Thursday, 4 December 2008

A hop and a skip

Just when you start to forget you are living in a squat...


Here in this bag are some of the results of a "sushi snatch" carried out by Kitchen Sink Neighbour the other night, in her twice-monthly city dumpster sushi hunts. The last time we feasted on free and very freshly-made sushi was from the equivalent of £500's worth of perfectly fine food that Kitchen Sink Neighbour had lugged back with her a few weeks ago.

Fear not, if the concept of eating out of the dumpster turns you green. As you can see, all of the freshly-made sushi has been packaged up. With a freezer (or indeed, just leaving it outside in the night air, the winter temperatures of late doing a very good freezer impression all on their own), they can be preserved a little while longer.

In fact, dumpster diving (or skipping, dumpster-raiding, tatting, skally-wagging, alley surfing) is nothing new. The Wikipedia definition is "the practice of sifting through commercial and residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but which may be useful to the Dumpster diver".

Although traditionally, most people resort to dumpster diving out of economic necessity, like the rag and bone man or the karung guni in Singapore, others may practice dumpster diving for various economic and personal reasons. Those who participate in "freeganism", for example, dumpster dive to avoid the materialistic consumer lifestyle.

Regardless of what you wish to call it, the main thing I have learned in my relatively recent exposure to skipping is just how much good food and decent furniture gets thrown away, for no real reason (food may have a better reason, of course, but furniture can be fixed).

An eye-opener, if nothing else, and certainly encourages you to question the point of consumerism and your own personal materialism.

For more insight into skally-wagging, check out this amazing and informative blog My Dumpster Diving Adventures for opinions and photographs by one expert dumpster diver in the USA. Prepare to be astounded!