Tag Archives: freegan

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!