Sitting inside the Café Joyeux coffee shop, he slurps down a hot chocolate, as he recalls how the idea to collect old cellphones in order to stop deforestation in Africa came to be. “Well,” he started, “I heard about it (deforestation) from my sister. I like the environment and I don’t want forests to disappear.”
Cellphones, like several other electronics, utilizes coltan, a metal ore that is principally found in Africa. The ore is used to regulate overheating of batteries. Mining of the metal has led to several environmental issues in various African countries. The project, spearheaded by Jackson on April 27, was aimed at collecting over 100 cellphones. Assisted by his parents, as well as with a partnership by Rockland’s Sullytech, the boy, who happens to be a part of the local cub scouts, spent several hours preparing. “We made a lot of posters,” he recalled. “So far, I’ve collected 21 phones.”
Jackson was on hand during the scout’s recent Flea Market, held on May 20, at the Parent Independent grocery store. There, the diligent boy explained his project to hundreds of residents. “People there promised to bring me about ten more,” he said, smiling. “We’re still collecting them.”
His quest to collect 100 cellphones is to conclude at the end of the month, upon which they will all be brought to Sullytech. “They (Sullytech) will erase all the memory on them and recycle them,” he explained proudly.
Jackson initiated his project within his cub scout group. Being a third-year cub, he must complete a project that takes the community and the environment into account. Following the end of his project, the ten-year-old boy hopes to obtain the highest honor a cub scout can receive: the Seeonee Award.
Cellphones are still being accepted by Jackson. Anyone wanting to help out the ten-year-old boy can drop off his or her old unused cellphones at either Sullytech or the Rockland branch of the Clarence-Rockland Public Library.