There are no grocery store dumpsters here for me to dive into.

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?

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  1. Wendy!! I found you!! I miss you!! I want to be a dumpster diver but I just can’t make myself jump into them!! I do love freecycle tho!! How in the world have you been?? Oh my – now I REALLY miss you – just thinking about the old days…

  2. PS I forgot to say that you are still gorgeous!!

    Gorgeous? Yes, every extra pound of me! Hey – more of me to love!!! So, how in the world are you and how did you find me?

  3. I know about the freecycle life. I belonged to one of those groups in Covington – on the north shore. I got rid of many a thing in that group. It’s a great idea.

  4. Um – how do they not get 200 diseases from eating out of a dumpster? Really, I want to know…

    Well, they wear gloves and they mostly take packaged food. Surprisingly, it didn’t look too nasty. The bakeries had smaller trash cans, and the old goods were in garbage bags. However, I would NEVER eat a baked good that was “loose” in a garbage bag, would you? As long as there was no mold, or other refuse in the bag, they took it. I guess the old adage applies here, “That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”!

  5. Wow! This is pretty awesome! From your daughter who no longer likes to take plastic bags from Wal-Mart or Target (because I bought the reusable ones!), I am VERY interested in this!

    Where can I sign up for this Freecycle thing? I need some porch furniture and some plywood to put under my couch to keep the kitty from using it as a hideout!

    I’ll get the link and activate it in the post. Further, that’s where your electric blanket came from. BTW, did you take it with you? I might have use for it!

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