Girl Scout Alexis Gonzales is pictured with empty cookie boxes just before depositing into the local recycling bins. (Contributed photo)

Girl Scout cookie fans wait anxiously all year long for their favorites to go on sale. Once they are gone, they are gone for one year. However, the cookies are like the gift that keeps on giving as members of Girl Scout Troop 95136 toted all of their empty cookie boxes to the local recycling center to be used as a renewable resource.

Eleven-year-old Alexis Gonzales, a member of Troop 95136, took approximately 40 empty cookie cases to the recycling center.

Alexis said she is happy to take the boxes to the center “because we are polluting the earth or damaging the earth, and recycling makes the old things to new things and don’t waste as much.”

Alexis’ mother, Maria Escalera, said her family made it a project this year to collect other boxes to take to the recycling center.

“This is our first trip to the recycling center this year, but our goal is to recycle more cardboard boxes this year,” said Escalera. “We also like to recycle plastic bags at our local H.E.B.”

Troop leader Irene Ortiz said the scouts sold more than 500 cases of cookies, and their goal from the beginning was to recycle all of the empty cases.

“Through girl scouts, the troop learns to recycle in kindergarten through recycling projects and recycle patch programs,” said Ortiz. “They have also recycled plastic water bottles, plastic bags, and more.”

With 11 troop members and three adult members to oversee the special projects, the troop has not been as active this past year due to the pandemic. However, they do stay in contact. However, the troop was able to participate in Project Undercover, collected canned goods for Calhoun County Community Ministries, collected toys for the Port Lavaca Fire Department to distribute, and made Valentine’s Day cards for home health seniors.

Alexis has been a Girl Scout since she was in the second grade and plans to continue with the troop.

“I’m meeting other people and learning things that will help me as I grow,” said Alexis. “The best part of it is that I get to help other people and try new things.”

Anyone interested in joining Girl Scout Troop 95136 can sign up at www.gsgst.org.

“My girls are always ready to help out,” Ortiz said. “I am so proud of them for always stepping up and giving 100 percent.”