There are two ways you can support charities: through direct donations and through supporting fundraisers.
Donations are tax deductible for those who itemize their taxes. 100% of donations go to the charity.
Fundraisers are not tax deductible because you are purchasing a good. A percentage of the “donation” goes to covering the cost of the good.
Purchasing Girl Scout cookies is a perfect example. Only a small portion of the cost of each box actually goes to the scout, but you do get those delicious cookies.
I prefer to donate directly to the scout as I do not really need another cookie. 100% of my donation goes to the scout.
Neither method is better than the other. They both contribute to the worthy cause of your choice.
The MCC Bicycle club had a fundraising event tonight, from 5:00 – 9:00 PM at Chipotles. 50% of the sales receipts will go to the club which will then be split evenly between the American Diabetes Association and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
We all know people that are affected by these two diseases. Please consider supporting one of our fundraisers, or you can make a direct donation through either of these two links:
There is easy money to be had with your bicycle. There really is no special equipment required, although a rack and panniers or a basket will make it easier and therefore more profitable. What I am talking about is picking up recyclable containers from the roadside while you are out riding. There is guaranteed money in ten states currently. The other forty states you will need to take your haul to a recycle center where you will be paid based on the grade, or quality of your metal, and by weight.
I have certain guidelines that I use, but they are just that, guidelines.
I do not stop for containers when my speed exceeds 15 mph.
I do not stop for containers that are damaged beyond what I can return.
I do pick up any container that I have already stopped for regardless of its condition or return ability.
If I pick it up I do not put it back regardless of its condition or return ability. (that feels like littering to me!)
While I will pick up the occasional non-returnable can, they do not count in my spreadsheet.
Do not leave the bike. (occasionally I will climb over a guardrail if there is sufficient motivation)
Why don’t I stop for containers when my speed exceeds 15 mph? Well the speed of 15 mph is kind of pulled out of a hat. But, it is basically the reason I don’t pick up containers when I am driving my car. It takes too long to come to a complete stop to collect the container. It is just a guideline. Frequently, I do stop. Sometimes I see more than one container. I will usually stop if there is more than one container there.
If a can has been flattened by cars, or a bottle is missing its label, I won’t stop for it. I can’t return it and I do not have the carrying capacity to pick up all the garbage on the side of the road. If I could, I would! However, the next guideline trumps this one.
If I stopped for a container, I pick it up regardless of whether or not it is returnable. Why? It fooled me once so it will probably fool me again if I do not pick it up. I have a collection of flattened cans that is growing. When it gets large enough I will take it to the recycle center and get money for the aluminum instead of the deposit. Stores don’t take damaged cans around here even though they crush them as soon as I give it to them. Its just a loophole in the law they like to take advantage of.
All right, I picked up a container. Only now, I notice it’s not returnable. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t throw it back on the ground. I feel like I am littering. I do not do that!
If you are tracking the amount of money you are making picking up containers from the side of the road, don’t count the non-returnable ones. It will just skew your calculations of how much you are making. The money will be recorded at some point when you recycle the aluminum.
In general, I do not leave my bike. Occasionally have I left my bike and climbed over a guardrail to retrieve some containers. Usually, if I can’t reach it from my bike, I don’t get it. I do ride my bike into ditches.
In another post I will show you how to make kitty litter box panniers as well as five-gallon bucket carriers. I do have kits for sale to make both of these. You must supply the boxes and/or the buckets due to the cost of shipping. I guarantee that you will make back the cost of the kits in almost no time if you use them.
You will get more exercise recycling cans than you do on a regular bike ride. Every stop will require at least one “toe touch” or bending down to pick up the container. It will require a “trunk twist” to place it in your pannier. Accelerating from a stop requires more energy than maintaining a constant speed. Climbing out of ditches with (or without) a bicycle takes some doing; it requires a lot of energy.
Not only is collecting containers by bike more exercise that regular biking, it is probably safer, too. How is that? Well, assuming that the most danger while biking comes from other vehicles on the road, you will be safer the farther you are from the road. Most of the containers are not lined up on the shoulder of the road. They are usually in the ditches. Most cars are not going to hit you while you are in a ditch.
Is this a profitable endeavor? It sure is! I wouldn’t quit my day job for this. It is now the middle of May. To date, I have collected $48.45 from the side of the road. It works out to about $.05 per mile or $.61 per hour. Keep in mind that I do not pick up containers every time I go riding. I do not pick up every container I see, and that I have a limited capacity for carrying containers. My current average is 53 containers on each ride.
Collecting returnable containers with a bicycle is great exercise. It is probably safer than just riding your bike and it is profitable. On top of all of that, it is also good for the environment. People appreciate the work I do, too. Several people have stopped and said, “Thank you!” to me. No one has ever stopped and asked me to return the containers to the side of the road, not even when I am removing them from their recycle bin.
For non-returnable containers or states that do not accept returns, you can increase your profits dramatically by melting the aluminum cans into small ingots and selling them to the recycle center or online. Check out one sample here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHD10DjxM1g) I will get a post about how I made out doing this sometime in the near future.