It was about three months ago that our kids found out that empty cans and bottles are worth 5 cents a piece when turned in. Since we rarely ever buy disposable drinks at our house, I didn't even think of telling them! But guess what? Other people purchase drinks. And these disposable-drink consuming people not only buy them in mass quantities, but they abandon and scatter their empty recyclables all over town!
So, our kids have a new, industrious hobby. They can spot a can a mile away, and never come home from an outing empty handed.
Everywhere our family goes, I hear excited voices shouting, "Mom! I found a can!" Or, "Mom, another bottle to add to my collection!"
Then I hear them adding up the amounts in the backseat of the car on the way home, bragging about how many recyclables they each found at the park, or the beach, or the nearby school.
This past weekend we walked over to the baseball park near our house, only to find the trash cans were overflowing with Gatorade bottles, water bottles, and soda cans. After filling three grocery bags, we went home with about $3 in recycle money. My kids were elated!
Watching as the recycle center workers sort the goods.
|Waiting patiently at the cashiers, for the final money count|
My sweet Odin spent all his recycle savings on Christmas gifts for our family.
My sweet Zadok spent about half of his on Christmas gifts and put the rest away for savings.
What better way to celebrate the season than to give sincere gifts of love that you earned yourself, plus give the gift of recycling to mother earth!
On a somewhat related note, my mom often reminds me of the time when I was about 9 years old and our family didn't have enough money to purchase my Tahitian dance costume, so we spent all our extra time collecting cans off the streets. I earned $300 dollars that summer, and will never forget the lesson it taught me in being resourceful. I will also never forget how awkwardly hauole I look in a Polynesian dance costume.
|Sally, circa 1980's. Laie, Hawaii|
Because this is way more fun, that's why. We think they'll love taking them down to the center to collect the money themselves!
Merry Christmas and Happy Recycling!
*I should mention that our kids will be getting toys for Christmas, as well.
* Also, I never let them stick their hands in the trash cans. If they spot a recyclable in a trash can I am the only one who can get it out, and I use protection.
*When they pick up recyclables off the streets they know not to touch the mouth part, and we always sanitize our hands afterwards.