Dumpster Diving

Frugalists Use Society’s Trash

Frugalists hate to see waste and find plenty of places to score the stuff they need. “You just have to know where to look,” they advise. Some scoop items up off the curb, attend organized giveaway events and browse Internet posts such as Freecycle.org. Others peruse catalogs, and then locate what they want at local thrift shops. Self-proclaimed frugans search dumpsters behind food stores.

“If Americans didn’t demand pristine produce and bread baked fresh daily, there would be little for dumpster divers to find,” observes MSNBC.com reporter Allison Linn. “And, if we didn’t lust for new couches long before the old springs had gone soft, and new jeans, months before the current ones had developed holes, there would be little for thrift store aficionados and garage sale lovers to buy.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans produce an average of 4.6 pounds of waste per person per day—nearly a ton a year. We all create tons of bargains for those willing to take a second look at our consumer culture.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Hyperloop Hyper-Speed

Plans are underway in Europe for a vacuum-tube mode of transport capable of zooming people and freight safely overland at 700 miles per hour.

Rethinking Toiletries

It’s easy to load up on pricey personal care products that ultimately get little use, but a few key strategies can simplify daily life as well lower expenses and waste.

Meat Menace

New data shows that emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with three large meat producers emitting as much as some oil companies.

Loving It

McDonald’s says it will end the use of harmful polystyrene foam packaging globally by year’s end, and Dunkin’ Donuts is phasing out its polystyrene foam cups in favor of paper cups.

Boston Ban

Joining a nationwide movement, Boston has banned single-use plastic shopping bags, requiring shoppers to bring their own totes or pay for eco-friendly bags.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags