Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Will Recycle for Beer and Chips

I recycle my newspapers, cans and bottles because I want to preserve the Earth’s natural resources. Who am I kidding? The real reason I recycle is because: (a) I’ve already paid for the darn bottles and cans through the CRV (California Redemption Value) tax and I want my money back, and, (b) because I need some “mental therapy money” to buy junk food and beer. (Nothing soothes a broke, irritated soul like beer and potato chips.)

This month I netted $8.61 from 2-month’s worth of recyclables. Was my time and effort worth a measly $8.61? You betcha.

First of all, it was virtually effortless to keep the cans/bottles separated from my trash. As for the newspapers, I just let it collect in the back corner of the room away from my line of sight. (What I can’t see won’t bother me.)

I am very fortunate to have several recycling centers from which I can choose. For my most recent adventures in recycling, I walked my bottles to the local supermarket that has a mobile center on-site. I was carrying almost 7 lbs, so this brisk 2 block (one-way) walk gave me some badly needed exercise.

Since the mobile recycling center doesn’t accept newspapers, I took my newspaper to another site that is approximately 3.5 miles away from my apartment. Since I’ve already calculated that my car burns $1 worth of gas for every 6 miles I drive, the cost involved to recycle my newspaper was only 60 cents or so. I also did this en route to work so I didn’t need to make an unnecessary trip.

One of my friends commented I shouldn’t bother since my time is worth so much more. Really? It only took me about 15-20 minutes at the recycling center to get my money. I don’t think sacrificing 15-20 minutes during my free time (that I would otherwise be spending watching TV) to earn $8.61 is worthless. The fact that I’m also doing something good for the environment is a great karmic bonus.

And I'm happy to say, I did buy a 6-pack of beer and 2 bags of junk food for only a buck, thanks to my recyclables.


Abby said...

Good stuff. I didn't think places did pay for cans anymore. I'll have to find out if they do that here in WA. My mom used to take me on walks, collecting cans. (Alaska is terrible about littering.) And I was allowed to keep the weekly profits from cans and newspaper.

Thanks for the idea!