A guest post by Gart van Gennip
ikitos.com introduces Salva la Selva: The first battery recycling program in Iquitos
Salva la Selva,
It simply means: Save the Rainforest. The people at ikitos.com, the virtual community of Iquitos, understand that saving the rainforest is a daunting task, but that every journey starts with the first step. Salva la Selva is just a small step in the right direction, but people who hear about it, are excited about how simple this concept really is. How do you recycle batteries in the middle of the Amazon rainforest?
Gart van Gennip, owner of ikitos.com, was very concerned when he found out that batteries just get tossed in the garbage, dumped on the streets and eventually end up in the environment and in the river:
“Used batteries are toxic and should be treated as toxic waste. There is still a lot of ignorance about how damaging batteries really are. The chemicals seeping from old batteries pollute the soil and the water and eventually end up in the food chain”.
So how do you recycle batteries in Iquitos?
“You don’t!” says Gart. Excuse me?
“Knowing what I know about the toxicity of used batteries, I could never get myself to throw them away. I even pick up batteries I find on the street. So eventually I accumulated several pounds of them. I took them back to my own country, where there is a good recycling program and left them there.
When I started the ikitos.com website, it occurred to me that it was a great way to promote this idea: Encourage the local population to save their batteries and bring them to us, and ask visitors to come and pick up a handful, to take back to their own countries, where there are recycling programs.”
So there you have it: Salva la Selva may not kick a dent in a pack of butter just yet, but it’s a start. It will help raise awareness about the necessity to protect the environment and it provides a simple way to prevent the contents of your old batteries from ending up on somebody’s plate.
If you are interested in supporting this initiative by picking up a small portion of old batteries and taking them with you when you leave Iquitos, you can check out Gart’s website www.ikitos.com and visit him at the Amazon Explorers Club Lounge, Calle Nauta 101, at the corner of the Boulevard.
Save the Rainforest: The First Battery Recycling Program in Iquitos Peru
Guest post by Gart van Gennip
Gart has written several other smart, thought provoking articles for the Captain’s Blog. Click the links below and read on…
I wrote this review of Gart van Gennip’s unique web site back in December 2008. Since those times it has grown up into a force in our virtual Iquitos community.