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For over three years now, my friends and I have had an obsession with collecting pop tabs, those metal pieces top top the tops of aluminum cans. The idea behind collecting the pop tabs is that they have the right to be donated come the Ronald McDonald home Charities, an organization that helps households with sick children resident near to wherein their child’s therapy is located. 

Our collecting had actually humble beginnings. My girlfriend LG just put a solo cup top top the TV stand and asked us to traction the tabs off our beers and also throw lock in. After ~ a couple of weeks, the cup was currently full. What we had achieved was incredible, every without getting up indigenous our huge brown couch. We started to dream about all the great we to be doing for the world. A have the right to thrown right into the trash v its tab quiet on to be met with substantial hostility. “Save a tab, conserve a life,” came to be our motto.

After our Halloween party, “3 Spooky Main,” (named after our hallway in Alumni) a purple pumpkin Halloween pail came to be our new collecting bin. That’s when things really began to ramp up. Our hearts began to wonder. Just how long would certainly it take to fill the pumpkin? might it even be done? can we conserve that numerous lives?

Pop tab collection came to be a sort of competition, a team sport played against the the contrary of time. My friends and I would certainly scrounge approximately bars, pulling popular music tabs off exit beer cans, drawing questioning glances native the unenlightened. Tailgate season meant jingling pockets filled with pop tabs ~ long hours in the stadium parking lot. Division from school meant someone had to take the pumpkin home and care because that it. On one of those breaks I went to a pottery painting store with my climate nine-year-old sister. She painted a vibrant rainbow lizard, an expression of her personal imagination and creativity. Ns revealed exactly how entrenched I remained in this search by happen on hundreds of various animals, characters, and other blank pottery shapes in the store prior to finally taking one white bowl from a shelf and also drawing in big green letters, “Save a tab, save a life.”

It wasn’t until this Fall, much more than 3 years after ours collecting began, the the pumpkin to be full. Us made guesses regarding how many pop tabs were within the beast. After an afternoon that counting, the tally stood in ~ a little over 7,300 pop tabs. 

Amazed at what we had actually accomplished, I decided to watch what our aluminum filled pumpkin was worth. Depending on the industry for high-grade aluminum, the Ronald McDonald home receives between $0.40 to $0.50 per lb of popular music tabs. It takes about 1,128 pop tabs to equal one pound. That method that in ~ best, a pop tab is worth around $0.0004. In various other words, you require 23 tabs to earn a penny. After over 3 years that collecting, through contributions comes from dozens of people, mine friends and I had actually only raised around $3.

I to be at an initial taken aback, but it no take long to make feeling of that all. I think we had actually known the whole time that us were never doing this because that charity. Us were act this for us. It had all to be a game. A video game with no actual consequence. 

The pop tab collecting program was started as a method to teach kids about philanthropy and also the prominence of recycling. That was never meant to it is in a significant source of funding for the Ronald McDonald House. The routine brings in about $6000 a year, compared to the $34.7 million that was donated in 2018 via McDonald’s restaurant promoted fundraisers. 

I recognize collecting popular music tabs is a an extremely popular pastime across campus, through some dorms also sponsoring the activity. While ns don’t want to discourage anyone from doing something that will certainly objectively lead to some good, ns think it’s necessary that people know the ends the they are working towards. 

Going down the bar in ~ Newfs ripping turn off the pop tabs of 30 empty white claws is a many fun and also an amazing way to relax social anxiety, yet it won’t save anyone’s life. If you want to collect pop tabs go ahead. It have the right to be a funny group task and that does technically assist others; simply know you’re no Saint mommy Theresa, or really anybody who provides an hour of their time.


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Kerry Schneeman | The Observer

Matthew is the 3-Talley RA in Alumni Hall, native Cincinnati. He majors in Civil Engineering through an itty bitty young in Theology. Creating this tower is the critical in his long list of quickly lived passions. He can be reached at and also
coltonjorge ~ above Twitter.

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The see expressed in this shaft are those of the author and also not have to those of The Observer.