I Collect Garbage
I go “canning”. It’s true, I am a dedicated “canner”.
Canning??? Ok, so “canning” is my made up term for “I pick up pop bottles wherever I go, return them at my local grocery store, and I save the cash refund in a tiny container in hopes of one day becoming a billionaire.”
Some people might call this recycling. Fine. Call me a recyclist if you will, but I prefer the term “canner”, it seems classier.
How It Started
In the beginning of the summer, I decided that my typical I-am-a-loser-and-I-have-no-friends routine would include regular exercise. So, I took a solo bike ride to the nearby middle school track for my first run of the season. The run was great, but the track was a mess.
Have you ever seen so much garbage on the side of a road that a big gust of wind actually causes the garbage to spin around in circles like a little tornado? If so, you can imagine the scene at my hometown middle school track. It was disgusting. Hot Cheetos wrappers along the fences, empty pop cans on the bleachers, discarded athletic tape floating around the football field; there was garbage everywhere.
Maybe it was my desire to have the tiniest bit of control over something in my life, (living with my parents, being unemployed, and having no money were not exactly my life goals) or maybe it boiled down to having too much time on my hands. Whatever the reason, I decided to take care of the middle school track like it was my baby.
Saving The Environment
The following morning, I did the same thing. The day after that, I brought a rake to separate the garbage from the tracks chain link fence. The next morning I pulled weeds from the track. For three months I polished the middle school track and field all while whipping myself into shape. Even when I eventually got a job, I woke up early to ride my bike to the track.
During this entire time, I continued to recycle every single pop bottle that I found. I made it a habit to start my cleaning by picking up the trash first, and then as the sun began to rise, I would walk a lap and collect the bottles on the tracks perimeter. To me, collecting cans was relaxing, calming, and even peaceful.
While cleaning the track, I contemplated life. As I collected bottles, I thought about my future, envisioned my career and made big plans.
3 notable things happened that summer
1) I got a job. (My first post-college real adult-job!)
2) I turned the middle school track from a disgusting pit of garbage into a clean and shiny exercise mecca. (Three cheers for happy environments! Hip-hip-hooray!)
3) I developed a canning addiction. (I love recycling!)
Sometimes, if I have a lot on my mind, I grab a drawstring backpack, go for a walk, or visit the high school track in my new town to search for bottles. To me it is fun. It helps reduce my stress and it makes me happy that I am helping clean up the environment.
Canning is my hobby.
What Would You Do?
I want to know, if you were me, what would you do with this money? I could give suggestions, like “I want the money to go back into the environment”, or “I would like to donate the money to…”, or “I want to save for a new car.” But, I don’t want to give any guidelines. I seriously want to know what you would do. I’m looking for unique ideas, and if I like your suggestion, I might copy your plan.