There's more to this project than money.
It's true, I make five to ten cents per acceptable bottle or can that I recycle. However, I make no money for glass jars, wine bottles, or paper that I encounter. However, I still recycle them. Yeah, it sounds like I'm tooting my horn. I recycle. Big deal. But what I truly love is that I'm reaching my kids, not just teaching my kids.
I was driving my 4 year old to a school field trip with two other little girls. And on the back of my car, I have a sign taped up that reads, "Five Million Can Project, 5,000,000 cans = 2 college educations. And one of the girls asked my daughter, "What's that?" And my little blonde imp said, "Oh, that's so everyone know that we recycle and they can remember to do it too."
Sometimes you don't realize what kind of impact you have on your kids. And then a little glimmer of light comes through that shows that they're really soaking up what you say.
And my 1 1/2 year old son-- one and a half-- was relieved when I finally let him out of his car seat and propped him up in the grocery cart so he could place cans and bottles in the machine that takes each item and sorts it. He giggled madly as he peered into the hole and watched the conveyor belt carry it left or right. Just showing this to my kids... at least it's one thing I'm doing right.
And I want to thank Kathryn for letting me come clean out her apartment's garage. She had several bottles and cans for me and said that her garage had not had the recycling taken in a few weeks. They don't have a service, apparently, but had a tenant who moved take out the recycling. I couldnt' fit it all in my car, there was so much. I have returned 378 more bottles today, not including the 50 or so large containers that won't fit in the machine and the 5 bags of glass jars and bottles that don't count towards the California Refund Value. I'll be stopping by Kathryn's apartment later today to pick up the 200 or so glass bottles that are still waiting for me.
I wish I could get as excited about pretty much anything else, but finding a recyclable item (especially one I can recycle and make money from) is like a treasure hunt for me. And like the bible says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." My heart is really in this.
So, today, my treasure has rewarded me with another $18.90 plus.
Grand total: 5,396 cans and bottles and $269.80