal said helped bring the Summit to life.


While the CHS Eco Club is currently getting the Sustainability Summit underway, they are committed to environmental advocacy year-round. 

Jodie Dienhammer, sponsor of the CHS Eco Club, shares the history of the club’s creation, which grew from a project created when she taught at Coppell Middle School East. 

A student named Adarsh Pulasseri had helped launch a sustainability group at Coppell Middle School East. Dienhammer explains that after she returned to Coppell High School when the pandemic hit, she helped Pulasseri get the club back up and running at CHS. Pulasseri graduated two years ago. However, the club remains as active as ever. 

"On the roster, we have 100 or so members but I would say 50 to 60 are highly active," said Dienhammer.

Dienhammer says that the CHS Eco Club maintains a campus garden that has donated more than 1,000 lbs of produce to the Metrocrest services. In addition, the club maintains a fruit orchard and a pocket prairie and hosts workshops. 

Agarwal added that the Club performs monthly water testing for bodies of water around the Coppell area

“If you want something environmentally done, this club will do it,” Agarwal said.

While Agarwal is focused on the Summit and her other organizations, she does not plan to stop her environmental path any time soon. 

“If you want something environmentally done, this club will do it,” Agarwal said.

During the Summit, two projects will be announced. 

“One of them is aimed toward the school board, and one of them is aimed toward the city.” 

Her future ideas, which include a cafeteria plastic reduction project and an app in development for optimizing trash collection, will be discussed at the Summit. 

She will continue her environmental journey in college, as she plans to combine her love for technological solutions with environmental advocacy. 

More information on the Summit and how to RSVP can be found below on the Summit website


Coppell Sustainability Summit

About: Inaugural event hosted by the Coppell High School Eco Club. Evening includes a  screening of The Story of Plastic, followed by a panel discussion.

When: Feb, 28, 2024, 6 p.m.

Where: Coppell High School Auditorium, 185 W. Parkway Blvd., Coppell

Cost: Free. RSVP


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