Tennessee Environmental Network Show of the South

Last week, I was invited to the Tennessee Environmental Network Show of the South by Commissioner Salyers with TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation).

This conference was attended by people in environmental and sustainability roles in large businesses, NGO’s, and government. Meeting and learning from these people was such an inspiring and uplifting because these are the people making real change in our state and region.

I was able to speak about recycling and NGO’s and how everyone can make a difference. We cannot rely on government entities to be the ones who care about our environment. It’s everyone’s job, including yours. What we do in a daily basis is what matters.

I met with not only local leaders but national leaders. People with the EPA know my name and my story. How amazing is that?!

40!!!!

If you’ve been following along with me for a while, you know I’ve been partnering with Tennessee State parks. Recently, I went to Tim’s Ford, Edgar Evans & Rock island state park and now officially have 40 monofilament receptacles out! I am so excited this program is really taking off and spreading across our state. Our watersheds will be a little safer from excess fishing line and now it can properly be taken care of and recycled.

Visit to Capital Hill

Rally day for homeschoolers was in Nashville last week. This is an amazing way for young people to see how our government works first hand and I had the best day!

Not only did I see how our legislative processes work but I was able to meet with so many of my states influential leaders. My State Representative, Greg Vital of district 29 took his whole day to show me around and introduce me to some of the wonderful people leading Tennessee.

I learned SO MUCH, not only about government but our state in general. A special thank you to Secretary of State, Speaker of the House, State Comptroller and TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) for taking time out of their busy day to have just another Tennessee kid share my love for our state!

Tennessee State Parks

Recently, I’ve been contacting Tennessee State Parks and have now partnered with 4 to place monofilament recycling bins. These 14 bins placed between Booker. T Washington, Fall Creek Falls, Harrison Bay, & South Cumberland State park will collect fishing line to reduce this waste in our rivers and landfills. So happy to be able to work on this project which is funded by a grant from Youth Serving America & Hillshire Farms. How special, all of these were placed on World Water Day!

Kid of the Year!

The news is out and I am happy to announce I have been nominated and named in the top 5 for Time Magazine & Nickelodeon’s Kid of the Year! This is such a huge honor and I want to thank everyone who has taken time to help me along the way. I wouldn’t be here without my amazing family and friends who have always let me explore my passion and helped me in so many ways.

This won’t change my work or my motivation, actually, it will make me push even harder knowing people see what I’m doing and that I can make a difference.

1 TON!

A few weeks ago, after almost a year of work on aluminum can recycling , I hit the 1 TON mark! I keep track of how many pounds each time I take them to be recycled and it took 10 months to recycle 1 ton of aluminum.

The cans I pick up are from Play.Wash.Pint. A local dog play park where people meet, gather, hang out and their dogs can play in a safe space. This Business hated to see all of this potential just to the trash so I partnered with them and pick up all their aluminum and some plastic for recycling. The money I make from these cans goes to make my monofilament bins that are placed along the Tennessee River. There are now 17 out and I couldn’t have done it without this partnership. If you have an idea, and don’t know where to start or how to find it, look in the trash, who knows, you may find an idea? And you can help the planet too!

World Rivers Day

If there’s something I love, it’s the Tennessee River so today, I am celebrating World Rivers Day.
The Tennessee River and it’s tributaries supply drinking water to about 5.1 million people. It’s also the nation’s fifth-largest river system and one of the most biodiverse rivers in North America. With that said, it’s also the tested higher for microplastics than any other river in the world to date. Why?! Landfill waste! We have got to do better with what we dispose of and where it goes. Our health and well being literally depend on it.
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Sammie Smiles Podcast

I did my first podcast interview and it happens to be with my friend and fellow Prudential spirit of community award winner. Go check it out and let m know what you think!

YouTube: https://youtu.be/AdQOySpgonQ

Apple podcast

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sammie-smiles/id1536338801?i=1000527870083

 

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1FLq6bNiINA6982pEIdjQY?si=Vwiw5gqMTSqyRS5mnShZEA&dl_branch=1

President’s Volunteer Service Award.

I was shocked and surprised to be a recipient of this prestigious award. Volunteering, cleaning our planet of pollution is what makes me feel accomplished and I don’t do it for the awards or accolades but this one will be framed and I am proud of it. Just remember, anyone can make a difference!

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!

I was named as a state honoree for the state of Tennessee. Each state had 1 honoree for high school level and 1 for middle school level from each state. After a long weekend of zoom calls and meeting other state honorees, they named 10 national honorees. There were some amazing youth doing wonderful things and I was happy to be among those 100 kids recognized but my weekend got even more amazing when I was named one the top 10!!!!

Check out the link below! This is such an amazing honor and I am more than thrilled but humbled to represent Tennessee in the best way!

https://spirit.prudential.com/honoree/2021/cash-daniels