February 14, 2010

The Pop Can & Roller Skate Experiment

It's Super Bowl Sunday. A gorgeous Salem afternoon. I could care less about the game, and I've wanted to go roller skating for a week. (Roller derby with Tabitha inspired me.)

I put on my skates, florescent pink high-tops from the 90s, and realized: I could get exercise and make money. I made 100 copies of a note saying "I'll collect your Super Bowl cans and bottles!... Leave 'em on the porch tomorrow or Tuesday." Everyone drinks a lot during the game, right? I may as well help them with the icky job of taking the cans to the store. I figure I can take a whole bunch in at a time and hoped to make some decent cash.

I skated around to 75 homes. I was soooo close to finishing delivering my notes, but a neighbor's dogs escaped, and the owners were not home. Mission redirected. I found the dogs but they wouldn't come close enough to catch. (Do I look that threatening???)

Wow. Bruised ankles were the only negative, but enjoying the sunshine and actually moving my body felt great. I later drove and jogged to the houses on Monday and Tuesday. More exercise and great weather! It's been a great while since I truly exercised.

10 bags of bottles later, I head to the stinky, sweet-smelling bottle room at the local grocer. I learned how to use the noisy machines, found my rhythm, and recycled over 300 cans and bottles.


Grand total of slimy bottle return slips: $16.25
Hours invested: 3.5
Earnings: $4.75/hour.

Was the wage worth it? If you add in exercise, fresh air, a good goal, talking to neighbors, saving dogs, and bruised ankles, YOU BET!

Will I do it again?
Only as a mode of forced exercise. I rarely get out of the house to exercise, and collecting stinky Bud Lite bottles seems to be motivation enough for me!


  1. I enjoyed reading this. Your use of math made it interesting for those of us interested in numbers.

  2. LOL - My math skills are undeniable! (Numbers were estimated.)
    I'm applying to be an after school math tutor. I'll keep you posted.

  3. You are something else Rose:)

  4. Rene... Why on earth do you say that? Seriously interested to hear your witty answer...
    Greetings from a different time zone!

  5. Thx. My brilliant self, sometimes demonstrates its scintillation to the rest of the cosmos. I suppose this must be one of those moments... ;)

  6. awesome girl! love this! glad i could have inspired a great afternoon of excersice!
    good way to avoid bruised ankles: tape a makeup sponge in the boot of your skate where your ankle bone rubs against the boot (cut a dip into the sponge to make room for your bone to fit in the grove, but leave enough padding to cushion the rubbing action. this should help! other option: ditch the high tops for low tops. :)

  7. LOL Because I wear so SO much makeup, I am sure it will be easy to find a makeup sponge in my plethora of sponge piles :)
    No, joking... I have tape. I was thinking of taping a thin sock around my ankle.
    I am too broke to buy short skates. Logically, they would be awesome and helpful and more fun, but.. $, you know what I'm sayin' yo?


  8. i hear ya. i don't wear makeup either. but the sponges are cheaper than new skates :)