Confessions of a Dumpster Diving Junkie

Today I went trash can diving for spoons in Cherry Berry (a chain of healthyish frozen yogurt stores). I’ve been going to the outside trash can because sometimes will throw away their cups and spoons out there, but sometimes it’s empty and that’s always disappointing. I knew that there would probably be more spoons inside, but in order to get them then I would have to buy something and if I buy some everyday then I’m sure I’d gain 15 pounds in a week and that’s not good. I figure if I go in once a week and stock up and then get a few outside all the rest of the days then I should be in pretty good shape, both physically and spoon stocking wise.

If you had asked me a year ago if I would be able to go dumpster diving while people were sitting right next to the trash, I would have died of embarrassment right then and there.

I used to be so self conscious that I could barely walk through a clothes store. I was so afraid of looking stupid or being noticed for any reason or in any way that it took all the courage I had just to leave my house. Then I became a journalist intern for the newspaper and I learned what feeling stupid really felt like. I had to go so outside my comfort zone that whenever I wasn’t working I felt pretty good.

Now, dumpster diving is a whole other issue. I still hate being noticed, but it’s to the point that I no longer have to let it control me which comes in handy when you’re digging around in a trash can while people sit right beside it. I managed to time it well enough that there weren’t too many people, but there was a small group a few feet away. I had already finished my yogurt and it was weird to be sitting there for no reason, so while they weren’t looking I grabbed as many spoons as I could. I had a zip lock bag in my purse so I stuffed them in there as fast as I could. I looked around to make sure no one was looking and then grabbed a few more. When I looked up there was a girl staring right at me with her eyes wide as could be. Now by this time my old self would have died of embarrassment. This time I was pretty embarrassed, but it was pretty funny instead of life threatening. So instead of dying, I just cracked up laughing. I’m sure I looked like an idiot, but it was hard to care. I stuffed the spoons in my bag and then go out of there as fast as possible. Again, I’m sure I looked a little insane. I find dumpster diving to be extremely fun and it’s kind of like a treasure hunt. You have to find the stuff and then you get to make stuff out of it. The rewards go on and on. So really I just had so much fun that I didn’t care what that girl thought. It’s a relief no doubt even if does mean that I’m a little crazy.

Then I had to go to Wal-Mart which has trash cans everywhere. Every time I passed one I would see if there was anything interesting. I found one fork. That was exciting. Then in the parking lot I found some aluminum cans which I save and then turn them in for money. So, overall I’m very pleased with treasures I found. Hopefully, after you’ve read this and see how stupid I’ve looked in the name of upcycling it will give you courage to look a silly too.


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