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7-Year Old Saves Thousands of Dollars After Starting Recycling Business

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inhabitat.com

When it comes to the health of the environment, recycling is the least we can all do. Well, one 7-year old in California is already doing more than his fair share to help the environment.

Ryan Hickman has been recycling since he was 3-years old when his parents first introduced him to it. He took to recycling immediately and enjoyed it so much that he has started his own company, Ryan’s Recycling, helping him save a total of $10,000 that he hopes to use for college one day.

“We had gone to the center with a couple of bags, and he really loved the actual act of putting all the cans and bottles into the machine and getting the money for it, and that kind of got him hooked,” recalls Ryan’s Father, Damion Hickman.

Every week, with help from his parents and his grandma, Ryan sorts through countless bags of recycling before taking them to a nearby redemption center.

Ryan estimates that since starting his recycling business, he’s helped to recycle more than 200,000 cans and bottles. That’s more than 50,000 pounds of recyclables that he’s saved from ending up in the local dump or in a pile of garbage floating in the ocean.

“That’s a big deal to Ryan, that it doesn’t, the cans and bottles don’t end up in the ocean,” says Damion.

Ryan’s Recycling also sells t-shirts, with the proceeds going to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in southern California to help buy food and medicine for seals and sea lions, a cause close to Ryan’s heart.

Ryan now works with countless people near his home in Orange County, California to make sure they are recycling cans and bottles properly. He’s received so much attention that he was even invited to be a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show last month.

After all the good he’s done for the environment in his young life, Ryan has a simple message for everyone out there. “If you already recycle, just keep on recycling,” he says. “If you don’t recycle, start recycling.”