Teenager’s passion for the environment leads to creation of ‘bottle of love’ foundation – OP

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Keka Dewey, an 18-year-old student, starts her day at 7:45 am by leaving an empty plastic bottle on her desk. Throughout the day, her classmates bring her the waste they generated during class and recess: pens that no longer work, wrappers, plastic cutlery, straws, and other items. Keka takes this rubbish, checks the bins for more, and carefully compresses it all into her “bottle of love” until it is full. The bottle is then used to create chairs, tables, or planters, which are donated to charity. “It’s incredible how, with a little bit of trash, you can help the environment and other people with concrete actions,” says the teenager.

Keka Dewey

Since April of this year, Keka has been a volunteer at the “Llena Una Botella de Amor” Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages the reuse of so-called “single-use plastics.” These are items that become waste immediately after they are used, such as cookie wrappers or milk sachets. With the help of those who fill their bottles with these wastes and bring them to the foundation’s collection points, Econciencia Argentina produces furniture made of “plastic wood,” which is mostly donated. “For me, building and collecting these bottles is not a hobby, but a commitment to the environment,” says Keka.”I found out about the foundation on Instagram, and it was a game-changer. I had already been taking action for the environment, but I only realized how much waste we produce when I started with the bottles,” Keka explains. Initially, her parents had trouble understanding what she was doing surrounded by so much rubbish. However, after a while, they began to bring bottles to their offices themselves. Among her school friends, however, Keka has yet to spread the sustainable fever: “I think everyone has their own process of raising awareness. I did mine this year, and I understand that it may take others longer,” she says.

Last month, Keka collected more than 50 bottles of love that he took with his father to a collection point of the foundation.
For Keka, “building and collecting these bottles for the foundation is not a hobby.” The teenager believes it is one of the many contributions one can make to the environment. “If these wastes are not utilized, plastic can take anywhere from 100 to 1,000 years to degrade. They are extremely polluting objects,” she notes. That is why she believes that society as a whole should get involved. “With small things, you can help a lot, but people find it hard to understand the seriousness of the situation.” Nonetheless, Keka has managed to inspire several acquaintances silently by setting an example: “My relatives or classmates’ relatives realized how easy it was and joined in.” In fact, in the last month, she collected 50 “bottles of love” that she took, along with her father, to a foundation collection point in Vicente López.

The cycle of “love bottles”

But that’s not all. At home, the Dewey family has been separating their waste and recycling organic waste in an Eco House composter for years. Keka, like many other young people inspired by Greta Thunberg, attended the climate change marches in March and May and made changes to her daily consumption. For example, she stopped buying plastic toothbrushes and now uses ones made of bamboo. “I always ask in restaurants if they serve water in plastic bottles…”.

The Foundation Fill a Bottle of Love works in synergy with the company Econciencia Argentina.

With Keka’s passion for the environment and her actions to reduce waste and pollution, she is setting an example for her generation and inspiring others to take action. Her “bottle of love” foundation is a practical and inspiring way to show how small steps can make a big difference.

Publicado en el diario La Nación

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