14/06/2010 21:27 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Eleven-Year-Old Hero Turns Waste Into Fuel

If you have an 11-year-old, what do they do in their spare time? Maybe read books or play games. Here's a story of an inspirational 11-year-old girl who's pioneered a project to turn waste cooking grease into heating oil for homes.

Children of this age are often passionate about the planet and saving resources, but how many of them turn that into positive action that makes a difference?

Meet Cassandra Lin from Rhode Island, USA, who's doing just that:

Cassandra and her team of volunteers convinced their local council officials to place a "waste cooking oil" (WCO) receptacle at the city's transfer station, and arranged for it to be collected.

Her organization is called Project T.G.I.F, which stands for Turning Grease Into Fuel, and so far it's collected more than 36,000 gallons of waste cooking oil. This has produced around 30,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel – all from a product that would otherwise have been thrown away. The fuel that's produced then gets distributed to families who need help with emergency heating.

Cassandra and her brother Alexander are American Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes finalists. This awards scheme is designed to recognise outstanding children for their contributions and community service. It awards ten children a $7,500 (just over £5000) scholarship each and another $2,500 (around £1,700) to donate to their favourite charitable causes. The winners are due to be announced this week. Whatever the result, Cassandra and her team are winners already.

Source [ParentDish US]