A couple of weeks back, I mentionned a man that walks up my street every Monday, around 7PM.
Every week, he pushes a shopping cart around the neighbourhood. A cart filled with garbage bags, and I guessed that he was checking the surounding parks’ trash cans for empty bottles he could get a refund for, at the grocery store. He seems to be working hard, and because of his walking pace, I missed him a couple of times, even if I ran downstairs as soon as I would hear the rattling of the cart’s wheels on the side walk.
Today, I got ready at about 6h30 PM, and at 6h45, I was on our downstairs balcony, hoping to see the man appear. I didn’t have to wait for more than 5 minutes. There he was, going through the content of a recycling bin a couple of buildings down the street.
I was nervous.
When he arrived in front of our home, I waved at him and he stopped, pulling the buds out of his ears, to see what I wanted.
He was all smiles, and I knew right away, that I was doing the right thing.
I asked him if he was collecting empty bottles and cans. He nodded, ”Anything I can get a refund for, really” he replied. I told him that I had noticed him passing by every week, and he confirmed that unless he had a bad harvest day, this was his usual schedule.
I explained that we weren’t going to the grocery store since the begining of the pandemic, and that we had bags of bottles, I’d be happy to give him, if he wanted them. He smiled even more and accepted the offer, so I ran back inside the apartment to get him one of the bags.
His cart was already pretty full, so I told him I could leave a bag on the balcony the next weeks, for him to take. He seemed very happy with the deal, and asked for my permission to come on our balcony, and I assured him that if there was a black bag when he passed by our building, it would be for him.
We waved goodbye, and I ran back upstairs to make a happy dance.
I didn’t change this man’s life, but we’ll be helping him a little. And that makes me happy.
P.S. Yes, yes, because of this, we won’t have to go to the grocery store to return our cans and bottles… That’s (partly) why this post is called Win-win.