FROM THE PAPER
Waccamaw Middle School
Waccamaw High School
You're never too young to save the planet
Brothers Devin and Derek Arnold know they can’t save the planet by themselves, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying.
“We’re doing it one bag at a time,” said Devin, 12.
Last month he and Derek, 8, started Mother Nature’s Children. For $1 a week, they make it easy for families to recycle.
On Saturdays, when they could be home watching cartoons, they go out and make the rounds of their neighborhood, Litchfield Country Club, using a hand cart to pick up recyclables from their customers to take them back to a sorting station set up in their family’s garage.
Once they finish with that, their parents, Jim and Lisa, drive them to the homes of their more distant customers and to the recycling center once the boys have everything sorted and ready.
They have customers throughout the Pawleys Island area and Murrells Inlet, but say they try to have at least a few in one area if they have to drive to get there, to offset their environmental footprint.
Devin and Derek started out with a slightly higher fee, $1 per bag, but decided they needed a more uniform rate.
“Some people have little bags and it wasn’t fair to charge them the same as somebody with big bags,” Derek said.
They keep half their profits and donate the rest toward “an earth-saving cause.” They have been donating to the World Wildlife Fund and the preservation of chimpanzees, and have already raised enough to adopt a chimp.
“We thought it would be nice to have some of the money, but recycling isn’t enough to save the planet by itself and we want to save the animals, as well,” Devin said.
The boys said they decided to start the business when their cousins, Rachel and Caine Langhill, 12 and 8, were visiting from Massachusetts. Rachel and Caine helped Devin and Derek with the start-up and will go back to work with the brothers the next time they visit.
Devin and Derek also get help from friends, and younger brother, Dylan, 4.
The boys wanted jobs to give them something productive to do and raise a bit of spending money, they said.
“We started out wanting to do a painting business, but our mom suggested it should be something natural that helps the environment and we decided it was a cool idea,” Devin said.
The idea came about, he said, because a number of their relatives don’t recycle.
“We thought we’d make it easier for them,” he said.
Lisa said she’s proud of what her sons are doing. The boys never complain when it’s time to get up and go to work, she said, and she believes they’re learning a valuable lesson from it, not only about doing their part for the environment, but about responsibility.
For the boys’ part, they’re having fun with their job, they said.
“It makes us feel good to know we’re doing something to help the planet,” Devin said.
For more information visit MotherNaturesChildren.com or call 237-2383.
Jackie Broach / Coastal Observer