Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The allure of dumpster diving

There are obvious benefits to dumpster diving, especially the constant and dizzying array of free stuff. Dedicated divers should never have to purchase fruits & vegetables, beer, bread, soda, shampoo, lotion, or candy. There is also the ecological benefit of putting to good use what would otherwise be wasted in a landfill. But such lofty idealism gets lost before the mountain of stuff.

Less obviously, another draw of the diving life is the Christmas-y sense of anticipation one gets, especially at a reliable dumpster. It's a giddy quickening that many shopaholics are hooked on, but in this case is not followed by a credit card bill.

Diving brings in so much extra stuff that the diver can share the surplus. This giving away, light on labor and cost free, gives one a sense of contribution to the group and of being a provider. This is a powerful benefit because many dive out of economic necessity due to a lost job. Diving, in this regard, is a very dignifying act....

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