8-Year-Old Entrepreneur Starts Company To Save Turtles
After seeing how devastating single use plastics are to wildlife, she quickly took action.
Nicolina Pappas is an 8-year-old on a mission.
After she saw a video of a turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose, the Coal Valley, IL native wanted to do something to help.
She came up with the idea of creating pouches for reusable straws so that people had somewhere to keep them when they weren't using them. This way, she thought, people would be encouraged to buy and use straws that wouldn't end up in landfills where they take around 500 years to decompose.
After her mother taught her how to sew, she created a few pouches and 'Nicolina's Turtle Co.' was born.
Nicolina has been selling the straw pouches at places like the Niabi Zoo gift shop, the Botanical Center and a local wildlife preserve. Most of the money earned from the sale of the pouches goes to helping feed and house turtles at the Nahant Marsh Education Center.
Nicolina said she thought of the idea after she saw her sister toss a metal straw into her purse.
“Now you have a pouch, so it doesn't get stuck in all the dust," she explained to Living Local QC .
The pouches are made with colorful fabrics, most with a turtle or aquatic theme, and have colorful snaps at the top to keep them securely closed.
So far, Nicolina has raised over $500 for various local organizations, and she's hoping her project will continue to raise awareness about protecting the environment and keeping animals safe.
“She has the biggest heart," Nicolina's mom Lori said of her daughter. “And the reason why she came to us with this idea is because she was so worried about some of the facts that she had read in some books and online about the amount of waste that was being produced."
As for what the 8-year-old entrepreneur's plans are as Nicolina's Turtle Co. continues to grow, she says she wants to “adopt a lot more turtles."
Kudos to Nicolina for using her passion for animals to make a difference.
If you're in the Quad City area, you can purchase one of Nicolina's pouches in the gift shops at the following locations:
You can also purchase a pouch by messaging Nicolina's Turtle Co. on Facebook or sending a text/call to (734) 730-5445.
A straw pouch with a metal straw costs $10 + shipping.
A straw pouch with a metal straw and straw cleaner costs $13+ shipping.