Tales of Dumpster Diving and Other Green Ways to Get By

May 1 2009, 10:59 AM

While I was still in college, I was hired to write for a newspaper that catered to college students. I gleefully wrote tons of I-tried-it pieces, and my favorite article of the bunch detailed my foray into Dumpster diving on the CU-Boulder campus.

For those of you with no experience on the Buffs' turf, it's home to quite a few students who receive hefty parental support. These students often embrace a complete turnover in their lives from year to year while in college--meaning their Dumpsters are lined with flat-screen TVs, futons, and lamps at the end of the spring semester. The purge is renowned: I even met adults from Littleton who drove up to scavenge on move-out day.

My own Dumpster diving yielded a nice charcoal Weber grill, a few tables, an entertainment center, two Pop Tarts (they were in the package … but maybe I shouldn't have eaten those), and a coat.

Which means I'm really endeared to an event this Saturday--a reading and signing from Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers, a collection of essays edited by 5280's own Laura Pritchett, who is proud to admit that she is a Dumpster diver.

The essays have been penned by more than 20 writers who explore a plethora of scavenging stories: eating road kill, bargain hunting at flea markets, and salvaging plastic.

On a deeper level, I appreciate that writers are willing to explore our new, post-consumption culture and discuss how sustainability is not only more affordable, but can be a joyful way of living.

The gig begins at 2 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo location, at 1628 16th St. And in case you can't make the reading but want to pick up a copy of the book, it's available here.