by Katelyn Gan, Irvine, California
In early December, I designed my flier and assembled lots of battery buckets. I set several buckets across Irvine in senior apartments and libraries, and everyone was extremely enthusiastic to help! My first bucket was full just two weeks after first placing it at Luxaira. When I received the text that the bucket was full, I was extremely shocked that it was Luxaira. I kept thinking that I had remembered the address wrong because I thought this location had the least possibility of succeeding.
When I initially gave the bucket to Ellie at Luxaira, she told me that it was uncommon for residents to pass through the front office and there was no newsletter or way to get word of the battery bucket out. However, due to the usefulness of the bucket, the residents that did hear about the bucket were extremely excited to donate, and soon, the bucket was filled!
A similar story occurred at The Meadows Senior Community, where in less than three weeks, the bucket was completely full with more batteries in a plastic bag. When I went to pick up those batteries, I ran into an elderly woman. She told me, “This is very thoughtful and good for the environment. I donated some too!”
Upon consulting the leasing managers of some of these locations, I heard many positive effects collecting batteries had. For example, a location that was aware of these issues and eco friendly told me that it was a huge inconvenience for their maintenance guys to drive back and forth, so they were glad that we had this idea.
Many times, residents and residential homes want to help the environment, but it isn’t worth the long journey, so they just keep or throw away their batteries which poses its own dangers.
This is why, after hearing community members supporting this project, I felt really proud to be doing something to help the community and the environment, and I was even more excited to reach our goal of 1 million batteries.