Dumpster Diving

Dumpster diving involves picking through discarded trash for usable material goods and edible food. Although many engage in this activity solely out of economic necessity, Dumpster diving, as it is used here, is a critical or frugal reaction to the wastefulness of the consumer society. Dumpster diving is the modern-day variant of scavenging but is often done for a variety of political, environmental, and ethical reasons. Dumpster divers, also known as “freegans,” live off the enormous amount of waste produced by the modern world. (“Freegan” combines “free” and “vegan,” although not all freegans are vegans). Some Dumpster dive to protest capitalism and the hyper-consumptive society it produces. Others scavenge because they want to lessen their impact on the environment.

Dumpster diving highlights an interesting paradox ...

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