Written by: Melissa Nguyen
Recently, I got to witness an atypical conference call at TerraCycle. The Global Vice President of Communications, Albe Zakes, did a video call with a 3rd grade class in Flint, Michigan. Albe showed a short presentation about garbage and ways to protect the environment. Just like the kids, I learned a lot of new information from it.
Albe started off informing them about how garbage is created by man-made products and could be harmful if it’s not handled correctly. Our society tosses about 90% of everything we buy into landfills and incinerators. Did you also know that there is a patch of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? It’s located in the North Pacific Ocean and is the largest landfill in the world. Animals often end up consuming or getting tangled in the trash.
Fortunately, schools like the one in Michigan are part of TerraCycle’s Brigade programs so students are learning how to protect the environment. They are making a huge difference. A couple months ago, TerraCycle reached a milestone of 200 million drink pouches collected. To help the students get a better understanding of how many drink pouches that is, Albe told them that number of pouches can cover the Grand Canyon, weighs more than 120 school buses and are about the height of the Empire State building! They were astonished and proud of their contribution.
In closing, Albe told the students they were already saving the planet just by recycling but it would be great to increase the effort. Even small changes in reducing and eliminating waste can make a big difference. It’s great to see younger generations learning about the environment and I think after their conservation with Albe they have a better understanding of how bad our waste system is and how they can make the planet a greener place to live.