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Day 193: Why Don’t They Have a Recycling Program for Cans in Mexico? Find Out!

I got this guest give today from Nicola Inwood – my sister. She has been living in Mexico for over 10 years. Life is different and one of the things I always notice in Mexico when we travel to visit is the garbage every where. Even in a small resort town like Playa Del Carmen where she lives people disregard the beauty of the coast and just drop garbage everywhere. But this “guest give” shows how a natural recycling program has evolved in Mexico.

Day 192: Give 192

A Double Give Day!   This give fell into my lap and I found it a bit serendipitous under the circumtances.  But it felt great and I am glad it feel in my path.

I live in Mexico, and we have very few opportunities at the moment to recycle.  It drives me nuts and I wish I could participate in a recycling program.  To make me feel better and as a habit that I can not seem to break, I still seperate my garbage into plastic, aluminum, wet garbage and paper.  When one bag gets full it is carried down to the community garbage area in my condo and it all gets lumped in to one pile.

The other day, after an evening get together, my aluminum can garbage bag was full.  Down I went to the garbage to throw out all of these cans.  BACKGROUND:  In mexico, aluminum is worth money.  If you ever come to this beautiful country, you will see people walking around collecting aluminum cans.  They gather bags and bags of cans (mainly beer and pop cans), collapse them and take the empties to a local aluminum guy.  This garbage picking endeavour is the Mexican answer to recycling and people make money to support their families.  In other countries, large recycling companies make money from the kilos of aluminim or plastic that they accumulate.  To give you an idea of the price of these metals, the market price for aluminum is $2.60 Cdn per kilo.  The market value for copper is $25.00 so all electrical and plumbing copper is recycled in the same way.

Back to my story.  As I arrived at the garbage storage area, I saw an older woman with a trolley looking for aluminum cans.  Instead of throwing the large bag of cans I had in the secure garbage area, I walked outside and handed my aluminum cans to this woman.  I was handing her about 3 kilos of aluminum that could be added to her pot.  Her eyes lit up, and we had a nice conversation in spanish.  Her two kids who were also helping, came running up to see what was in the bag and they both smiled.  This was my reward, three smiling and happy people who appreciated the gift.

My double give was done.  I found a way to recycle and I was able to contribute to the livelyhood of a family.  The planet and people benefited.

The challenge is on.  Who can do a double or triple give for their give of the day?

Time Commitment: 5 minutes to pass the bag

Cost: 0

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)