Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Life Lessons: Recycle & Save

By K.J. Cardinal

Here at the Cardinal Blog we are about more than just cute kids and a dorky Dad. We are here to instill in everyone some of life's most important lessons, just as my parents instilled in me.

I feel Angie and I have a rather unique parenting style though, which has yielded a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter that is well behaved 91% of the time and a raging lunatic 9% of the time. So, while our "teaching methods" may not fit your parenting style, the important thing to take away from this running series of "Life Lessons" is really the message moreso than the actions.

With that, let's jump right into Life Lesson #1: Recycle.

From a young age, I can remember my grandfather taking recycling to the Nth degree. Not only would he make a small fortune off recycling his empty Milwaukee's Best cans, but he'd rummage through public trash cans in search of these precious aluminum treasures.

Some people may think, "Gross" or "what was your grandfather, a bum?". While the former may be the true, the latter definitely is not. Papa would take the money from his recycling and set it aside earmarked as lobster money.

That's right, Papa would root through public trash cans to get a taste of that sweet tomalley. He'd save the money so whenever we'd want lobster growing up, that he'd go into the small fortune accumulated through recycling to get us a batch of those beautiful 10-legged creatures. Talk about recycling for all the right reasons.

I mean, sure it's great to save the planet and all that tree-hugging mumbo-jumbo, but the ends have never more justified the means when it comes to recycling. So, I've decided that I'm going to carry the life lesson of recycling on to my children, but put my own spin on it.

Basically, I thought Anna would get a kick out of the recycling machines in the redemption center at the local package store I single-handedly keep afloat. So, we loaded two empty cases of Corona into the Xterra and off we headed to "beer store", as she calls it.


Just as I expected, she loved sliding the bottles into the redemption machine. Sure she felt it was "really loud", but once she learned that the machine would give her a ticket and that the man at the counter would give her money for said ticket, then she was hooked.

Life Lesson #1 also leads us to Life Lesson #2: Save. Anna isn't old enough to determine what she wants to save her recycling money for, but we have a secret hidden stash at home where she's going to keep this savings. I could only be so lucky for her to opt for lobsters someday, but regardless, it's all about learning life's lessons. And, in order to continue recycling and saving, I guess that means that Daddy has to continue drinking. What a shame ; )


  1. Hahahaha....this is probably one of my favorite posts yet. Glad you're carrying on Papa & Dad's tradition of recycling...and also glad you've carried on Papa and Dad's tradition of drinking. I seem to be following in their footsteps as well.

  2. Teaching recycling: GOOD. Having your 2-year-old do your dirty recycling machine business: UM, DIABOLICAL. Letting her save the money: SO SWEET IT HURTS. DRINK ON MY FRIEND!