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

Spring Decluttering

Getting rid of the old can by done step by step, opening up space not only in our closets but in our psyches.

Tips for a Tree-Free Home

By switching to electronic bills, substituting cloth for paper napkins, and supporting tree-planting non-profits, we can help preserve the planet’s forests.

Poor Packaging

Each minute, one million plastic bottles are sold around the world, and most end up in the trash rather than being recycled.

Eco Jets

Europe’s EasyJet airline is working to get electric-powered planes into the sky with room for up to 220 passengers and a range of 335 miles.

Plastic Pushback

The Bahamas is joining such countries as Antigua, Belize, Kenya and the United Kingdom in moving to ban plastics linked to marine litter.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags