A small boy with a huge heart. And he means business!
Vanis Buckholz, founder of "My ReCycler" and a now 13-year-old boy, began recycling when he was 7. On his website, he wrote that he was inspired by what he learned about recycling at his school on Earth Day. "The idea for my business name came from 'cycling' and riding my scooter around town picking up trash on our beach, streets and parks then hauling it home to recycle," stated Vanis.
Vanis, despite his young age, already took it upon himself to try and make the world a better place - by becoming one of the youngest eco-entrepreneurs. He noticed how many recyclable materials (including glass, paper, metal, plastic, tires, textiles and electronics) people dispose of every single day and decided to do something about it.
"My parents said they would help and that we should first start at home. I was really surprised at how much stuff we threw away. After a little while I began to save recyclables for other family members and neighbors. Soon I was collecting for all of our friends as well," said Vanis. "My mom and dad taught me to never pollute so picking up trash was something we always did but now it's a part of the business." Based on his calculations, he already recycled over 75,000 lbs!
The boy then decided to donate a portion of the recycling profits to charity, knowing how important charity work is. He chose Project Hope Alliance, an organization that helps the homeless and underprivileged kids in Orange County. "It's so easy to do nothing. But it's really good to do something! I always tell my new customers that "every little bit matters". Even ONE bottle helps. I love my job. I'm a very lucky kid but there's a lot of kids who don't have much luck."
In January 2012, "My ReCycler" received an invitation from the City of Newport Beach, California to present Vanis' charitable recycling business to the City Council. Watch the video below.
Vanis is from Corona del Mar, California.