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 â€¦ 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.