Don’t tell me early in your life this wouldn’t have got you excited.

Selling off 15 kilograms of written papers out of your junior school note copies.  The books would yield slightly less money than copies but I was satisfied at the amount I was getting paid by the ‘khali-sisiwaladai’. At 13 years of age this was the only thing I thought could be recycled. Yes, that’s true I thought paper was the only thing that could be recycled and made new again.

I thought my ink would wash off my favorite, science copy which went into a big magical hot pot with water and fairy dust. And the end product you ask me?
Well it would be a brand new copy where my words slipped to form the best handwriting ever to get me straight A’s on my exams.

You see the time when I was 13, the world wasn’t ruled by smartphones and internet. I wasn’t taught to reuse plastics then.The only thing adults did was throw the piece of junk off of their body as if, getting rid of it and throwing off in the streets would make them clean. A better version, I must say “civilized”. I learned from my mother that if we pile up food stuff that would rot, in a big hole then we could plant tomatoes and chilly on our gardens and grow up healthy with the byproduct. This was my second lesson on what could be reused.

‘When like minds come together great things come forth’. A very good friend of mine, we sat down on a bizarre Sunday morning on an ice cold bench on some strictly prohibited government office, we thought of what could be contributed to bring some change. Both of us, since our school days we were very fascinated with saving things. Be it the very first dairy milk’s wrapper we ate, we saved it beneath our bed sheets. Or be it our first plastic horrible movie ticket, we saved it. We saved it all.

So we thought why don’t we do things and teach someone what we’re always best at, and that was trying hard to save things. We came up with reuse and recycle project.

So little did I knew that newspapers could be turned to flower vases, old scratched compact discs could be turned to a memorable photo frame, a t-shirt into a trendy, cool hand bag, beer bottles into light stands and so much more.
The only problem was that, now that I had learned so much to recycle my stuff the old ‘kali sisidai’ returns empty handed most of the times.

We visited schools after schools teaching kids what we know now which we hadn’t known when we were little. To recycle and reuse things. To make them understand that anything ugly could be made beautiful if we try hard enough.

Out of all I wanted to teach them, make memories out of garbage.
​By: Anusha Maharjan