Seven-year-old becomes a recycling idol

Hort in stature, but walking tall
California is home to a small recycling hero: the seven-year-old Ryan collects bottles and cans made of glass, plastic and aluminum, and recycles these materials in his own firm, called “Ryan’s Recycling Company”. His passion was first kindled at the tender age of three. Back then, his father took him to visit a recycling depot in his home town. Ryan was fascinated to see that there was money to be made from used containers and lost no time in taking action himself. To family, friends and neighbors, he distributed bin liners, in which they were asked to store recyclable bottles and cans for Ryan.
And so in the past four years he has collected 23.5 tons of recyclable materials, and earned around 10,000 dollars. Ryan intends to use this money to put himself through college or buy a large garbage truck – he hasn’t made up his mind yet. He supports good causes as well: on his website, Ryan sells T-shirts with his organization’s name and logo. He donates 100 percent of the proceeds to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a non-profit-making veterinary hospital in which stranded and injured marine mammals are treated.

You can read more under www.ryansrecycling.com

Crooked cucumbers come in from the cold
There’s an incipient rethink ongoing in Germany’s supermarkets: some shops have started to sell “crooked” fruit and vegetables. Because of their visual blemishes, 30 to 40 percent of cucumbers, carrots, apples and Co. never get as far as the shop shelves. But after all, the vegetables only need to taste good, they don’t have to win a beauty contest. The Penny discounter chain is selling the “Natural Organic Heroes” using the same pricing and labeling as for conventional vegetables. There is in fact still an upper limit at present for the proportion of misshapen fruit and vegetables in a package, but with this initiative the supermarket is taking a first step towards combating food wastage.

In the UK, Adam Smith is campaigning against food wastage. You can read more about this in the “Heads” section.