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Message in a Bottle Tour – Denver, CO

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I had a great time in Denver this past weekend with Valet Living. We had great weather unlike the week before in Austin so it was nice to be outside. I met a lot of nice people and I even got to feed a horse and we saw a black bear when were in Colorado Springs. Glad I was in the car and not walking near it! I have a lot of fun at these events and I love telling people about my story and why it’s so important to recycle.

Wow! We just reached 400,000 cans and bottles recycled!

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Wow! We just reached 400,000 cans and bottles recycled! Thank you to all my customers, friends and family for helping me. I’m not slowing down anytime soon and some day, I’ll reach a million. Thank you Valet Living for sponsoring my recycling awareness events across the country and thank you to all the people I have met while traveling who are now recycling because of me. Recycling keeps cans, bottles and glass out of the ocean, rivers, landfills and keeps animals form getting sick from pollution. It’s easy to recycle. I’m only 9 years old. If I can do it, anyone can do it. -Ryan


Ryan named as 2018 honoree by the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

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California Youth Honored by National Award for Heroic Service Activity

Boulder, CO, September 17, 2018 – Ryan Hickman, age 9, of San Juan Capistrano, California, has been named a 2018 honoree by the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Each year, the Barron Prize celebrates 25 inspiring, public-spirited young people – some named as winners and some named as honorees – who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. This year’s ten Barron Prize honorees are an outstanding group of young leaders chosen from nearly four hundred applicants across the U.S. and Canada.

Ryan created Ryan’s Recycling Company ( to keep cans, plastic bottles, and glass from polluting our environment. He is most passionate about protecting ocean animals from harm caused by trash. He has personally kept 76,000 pounds of pollution out of the ocean and our landfills. Ryan began his work as a 3-year-old, asking neighbors for their bottles and cans. Today, he coordinates pick-ups of recyclables from homes and businesses throughout Orange County and with his family’s help, delivers them by the truckload to the local redemption center every few weeks. Ryan’s redemption dollars are earmarked for college, though he’ll tell you he is saving for a large trash truck. He has also created and sells company t-shirts, donating all proceeds — $8,000 so far – to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates seals and sea lions. “I’ve learned that recycling is so important and that one person can truly make a difference,” says Ryan. “I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and I hope everyone joins me.”

The Barron Prize was founded in 2001 by author T. A. Barron and was named for his mother, Gloria Barron. Each year’s 25 Barron Prize young heroes reflect the great diversity of America. They are female and male, urban and rural, and from various backgrounds. Many of them have focused on helping their communities and fellow beings; many others have focused on protecting the environment.

“Nothing is more inspiring than stories about heroic people who have truly made a difference to the world,” says Barron. “And we need our heroes today more than ever. Not celebrities, but heroes – people whose character can inspire us all. That is the purpose of the Gloria Barron Prize: to shine the spotlight on these amazing young people so that their stories will inspire others.”

For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Liz Ammirato [email protected]   845-621-2005
Cathy Callegari Public Relations, Inc.
220 Riverside Blvd. #14G, New York, NY 10069

Message in a Bottle Tour – Austin, TX

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This weekend was a quick trip to Austin, Texas. We had a lot of rain during my trip but that didn’t stop me from telling people how to be better recyclers with my friends at Valet Living. We brought the party indoors and stayed nice and dry. After the event, we went for some really great BBQ and went bowling and I got to go check out a bunch of donkeys and goats near a friend’s house. Thank you everyone who came to see me and I look forward to Denver next week!

My episode of #ROADLIFE with Mack Trucks

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I’ve been waiting for a few months to tell everyone about what I filmed with my friends at Mack Trucks. They flew to California and surprised me with my own trash truck for a day. It was super cool! I drove around with Curtis and we picked up plastic bottles to recycle and then we took them to rePlanet to drop off. Someday I’m going to have my own truck like this. Thank you to rePlanet and The Pacific Marine Mammal Center for being part of the filming with me and I hope everyone likes the video!

2018 International Young Eco-Heroes named by Action for Nature

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Nineteen young activists are recipients of 2018 International Young Eco-Hero Awards for their impactful environmental projects addressing climate change, energy conservation, wildlife protection, landfill waste, and water pollution. Ranging from age 8 to 16, and hailing from around the U.S. as well as Australia, Canada, Columbia, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, these youth are being recognized by the San Francisco-based nonprofit Action for Nature for their creative projects aimed at solving the world’s environmental problems.

Stella Bowles, age 14, of Nova Scotia, Canada, was disgusted by the “straight pipes” leading from household toilets into the river that runs beside her house. She became a young citizen scientist, tested the water, publicized the results, and mounted a campaign to demand action. In response, the municipal, provincial and federal governments approved a $15 million plan to replace all straight pipes to the river with septic tanks by 2023. Now she is teaching other students to test their river water and challenge local authorities.

Nikita Shulga, age 12, of Kyiv, Ukraine, noticed that classmates threw lunchtime food scraps into trash bins destined for the many landfills throughout his country, so he set up a composting program called Campola. Despite the fact that composting and recycling are not widely practiced in Ukraine, he knew that Campola could reduce the size of landfills, while the compost could be used to nourish trees that help clean the air. Starting at his own school in the fall of 2016, Nikita’s project expanded to 30 schools within the first year, and now the Ministry of Ecology and Nature of Ukraine is preparing to implement Nikita’s composting initiative across 1,000 schools.

Charlie Abrams and Jeremy Clark, both age 13, of Portland, Oregon, are climate action campaigners and public speakers who have traveled throughout the state and beyond to lobby for environmental action. One result is that today 60,000 students in 80 Portland public schools are taught climate change as a fact. They founded their blog, Two Green Leaves, as fifth graders with an aim to educate others from the perspective of “the affected generation.”

Anya de Saram-Larssen, age 13, of Columbo, Sri Lanka, addresses the conflicts between humans and elephants in rural Wasgamuwa by writing, speaking, and fundraising for an “elefriendly bus” which now safely transports school children who previously had to walk through an area where dangerous encounters with elephants have occurred. She is currently working on a pilot project bringing seven students from the Sri Lankan capital of Columbo to Wasgamuwa for a weeklong wildlife camp.


Nikita Shulga, age 12, of Ukraine, set up a school composting program and used the compost to nurture nearby trees; she is part of a movement to set up similar programs in 1,000 schools.

Robbie Bond, age 10, of Hawaii, USA, created the nonprofit Kids Speaks For Parks to raise awareness for the preservation of US National Parks and Monuments.

Hunter Mitchell, age 10, of South Africa, raises money for rhino awareness and campaigns for their protection, and regularly visits a local sanctuary to work with an orphaned baby rhino.

Shalise Leesfield, age 11, of Australia, spreads the word about the dangers that discarded fishing lines pose to marine wildlife, and has set up a collection box system to gather such lines.

Ryan Hickman, age 8, of California, USA, has recycled nearly 300,000 cans and bottles. He picks up, sorts and takes recyclable items each weekend from his customers to the local recycling facility, earning $6,000 which he contributed to his local marine mammal center.

Asvini Thivakaran, age 9, of Texas, USA, has diverted half a ton of batteries from the local landfill through her recycling efforts, and persuaded her city’s mayor to establish collection bins in high-traffic areas.

Genevieve Leroux, age 12, of California, USA, persuaded others, including her local mayor, to join her in establishing pollinator gardens to support migrating Monarch butterflies.

Charlie Abrams and Jeremy Clark, age 13, of Oregon, USA, consider themselves part of “the affected generation,” and are inspiring public speakers who have successfully lobbied for climate change education.

Hannah Testa, age 15, of Georgia, USA, planned and executed two Plastic Pollution Awareness days for the State of Georgia, and educates others through extensive networking and many public speaking engagements.

Lila Copeland, age 15, of California, USA, was instrumental to the Los Angeles Unified School District rolling out a healthy vegan lunch option to all 1,000 schools and 660,000 students, and is now lobbying for this at the state level.

Jose Adolfo Quisocala Condori, age 13, of Peru, started a banking system in his school whereby students receive compensation for turning in recycled paper. He also advises the students on spending their money wisely.

Rahul and Rohan Raju, ages 13 and 15, of United Arab Emirates, are young artists whose work portraying endangered species has been exhibited all over the world, highlighting the urgent need to protect wildlife.

Victor Aguilar, age 16, of Puerto Rico, USA, developed a habitat for indigenous boa constrictors, and established trails with educational information for the public.

Nicole Francis, age 16, of New York, USA, is a dedicated young scientist who studies glass eel migration in Blind Brook off the Long Island Sound.

Anya de Saram-Larssen, age 13, of Sri Lanka, raised funds for an “elefriendly” bus so that rural children did not have to walk to school through an area frequented by potentially dangerous elephants.

Will Gladstone, age 13, of Massachusetts, USA, set up a foundation, website and Instagram account to educate others about the Blue-Footed Boobies of the Galapagos Islands. He has raised $40,000 for The Galapagos Conservancy by selling blue socks.

Claire Vlases, age 15, of Missouri, USA, persuaded her local school authority to install solar panels at her school, and raised the funds for the installation.

Juan David Galeano Avila, age 13, of Colombia, engaged his neighbors in collecting trash from the local river bank, then researched and implemented recycling options.


The 2018 International Young Eco-Heroes will meet at Google’s San Francisco offices and via Google Hangout on Saturday, August 25, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon Pacific time, for a conference hosted by Action for Nature and streamed on YouTube Live. Participants will discuss their projects and take questions from the audience via chat. Visit for a link to the video stream.


Action For Nature is an international nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California, USA, that encourages young people to develop a love and respect for nature and to take personal action to protect the Earth’s natural resources. The International Young Eco-Hero Awards recognize young people ages 8-16 who are taking important steps to solve tough environmental problems. Awarded annually, AFN’s Eco-Heroes are determined by a panel of judges including experts in environmental science, biology, and education. Since 2003, Action for Nature has recognized 250 young people from 23 countries and across the United States.


High-resolution photos are available for download at:

Eco-Hero bios and videos are available at:


My new Ryan’s Recycling buttons are here!

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My new buttons just arrived in the mail today and I’m so excited! I’m going to be handing these out at my weekend beach clean ups and my recycle awareness events with Valet Living and we’re going to throw one in each shirt or hat order that we get. Send me a message about how you’re making a difference making the planet a cleaner place and I might just send you a button too!