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?!
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!
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!
GLOBAL RECYCLING DAY This is my simple recycling concept in under 10 seconds!
You can change the world your own way. This is one way I feel liken making a difference and I have some super exciting news coming in a few weeks! So many more of these monofilament receptacles are going out with the help of individuals, grants and money I’ve made from recycling.
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.
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!
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. . .
This month has been super busy and it doesn’t look like next month is going to lighten up. I’m not complaining, I LOVE it. I love being able to raise more and more awareness for our great planet, for our waterways and our wildlife.
I was able to visit Yellowstone National Park as well as Grand Teton National Park and be immersed in wildlife and nature and it was such a beautiful time! Moose, Bear, Wolves, and Bison were all on my list and I saw all of them.
Ella & I, as The Cleanup Kids, were honored to be named in the top 25 for the prestigious Gloria Barron Prize for young heroes. When we hear if being just nominated for these awards, it confirms we are making a difference and our voices are being heard.
The same day, we also learned we are finalists for the GoBlue awards with the Loggerhead Marine Center in Florida. Ella & I have both been there and researched sea turtles and have even done full videos on turtles if you want to check it out in our YouTube channel.
I also have some other things in the works that I can’t say yet but it’s turning out to be an exciting year and I am so thankful for the support of my parents as well as the people who have given so much to help me learn and grow and pursue ocean and river conservation.
I know I’m just a kid, but we can make a difference! We can and WILL change the world!
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!