Events   23.03.2016
One small person, one big difference
TAGS Recycling, Theatre, Webspiration, Students
"Recycling my one little can makes no difference."

We’ve all heard someone say it. Someone grumpy. A gloomy-sider. A glass-half-empty-er. You’ve got to feel sorry for them: they see themselves as just one small person, lost in a big world of environmental problems, and they don’t think they can make a difference. Poor them!
We’re the lucky ones. We know that, actually, the aluminum can recycles forever and for 95% less energy than making one from scratch, so we recycle happily every time. But how do we persuade others to do the right thing? Well, maybe by realizing we may all be small, but we can make a big difference – and by getting the smallest people to help us.
Over the last 10 years, the recan fund has been doing exactly this – in unique and ingenious ways, with impressive results.
Best of all? They’ve been having fun at the same time.
And it’s fun that’s at the heart of their success. You don’t bash people over the head or make them feel bad. You entertain. You reward. You create a theatre show so that the kids feel they’re part of a magical world each time they recycle. You bring in a recycling superhero, like Li-men, to show them the way. And you let them pull down the big handle and crush each of those cans they’ve brought in – so satisfying!
Jelena Kis, manager of recan since its beginning, how about some stats?
Name
Jelena Kis
Star Sign
Capricorn, ascendant Sagittarius
Profession
Recan Foundation Manager
Source of Inspiration
Nature in all shapes and sounds
"So far, 51,850 kids and their parents have visited the Recycling Theatre, and between them have collected 157,035 cans. Though most of the plays have been put on in Belgrade, the theatre’s been seen in 56 municipalities all over Serbia. The main thing is to educate the smallest so that they, in turn, educate the biggest. The kids love it – they find it really interesting, and we aim to get them to take the message home to their parents.

A ticket for the Recan Theatre “costs” five empty beverage cans. If children bring ten more they can meet Li-men and get books and goodies!"
Capturing the imagination of the kids is key to getting them on board with the recycling message, and we all know how influential a child with strong beliefs can be at home!
The wider “Can by Can” (Limenka po Limenka) campaign is another success story from recan’s box of awareness-raising tricks.
At its 10-year anniversary, it’s grown from 20 schools involved to over 450, and its cheerful recycling boxes now appear in offices, cafes and fitness clubs too.

The fun’s not just for kids, either – recan’s roping adults into the act. At some of Serbia’s top music festivals, recan have invited people to play funny competitive games designed around can recycling, and provided attractive receptacles and positive information about recycling’s importance for the future. The fact that recan’s audiences have collected over 3.5 million cans – the same amount of metal you’d need to make over 7,000 bicycles – shows how well people respond to these pioneering creative campaigns.

Some of the 2.5 million people recan has reached were once those sad, grumpy ones who said "my one small can won’t make a difference!" – but now their imaginations have been caught in a fun and casual way, they’re the ones who’ll remember to recycle their cans. And if parents don’t remember, the smallest people in the house will remind them:
"Mum? Dad? Small things do make a difference!"
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