The after math of Finnish Labour Day, May 1st, Vappu, Vappen… It’s probably Finland’s most important and most looked forward to national holiday.
Also, it confirms Finland as the land of alcohol. To me at least. It’s not a statement that I got out of official channels, even though it’s globally known that Finnish people do like their share.
Although I try not to judge people, I sometimes frown upon people who are trying to make money the easy way (this generally involves all types of criminal efforts, and occasionally things related to social events).
But this one is just too easy to pass.
I remember from my childhood I would go to big events like motocross competitions or open-air concerts and stroll around the premises to find empty bottles and return them to the store for some extra cash.
Vappu in Helsinki is -seriously- THE best time and place to do such a thing.
I’ve been telling my better half already for a few years that I’m going to dress up as a bum one year and just stroll around Helsinki with big trash bags and a shopping trolley to collect empty bottles and cans.
And seriously… After today’s article in the Helsingin Sanomat (one of Finland’s biggest news papers) where it’s stated that there were about 29,000 empty champagne/sparkling wine bottles lying around Helsinki it’s all the more enticing.
Kaisaniemi Park, Vappu 2009
Bottles and cans all over the place
Imagine… Here’s what you get from stores in Finland if you return them empty:
Wine bottles and champagne bottles: € 0,10
Beer cans and beer bottles: € 0,10 or € 0,15
1 and 2 liter Coke (or other soda bottles): € 0,40
0,5 liter soda bottles: € 0,20
According to the newspaper:
29,000 champagne bottles @ € 0,10 = € 2.900,-
I dare to say that for every champagne bottle there’s 3 beer cans or bottles (I wouldn’t at all be surprised if that’s way too little), but let’s round that down for reality’s sake anyway:
65,000 cans/bottles @ € 0,10 = € 6.500,-
Not quite sure what the ratio of soda bottles would be in relation to the alcohol, but let’s be generously negative about that and put it to 5,000. And let’s assume that those are only the 0,5 liter bottles.
5,000 @ € 0,20 = € 1,000,-
That makes together: € 10,400.
Not bad for two days of picking up bottles.
And it cleans up the streets, too!
I wouldn’t think I would get ALL of it, but even if I’d pick up 5% of that I’d still have about € 500.
I’m sure I can buy a bum suit for € 500.
And the 50 cents for the shopping trolley I get back when I return the trolley together with all the empty bottles and cans
As a side note…
That same Helsingin Sanomat article (see link above) states that cleaning the city after Vappu costs the city around € 100.000,- each year.
Imagine if people weren’t too drunk or too lazy to clean up after themselves. Maybe the taxes would go down, too