How this inspiring 7-year-old made $21,000 by recycling

We dare you not to fall in love with viral video sensation Ryan Hickman, who recycled his way to some major money.
Ryan Hickman showing a collection of his recycled collection

Photo: Ryan’s Recycling Company

Buckle-up and get ready for some cuteness overload. We cannot get enough of this 7-year-old environmental entrepreneur who has raised $21,000 through recycling. Yup. That’s right. $21,000! Now, that’s a lot of water bottles.

Ryan Hickman, the young Californian and President of his very own Ryan’s Recycling Company, captured our attention when a video of his story, created by 60 Second Docs, recently went viral.

“I’ve been recycling since I was three-and-a-half years old,” he declares, as the video shows him driving a pint-size tractor around the neighbourhood. “I get my recycling from my neighbours and my customers.”

So far, Ryan has recycled over 200 000 cans and bottles. According to his company website, his parents help him bring his collection to a local redemption centre every couple of weeks, keeping these items from polluting the water.

“What I’m doing keeps bottles and cans out of the ocean,” explains Ryan. “That helps the environment.”

The environment is an important cause for Ryan. He’s the Youth Ambassador at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and donates some of his earnings to help support their volunteer efforts.

So, what will he do with all that money?

“My parents want me to save my money for college,” he says, “but I want to save for a garbage truck.”

Could we love this kid any more?

Read more: 
13 kid-friendly crafts using recyclables
Why we’re loving this boy who wears makeup
Earth Day: 17 eco-friendly celebrity parents 

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