Pay it Forward: Protecting Earth’s landfills and oceans

The average American creates about 4.3 pounds of trash per day. That totals about 447307.5 million pounds of trash in America per year.

By digging through piles of trash, Karen Neder is looking to change how much trash goes into the landfills and oceans.

“Then we have big garbage piles in the ocean that are dead areas and we have animals eating the plastic and we are eating the animals. It’s disturbing so something has to be done,” said Neder

Four years ago, that quest came down to recycling. With the help of her team EarthKeepers, Neder found a way to protect the earth and turn trash into cash for the Preschool Center at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline.

“This is a beginning to get people aware but the best thing to do is to get companies aware to get them to use sustainable packaging and less packaging,” added Neder.

Neder works with companies who pay to have their packaging recycled and also uses a recycling company called Terracycle for all her recycling needs. Every week EarthKeepers help collect, sort and ship the trash off to be recycled.

In four years, Karen has raised over $900 dollars from recycling. That money goes to the preschool at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Neder is also a teacher in the Rock Island-Milan school district.

Karen’s love to help the planet is what inspired Maureen Bennet to nominate her for a Pay it Forward. If you would like to nominate someone for a Pay it Forward, click here.

More information on EarthKeepers and Terracycle can be found here and here.

Items that can be recycled: