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Andres's Story

My name is Andres. I’m one of the millions who have been taught to simply let others take charge of my disposals. Whether its the gallons of water going down my drain each day, or the trash being wheeled out to the curb every Friday morning, I’ve never really thought about where these things actually go. It has simply always been a given to let someone else take care of what I throw out.

The past ten days have been some of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Earth Camp has taken me to a world of thought that I’ve never been in. The camp repeatedly made me think of how my actions are hurting this precious world and what I can do now to make a difference.

Throughout the course of learning and making new friends, I leave Earth Camp with an entirely different mindset of what I can do to help Mother Nature. Although I can’t make up for the mess I’ve already created, I know there is time for me to change my habits and ultimately make life better for the generations to come.

Studies show that fast-food packaging makes up about 20 percent of the world’s litter. My action plan will do its best to cut this number in half.

The City of Oakland, California created a law in February 2006 that taxes restaurants to pay for litter clean-up in areas near the business. Depending on the size of the business, each restaurant has to pay between $200 and $4,000 each year. These funds help hire small crews to pick up litter in surrounding areas. In total, Oakland collects about $240,000 a year.

I believe this could be a proactive approach to making our streets and neighborhoods a cleaner place to live in.

This August, I expect to lobby Mayor and Council to begin discussions about the possibility of bringing this law to Tucson.

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