Ryan Hickman was just 3 years old when a father-son trip to a local recycling center inspired him to make the world a better place.
Even at that age, he was moved when he saw how a small effort could make a huge difference. After all, the cans and bottles he’d brought with him would serve a greater purpose than sitting in a landfill for decades. That’s what sparked the little boy’s mission to keep our oceans and environment cleanIn 2012,
Ryan founded Ryan’s Recycling. He started small at first, distributing plastic bags among his Orange County neighbors in hopes that they would bring them back filled with recyclables.
But in the eight years since then, he has done pickups across the county, recycling 987,000 plastic, glass, and aluminum cans and bottles! What’s more, he has donated close to $12,000 to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which rehabilitates injured seals and sea lions.
The tiny hero has also made headlines and earned multiple awards for his efforts, including CNN’s Young Wonder Award. As such, he recently caught the attention of Ryan and Jeremy Black, the founders of Sambazon.
Their company produces ethically-sourced açaí products and helps preserve millions of acres of the Amazon Rainforest through their fair trade agreement. So naturally, when they heard about Ryan’s mission, they wanted to join in!
In September, they invited the 11-year-old to a company warehouse……where they presented the boy with an incredible donation! To help Ryan reach his goal of recycling 1 million items, Sambazon chipped in 93,000 cans of their Amazon Açaí Energy Drinks!
Talk about making an impact! While recycling 1 million cans is certainly worth celebrating, Ryan is just getting started. His next goal is 2 million, and after that, he’ll just keep going!
(Photo courtesy of Ryan’s Recycling Facebook Page)