One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Look closely at the back of a plastic water bottle and you will see something that says CRV(California Redemption Value) 5 cents. What does this mean? It means when you buy something that has this printed on it, you pay 5 cents extra. Why pay extra for a bottle of liquid? Because the government wants to encourage you to recycle. Most people just pay this tax/deposit amount and forget about it. But some people gather these bottles and trade them in for money at a recycling center. We are one of those people who don’t forget our deposit because redemption is exactly what we do.

We have a special recycling project that we undertook. It started about 3 years ago when we collected glass/plastic bottles and aluminum cans and took them to a recycling center and traded them in for cash. We then sent the money to different charities and this was one way we, the kids, could help other kids worldwide. This time, we saved all our collection to feed orphans in India, when we visited there. We also asked our friends to save their recyclables and we would collect them and add to our pile. Alhamdulillah with everyone’s support we collected $300 (which is more than 20,000 Indian Rupees) in just four months! The recycling center part is so easy- we keep our recyclables separated and our mom drives it to the center. Then the people that work there sort the stuff in bins and weigh them. They give you money depending on the weight of the different materials.

When we got to Mysore, India, we fed over 200 people in an all girls orphanage and ate dinner with them as well. The food was Indian of course and they had rice, lamb korma, fried chicken and a dessert of dhal (lentils). This was surely out of the ordinary for the girls who usually get rice, lentils and sometimes veggies. We also gave them an extra treat, which was a fruit pudding. The girls were very thankful and happy. Their lives are very simple- for example, they live off of one box of belongings and sleep on a bunk with another girl under or above depending on where they sleep. They don’t have the freedom to grab a bag of chips or get a glass of milk. They don’t get to choose what they want to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just because they’re bored doesn’t mean they can watch a movie. There’s no one to share their happiness with if they get a good grade or accomplish something big, but they are still happy, content and don’t complain because they are thankful to Allah for giving them shelter, food and education. They make dua for every person who has fed them and what they want most is love and friendship. They didn’t want us to leave and were happy to show and tell us about every little thing in their lives just so that we could stay longer. They keep asking us to make dua for them and kept asking if we would come back again.

It was very shocking to see everyone’s trash – its trash that I’m talking about, stuff that we don’t even use anymore, stuff that we throw away – feed more than 200 people in the orphanage. This goes to prove that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Insha Allah we hope that Allah gives everyone lots of Baraka and Sawaab for helping us with our goal. We are also planning on doing this again even if we might not go to India so let us know if you save your recyclables and we’ll be happy to pick them up – if you are local.

You can do this project too. Just follow these easy steps: find a recycling center near you, collect bottles and cans and trade them in. Doing this will help the environment and save money. It is also very fun and empowering because you can do some simple things and get a sense of accomplishment in a big world of adults. So next time you see suffering children somewhere, you don’t have to feel like a small kid who cannot help anyone, but know that you can do something about it too!

By- Ridwan Rasheed

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About Soulful Studies

Home schooling consultant, home educator and mother of 4, blogger
This entry was posted in Lessons of life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

  1. fadia says:

    that was touching Ridwan. I am always looking for anything to do to help, collecting money from recycling is a great idea. Barak allah fika ,your mom, and your siblings .

  2. Maha Elgenaidi says:

    Very touching Ridwan. I am really impressed by your initiative.

  3. muslimoments says:

    This is awesome! MashAllah!!! May Allah reward you and your family for all the good that you do.

  4. Saleha says:

    mA this is so amazing absolutey love it! From the writing style to the work that’s been done mA mA

  5. Muiz says:

    Masha Allah, written very well. I’m sure it would have made Jaji proud! Good going Shanu Api.

  6. Sadia says:

    Keep it up Ridwan

  7. Lubna says:

    Ma sha Allah! May Allah increase your and your mums Hasana for every good that you do. Lots of love!

  8. Homaira says:

    Go Ridwan. Amazing writing and a noble cause. I’m very proud of all of you for this work. May Allah put blessings in all that you do. It’s the small and simple things that count. Keep up the good work!!!

  9. Mudassarah says:

    It’s inspiring to read your post. Your writing is beautiful. I will be asking my kids to read your post & inshaAllah see if they would like to start a similar project! JazkAllah khair!

  10. Samina says:

    I am blown away mA. So so proud of him n ur kids mA.

  11. Aminah says:

    Mashallah! Awesome! We have about six bags in our garage waiting to go to the recycle center 🙂

  12. Elizabeth Ackerly says:

    Subahan Allah, I am going to share your story with my 5 and 3 year old, in’sha Allah. They are fascinated by the ease and benefits of recycling. The third paragraph in which you describe the life of the girls in the orphanage is extremely powerful in the structure of how it is written. You have experienced something first hand that touches hearts and souls and is difficult to find here in the bay area. Your work is inspiring and your writing distributes your insights to all of us. May Allah increase you in khayr and well being. Keep us in your loop!

  13. Abdurrahmaan mahmoud says:

    Awesome project! Its as you said a great way for kids to help other kids. I hope the next project succeeds as well!

  14. Alfiya says:

    Mashallah Ridwan, wonderful idea!

  15. Dwight says:

    Again Ridwan, thanks for giving us a glimpse into your world. Your heart shows in your writing and your subject matter is always thoughtful. we’re proud to be your neighbors.

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