Weddings can be very costly and normally couples use up most of their savings to celebrate their special day. One engaged couple though, has found a unique way to raise funds for their wedding, and that’s through recycling bottles and cans.
Sounds a bit outrageous considering the refund for recycling one bottle or can is only about 10 cents; but in five months they have raised $6,000! Impressive, though still a bit far from their pledge of 810,000 bottles/cans.
The couple, 29-year-olds Matthew Porter and Leonie Starr, come from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. They started cashing in bottles and cans once the deposit scheme for 10 cents a bottle/can started on the 1st of November 2018.
Porter and Starr are recycling an average of 10,000 units a month and hope to save enough to get married in Vanuatu in 2020.
Starr mentioned that they’ve collected $5,145.50 worth of bottles which is equivalent to 51,455 bottles. Their local TOMRA Recycling Center, inspired by their efforts, even donated $1,000 which the couple said they will use for decorations and flowers.
Although a noble effort to fund their wedding, Porter and Starr have both come to realize just how ambitious and laborious their goal of 810,000 bottles/cans is.
Starr says she needs to take home at least 2,200 bottles a day to achieve such a goal, but so far she has only averaged 10,000 bottles a month. However, that isn’t stopping the couple from getting as close to 810,000 as they can in a year.
She has even said that perhaps aiming for 100,000 would have been more realistic but, Starr and her fiancé have been having fun with their activity as it gets them out and about.
Within the first week of getting engaged, the couple has only paid for the bridesmaid dresses and have yet to make a deposit on other wedding necessities. However, Starr already has her heart set on a wedding dress she hopes to have the money to pay for soon enough.
Upon planning their wedding on a private island in Vanuatu, where they would spend six nights and accommodate 35 guests complete with meals, Starr tells us that the price had Porter nearly falling off the couch. The total cost would be $81,000, and that’s including the actual cost of the wedding itself at $5,000.
Technically, with what they’ve collected so far, they have the wedding already paid off. The couple both think it would be incredibly amazing if they’re able to secure enough recyclables to pay off the entire thing.
Determined, the couple started getting creative with the way they were sourcing the bottles. Starr mentions most of the best places are often by the sides of main roads and highways, as well as near ramps and exits.
Family and friends have even pitched in to help the couple and they’re also getting regular donations from people contacting Starr through their Facebook page. Starr’s happy she’s been meeting all these great people who show a sincere interest in their purpose.
Generally, Starr and Porter spend at most a couple of hours collecting bottles every day. When they have time off work they spend three to four hours of collecting.
Despite their dream wedding still being a year away, Starr and Porter are both excited about what it’s going to be like flying to Vanuatu with their guests to celebrate their special day.