Local Heroes


Olivia Helinski conducted research that will contribute to the development of a plastic pollution reduction device to be placed in the Willamette River.

Many different types of nets exist which can be used to trawl the water for microplastics. However, these nets are expensive to purchase, ranging from $500 to $3,500. Instead of purchasing a net, we decided to build a cheap device which we call “BabyLeg.”


New Seasons employee Bob Fortner has developed a “Recycling Receipt” that tells customers what can and cannot be recycled on the items they purchased. Learn more on our Q&A article.


Celeste Meiffren-Swango, the State Director with Environment Oregon, has written and launched a to get a new children’s book “Myrtle the Turtle” published.

“Myrtle the Turtle” educates kids – and their grown ups – about plastic pollution in the ocean and what they can do to help. It is about a young, adventurous sea turtle in the Pacific Ocean who mistakes a plastic bag for a jellyfish, and realizes she needs your help to keep her ocean home safe and beautiful.

Visit Myrtle’s Kickstarter campaign page to make a contribution to help them hit their fundraising goal of $10,000. That’ll get the book printed and shipped, plus 100 copies donated to kids at environmental education events across Oregon.


Bonita Davis, RA Board Member and a Master Recycler volunteer, went to KATU TV Channel 2 in Portland to show us ways we can have just as much fun and festivity, while saving money and going easy on the environment.

Jenica Barrett, a local zero-waster and creator of “Zero Waste Wisdom.” Her website is a detailed guide to reducing, refusing, recycling, and composting. She provides helpful information to support anyone who wants to make the switch to a zero waste and plastic free lifestyle!

Watch an interview with Jenica about how she got into this lifestyle

Cecelia Warner works to reduce paper towel usage in Forest Grove schools, city offices and restaurants, taking over the “Shake and Fold” campaign from Joe Smith

Article: http://pamplinmedia.com/fgnt/36-news/330240-209610-woman-hopes-simple-change-reduces-waste


Laura Weiss, founder of GO Box, discusses her business to reduce food packaging waste in downtown Portland. GoBox helps you get your to-go meals in a reusable, returnable container.

Salem 3rd Graders share their science project to make edible water bottles

Two fifth-graders at Ardenwald Elementary in Milwaukie lead their entire school to a “superhero” recycling celebration, recycling 1500 plastic bottles!


James Harris is one of the Rose City’s youngest and most unique business owners. James, 18, started a recycling business last year (called JamesRecycling) dedicated to helping his neighbors save what can’t normally be put in their curbside recycling bins. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (a form of high-functioning Autism) at age four. He brings the recyclables back to his house, sorts them, then takes them out to Far West Recycling.