Thursday, June 22, 2006

Youngest member of the Chamber of Commerce

Ethan was scheduled to speak today, but we've had a change in plans. He was presented to the Chamber today instead. Next month he will be giving his speech.

He wore a little red shirt with his logo embroidered on it (Thank-you enthusiastic Grandma), passed out business cards and mingled with the business people. Someone commented to me, "Shouldn't he be out swimming or something?" I told them, "Oh, he was doing that earlier today." Ethan thought it was great fun to get business cards from people. He had his in one side of his pants pocket and put theirs in the other side. He went back and forth either talking to people and shaking hands very seriously to looking for rolly-pollies in the flowers.

At the end of the mixer he pulled a chair up to the side of one of the garbage cans and it was all I could do to keep him from going head first into it looking for bottles and cans, "We can put some recycle bins out next time, honey." Fortunately, he had talked to the bartender ahead of time and asked him to save him all of his recyclables for him. He took home a big bag full of them.

As for his speech, this is what I came up with:

My name is Ethan. I am four years old. Two months ago I started my first business. It’s called Recycling with Ethan. I wanted to have my own money to buy things. My mom told me that I could recycle my Dad’s cans and get a nickel for each one. Recycling helps the environment and is valuable to people. I started recycling at home. Then I went to my neighbors and asked them to participate. I gave them a box like this one. (hold up box). They fill their box and leave it on the porch on garbage day. Each week I pull my wagon around the block to pick up their recyclables. I sort the bottles and cans into bins; plastic, glass or aluminum. When the bins get full my mom or dad takes me to the recycling center to turn them in. The money I earn is divided three ways; Charity, Savings and Spending. Every month I send out a letter to the neighbors to thank them and tell them about my progress.

I talk to everyone I meet about recycling. At playgroup I asked my friend’s dad if he had any bottles. He didn’t know what I meant because I didn’t say recycling. At my Tiny Tots class, my teacher threw a plastic bottle away in the garbage. I went up to her and asked her if I could have it to recycle. After that, at the end of every class she would give me all her empty bottles. At my brother’s school I asked his teacher if she had any bottles and cans to recycle. The next week she brought a big bag of them. My Grandma helps me and tells people about what I’m doing. They want to participate too and leave big bags of recyclables on my porch for me. People are my assets.

With my business I am learning to create value for other people and to be productive in the world. People are each so different, but this world is the one thing we all have in common. If you would like to participate in Recycling with Ethan and help the environment please leave your bottles and cans in the marked bins I have set out. Thank-you.