what you need to consider before dumpster diving

If given the opportunity and the anonymity, would you dumpster dive?

It’s for a good cause, we’ve all heard the horror stories about how much food is wasted every year,  we’ve all heard that ‘best before’ dates are pretty flexible too and we all grew up being told to eat our revolting cooked carrots because there are kids starving in Africa. Although I doubt even they would want to eat my Mums attempt at cooked carrots. Yuck.

Like just about everything, it’s a good concept in theory. Like cooking carrots. Like religion. In Australia dumpster divers are called freegans. And they are still in existence which I found surprising. From the moment this movement hit the world, I thought it was going to be a fad like ecosexuality and going to church every Sunday.

It’s surprising how I often I am proven wrong.

If you decided to take up dumpster diving, not only would you be getting free food, you would be rescuing the planet. Less landfill, less consumerism. But nothing is free, even free food taken from the garbage is not free. You pay with your dignity.

In the city it would be different. You could wear a tasteful balaclava; you could buy it with the money you save from not having to buy food, and off you go. Fill those hemp bags with all you can eat. It’s an open buffet.

In the country it’s too hard to remain anonymous when you are in the supermarket isles, let alone when you are engaged in the conspicuous act of rummaging through the rubbish bins, looking for a wedge of Brie to offer your guests later that evening.  And in the country often your reputation is all you have.

There would be no balaclava tasteful enough to combat what your new reputation would be if you were caught. No amount of free Brie cheese would make up for the fact your guests have just found out you are serving food from the local Coles skip bin.

I am all for other people saving the planet. It needs to be done and the freegans are a big part of this. Personally, I don’t have the energy or legs long enough to clamber into a rubbish bin so I like to leave the whole ‘save the planet’ thing to people like Leonardo DiCaprio and my hippy friends who think soap and shampoo is a government conspiracy.

So until I move back to the city or grow longer legs, I am happy in my life of complacent consumerism. Although I detest giant corporations like Coles and Woolworths, there are some battles that are not worth fighting. And for me, that battle is freeganism.

Have you ever been dumpster diving? Do you know anyone who has? Would love to hear about it!

How to be book and street smart

book-1568672There are two kinds of people in life. And no, I am not referring to coffee and tea drinkers. If I was referring to them I would have started with; there are humans and then there are sub humans. 

Just kidding.

Tea drinkers are ok. I have an Aunt who is one.

The two kinds of people are book smart and street smart. For those of you who are not too smart in either sense and don’t know about these kinds of ‘smart’, allow me to explain.

a) Book smart.

These people like books. They like to use big words and knowing their meaning and context is often irrelevant, especially when speaking to a street smart person.

Book smart people understand the world only through how it should be, not how it is currently functioning, which means they don’t really understand the world at all.

They drink tea.

b) Street smart.

This group of humans know how to fight and their fighting skills are usually acquired at the local drinking hole after making the bad decision to switch from beer to spirits.

Street smart people understand the world on a superficial level, but because the world is a superficial place, they actually do understand the world.

So, there you have it. Two types of people in a nut shell.

Assuming you can only be one or the other, which one would you want to be? Which is the more important of the two? Would you be more impressed by someone who had actually finished War and Peace, or by someone who could climb a tree and kill a zombie, preferably at the same time.

Who works harder? And don’t try to tell me that any physical job is harder than reading War and Peace.

These are all trick questions. The answer is you want to be both. You want to be able to go to the pub and get in a fight whilst using big words to commentate the fight you are about to win.

Anyone who is either type of smart has been watching The Walking Dead and making mental notes on how to survive the zombie apocalypse. I can’t see book smart being as useful in surviving the apocalypse as street smart unless War and Peace can be used as a weapon, or, has a section on zombies. 

I haven’t read it so I couldn’t say.

The education system is under fire because it reflects the polarity of the two kinds of smart. Teachers are being made to make fish climb trees and we all know that trees can give you splinters. If you could merge the two kinds of smart into one you would be miles ahead. Our murray cod’s would be climbing trees all over the place and that, my friends, is smart.

Yet increasingly it seems we can’t be both types of smart. Or perhaps we can but one is always valued over the other. Steve Jobs didn’t have a degree and he is a pretty successful guy and I have a friend who has a doctorate in Anthropology and she is not exactly making Steve Jobs kind of money, so the point (making the point again here for the street smart) is to be both kinds of smart. This is the way of the future, this is the only way to earn money and be proud of yourself for earning money. 

So, how can you be both kinds of smart? It’s simple. You need to finish reading War and Peace and be able to use it to survive the zombie apocalypse, probably by using it as a weapon. You need to be both a tea drinker and a coffee drinker. Play to the people around you, switch from one type to the other. 

Most importantly, be a fish that climbs trees. 

If you have are one or the other, or you have been able to become both, leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it.