Sobhana Balaji and her two children, Sahana and Sidhaarth, are passionate recyclers.

Sobhana Balaji of FishHawk and her family are passionate recyclers. Together, they try to practice and live a less trash, less throwaway, reduce, reuse and recycle lifestyle in anything they do.

“We do this so we leave behind a very tiny footprint on this planet,” Balaji said. “As a kid I grew up to respect and even worship the forces of nature and call our planet as Mother Earth. Being a yoga practitioner from when I was 8-years-old and being a vegan has probably taught me that living a life with a small footprint is actually [more] valuable than actually being lavish.”

Balaji and her family feel they need to make our planet better for future generations.
“Our forefathers had great visions, they built a safe environment, lived a simple life and worked hard to create a great future to make our lives better now in so many ways,” Balaji said. “We are enjoying and reaping the benefits of their hard work and difficult lives. Our family truly believes that we must have a greater sense of responsibility for the future generations. The least we can do is not leave behind a trashed and catastrophic earth for our kids.”

When Balaji’s children read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, they realized they wanted to be more involved with recycling.

“I introduced her to the TerraCycle, a recycling organization that I am a member of, and they have awesome recycling programs, which most of them are free,” Balaji said. “We signed up for the Snack Bag Recycling program. My daughter set up a bin in her classroom for her friends to recycle their snack bags, juice pouches and wrappers. The bin was then packed and shipped to TerraCycle. The kids were excited when they even earned points for their effort.”

Balaji’s children are now doing a Trick or Trash collection drive to gather all candy and snack wrappers from Halloween candy, and the collection drive will continue to run till the end of holidays.

“Our wonderful school, Boyette Springs, and our community have been supporting us to achieve our small goal,” Balaji said. “If other schools, PTAs or kids are interested in starting this initiative, I would be happy to help and spread awareness.”

To learn more about TerraCycle, visit

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.