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Dumpster Diving Is Not Good Enough

Essay by   •  October 11, 2017  •  Essay  •  1,009 Words (5 Pages)  •  740 Views

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Zheng Yu


Section: 098-N


Dumpster Diving Is Not Good Enough

“On Dumpster Diving” written by Lars Eighner is an essay about the author’s personal experience of being homeless and having to dumpster dive to earn a living. Eighner illustrates a way of living as a scavenger. Dumpster diving is a common activity for Eighner and he doesn’t feel embarrassed to find something in the dumpsters at all. I had never read an essay about dumpster diving and had never practiced it before, so I cannot understand the feeling when scavengers find something useful to use or fresh to eat. Therefore, it made me surprised and a bit uncomfortable during my reading. Eighner is somewhat successful at demonstrating that the lifestyle of dumpster diving is fulfilling enough for us to believe that he is in a position to feel “sorry” for those of us with more traditional lifestyle by economizing food and recycling resources, but he’s also unsuccessful because his lifestyle doesn’t fit everyone.

Wasting food wasn’t deserved to be encouraged. There is an old saying in China, “When you have every bowl of rice and porridge, think about how much effort is paid. When you have every piece of clothing, think about how hard things are obtained.” It is a shame to waste food, when so many people don’t have enough food in the world. According to Eighner, “In particular they tend to throw everything out when they move at the end of a semester, before and after breaks, and around midterm when many of them despair of college.” Students haven’t got enough experience to distinguish whether the food has spoiled or not, so it is an ideal place for scavengers like Lars Eighner to inhabit with enough fresh food to eat. A recent survey indicates each year China wastes 200 billion Yuan of food, which is enough to feed over 200 million people. When food is thrown away, it becomes rubbish which can be harmful to the environment and people’s health. In our traditional lifestyle, we often see many people throw away fresh and still good food into the dustbin. It is also a waste when people ordered too much food in restaurants without packing the leftovers for home. Thus, if scavengers can reduce waste by searching for some good-enough food, they should feel “sorry” for the traditional lifestyle we have. And Eighner isn’t an armchair strategist. In order to show what kind of food can be eaten safer than others, Eighner also made a detailed introduction to the discarded food and reminded the reader that most food is discarded for a reason. It will help people who want to get some food to save lives.

There are lots of resources we can reuse to make us living more comfortable in dumpsters. Facing the current status of the deteriorating global environment, it is our duty to save energy and to use available resources rationally. “A true scavenger hates to see good stuff go to waste and what he cannot use he leaves in good condition in plain sight,” Eighner stated. Eighner’s lifestyle is certainly different from our traditional lifestyles. Therefore, he can seek many materials from dumpster diving and make something he needs with them. According to Eighner, “Dumpsters are full of things of some potential value to someone and also things which never have much intrinsic value but are interesting.” People used more and more resources, which shouldn’t be waste. However, the problem is we don’t have a bottomless pit of resources. People abandoned many valuable things and threw away something which can still be used. This causes many things are becoming an increasingly precious resources. Scroungers are people who search for things that other people have thrown out that are still recycled and value. They may fix them and put them in a better position to be reused. Thus, Eighner should feel “sorry” for those with a traditional lifestyle.



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