Nadia Sparkes, 12, lives in Hellesdon, a suburb of Norwich, England. While riding her bike two miles home each day from Hellesdon High School, she noticed lots of litter beside the road so she started picking it up. Each afternoon, she fills up her bicycle basket with with trash, and so far she's picked up enough to fill two recycling bins. She is not bullied in the classroom, but on the way home other kids call her "trash girl" and say she should pick up after them because it's "her job."
Photo by Paula Sparkes (aka Mom)
Despite this rudeness, Nadia refuses to leave litter behind. "I'm not going to stop doing the right thing because of them," she says. "I'm doing something to protect the world they also live in. If they are going to call me trash girl, they can say it with respect. We are all responsible for keeping this world safe, instead of believing it's always someone else's job." Meanwhile, her Mom set up a Facebook page for her called "Team Trash Girl" and she has received praise from around the world. Local media shared her story, and her school has featured her on its Web site.