It is possible that you have seen a rather peculiar woman walking around the streets of Hamilton over the last four years. If you have, I hope you gave a wave…because I am she.
My walk this week had me coddiwompling through Ancaster. It was a Monday morning and it turned out to be garbage/recycling pickup day. I remember a time when I would plan my walks around when it was recycling day because I was one of ‘those’ people. The (usually) guy people who search the blue recycling boxes for bottles and cans of the alcoholic persuasion to be turned in to the beer store to collect the refund on the deposit. Quite often it would be guys who were a little down on their luck because most people are not that willing to work as hard as they do. They are often out there rain or shine – and early enough to beat the recycling truck. Not an easy task.
Now, I was not one of ‘those’ people because of collecting glass bottles and cans but I would pick up plastic containers that I could use for The Soap Kitchen.
To make a long story even longer – I run monthly workshops where I teach people to make their own laundry soap. It is eco-friendly, ultra low-cost laundry soap. When making this laundry soap I need containers that can hold liters and liters of the laundry soap to give away.
The containers we use can be any waterproof container but we do have favourites. Handles are best and clear containers are easiest to pour into and different sizes are useful as well. I provide all of the supplies for each workshop so I have to have a huge stash of containers ready to go. When I first started The Soap Kitchen I would find out which neighbourhood had recycling day and plan my walk accordingly.
My walks no longer include container hunting because I have so many people collecting them for me. Arlene and Henry provide me with a steady stream of orange juice containers. Doreen and Minnie bring bags of containers when they come to the workshop. People hand me laundry detergent containers in the fellowship hall after church. They have to be rinsed out well and then they are ready to share with lots of people.
Since I no longer include laundry-soap-suitable container collecting on my walks I no longer take along large bags to hold the containers I would come across. But on Monday I was walking past a place that had some of my favourite containers (the Simply Orange brand) peeking out of the recycling box. I noticed that they were all tied together and I would be able to carry it easily. So I scooped them up and they accompanied me on the remainder of my walk.
Now I will confess that it may have looked a little odd with me marching down the quiet streets of Ancaster with the grand loot that I had accumulated clunking at my side but there it was.
I noticed a meter-reader in the court I was walking on and she could not resist asking if I was really thirsty. Of course, I had to tell her why I was walking around with this treasure. I told her about my walking project and about The Soap Kitchen and she seemed genuinely interested. I think I remember that her name was Christine and she was so lovely to chat with.
I really do meet the nicest people.