Dumpster diving: common sense conservation

By Emma Sandrolini

When I first heard the term “dumpster diving” I thought it was a recreational activity where people jump into dumpsters. For those who don’t know, dumpster diving is when people raid dumpsters and find valuable items such as furniture, food, etc. With the environment and the economy in the dumps (yes, pun intended,) dumpster diving has become a recent craze in Marin.

The average person would agree that going through dumpsters is gross, but dumpster diving has been catching on in our community as a way to be more eco-friendly and help reduce land waste and pollution. It’s not only for the homeless; it’s for people who have a strong belief that America (being the largest creator of garbage per person than any country in the world), needs to cut down on waste.

It’s disturbing to find that people dismiss divers as nothing but odd. The reality is, these people are passionate about providing for their family. And, it’s even more so a movement that is especially cogent among the environmentalists and green companies who simply don’t want to see so much go to waste.

The company Burts Bees, who is known for their famous lipbalm and other natural beauty products, took part in “Dumpster Day,” an event held to educate the Burt’s Bees employees about land waste reduction. Taking place in North Carolina, Dumpster Day saved 2.8 tons of trash from landfills and resulted in a 50 percent reduction in waste in 2008. And most astonishingly, it saved Burts Bees $25,000.

Many people are hesitant of Dumpster diving, because they think it is illegal. However, it is legal in the U.S.

While I’ve never dumpster dived myself, I think it’s an inspiring example of physically taking action to reduce waste.