It’s a very unusual thing for me to A)Turn the TV on at 4 in the afternoon B)Leave it on to watch Oprah Winfrey, but I did. A “tease” drew me in while folding clothes, so I fell for it.
Everything happens for a reason, and I learned something I really needed to know. This post comes on the heels of having read Heather Here’s post No More Keeping up with the Joneses.
The people featured on Oprah have gone way beyond not keeping up with the Joneses. They are sort of keeping up with and competing with the homeless. How? By meeting up in big groups (safety in numbers) and rummaging through the most lucrative dumpsters in their cities–behind grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries.
These are educated, professional people, some still earning six-figure incomes, who are appalled by the over consumption and waste in America. They have their dumpster diving down to such a shopless science, that one couple bragged about only spending $10-20 a week on items they can’t find in the dumpster. All the rest of their food, including lots of fresh fruits and veggies, comes from the trash.
They call themselves Freegans, and food’s not all they scavenge. They buy used clothing, and curb shop for furniture. They are among the ranks of millions who have entered the e-world of “Free Cycle“, an internet presence where people list free items on the forum, and people who are looking, find what they need. They then exchange messages or emails, often allowing the strangers to come to their homes to get their item, or a safer way for some is to meet in a public place. Either way, this looks like the ultimate in recycling.
I wonder as Heather does, what happens to an economy based on consumerism when the consumers drastically reduce their consumption?