17 November 2005

Scummy Skipper / Dirty Dumpster Diver

noun [C] (US TRADEMARK Dumpster)
a container designed to receive and transport and dump waste
Synonyms: ashcan, circular file, dustbin, garbage pail, trash basket, trash can, waste basket, wastebin, wastepaper basket, compost heap, garbage bag, litter basket, skip, trash bag, wastebasket, wastebin, wastepaper basket

I got that look again today. That disgusted horrified look. "Ohh! thats dirty" .

I told someone that sometimes I eat from skips.

If your not familiar with the practice of dumpster diving reading this you might to still be in that horrified stage - posibilly picturing me fighting with rats for that half eaten meals... but next time someone in Leeds makes you roast asparagus with fresh basil pesto and home made guacamole.. or in wellington fresh kumara soup and toasted onion bagels.. wonder where the ingredients came from.

You can get all sorts from skips & bin. Clothes, furniture, kitchenware.. well anything and everything. But why I especially like dumpster diving food is because it used to make me so mad to see what's in there. (Ok it still does but hey somthings its hard to be horrified when your faced with nice big punnets of blueberries & strawberries or a gialnt box of shitake mushrooms).

As an example the Leeds 'magic skip' its a veg wholesaler which means as it has to go on to other places stuff would be thrown away before it turned. Most of it is packaged up so its not even slightly gross. And things like Oranges & Bananas have their own skins. So.. I'd read the boxes & packets and they'd be from Brazil.... Zimbabwe... New Zealand.... All over. Somebody grows this food, and is probably underpaid for it, then we put it on a plane pumping out heaps of carbon dioxide so we could eat things out of season, and then while most of it was still perfect to eat - maybe a moldy orange or soggy mushroom, in a pack of totally good ones - we chuck it away to fester in a landfill where is can leach out methane and add more greenhouse gasses to our out of control climate. Thats disgusting. Thats horrifying.

So I'm dirty? Redifine dirty.. whats really dirty is what we leave behind.. the chemicals we put down our sink and over our houses & gardens, the carbon and toxins we pump into the atmosphere, the feces we flush down the loo into the watercourses & sea, the plasitc we throw away and the veg we dump in landfills adding to the climate chaos. This dirt will be around for a long time, it will outlive us. Our kids and grandkids can clean up our dirt.

And they call me dirty for recycling perfectly good food.

So I skip to reduce my carbon footprint, to live cheaply and cos its fun! The magic skip in Leeds was like the local shop.. you'd meet friends there as you perused the selection. Wellington has a cake skip... Fresh bread, donuts, almond croissants, pecan pie, chocolate cake.. hmm am I even beggining to tempt you?

If your all really good and post nice comments I'll tell you the story about how I got half of Christchurch police after me for dumpstering..


i just found a whole directory on yahoo on Dumpster DIving.. its under Hobbies?!

If you missed that link before this is really good carbon footprint calculator.


john said...

unfortunatly the dumpsters in my area are a but dry (its a poor area) though whenever im heading home from town i try and hit a few. Now iv been hassled by security and once a manager of a store but never the police, please tell more :)

fran said...

Skipping... hard to do when you're travelling cos it takes a while to find good skips... it's a bit of a shock for me not being down the road from Tossco. And following on from your next comment, I have possessed various pairs of skipped shoes, thus bypassing the problem of giving your money to sweatshops or the leather industry. Sometimes takes some time to find the right shoes though. Oxfam skips are worth checking out as they get shitloads of donations and chuck a lot of it out.
Glad to hear you're finding reclaimable food anyway. I have been drinking cheap beer and eating pancakes in Poland. Got to Lithuania this morning and there is still SNOW! hooray!