Meet Tony Moyer and Sam Troyer, brother-in-laws in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. They’ve been dumpster diving for 10 months, collecting $1,000’s of good food and donating it to people in need. But in October they were arrested for dumpster diving at a CVS and charged with loitering and prowling at night as well as criminal trespassing.
Trying to go zero waste in a low income area neighborhood vs. a wealthy neighborhood can result in two very different stories. To read a guide written by someone in downtown posh Manhattan that only sees zero waste through their own lens could prove to be a little disappointing for someone living in a low income area. I often hear that going zero waste is only something that wealthy people can do. For the most part I disagree with this statement however there is some truth in it. In certain ways going zero waste is much easier for people who live in wealthier neighborhoods that have more options. For example many low income areas don’t have easy access to a grocery store with a bulk refill section and thus have to buy more packaged foods. This one variable alone makes it much more difficult to zero waste grocery shop.
I’ve dived into over 2,000 dumpsters in over 25 states across the USA. By now I’ve pulled out tens of thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good food. Most of it I’ve given away but I’ve also lived solely off food from grocery store dumpsters for months at a time. My mission is to raise awareness about food waste and to reduce food waste and hunger in the USA. I don’t see dumpster diving as THE solution to food waste or hunger but at the same time I figure if the foods going to waste right now, why not eat it? Dumpster diving is not a global solution but for thousands of people it is an individual solution to reduce their environmental impact and feed themselves. So for those of you out there interested in saving a ton of money on food, reducing your environmental impact, or sharing a huge bounty of food with your friends and people in need I’m here to help with that. After 3 years of dumpster diving here are my top 10 tips to dumpster diving success.
I’m excited to announce that I’m cycling across the USA for the 3rd time. But what I’m really excited to announce is that YOU ARE INVITED. The first thing that might come to mind is “I couldn’t possibly keep up.” Well, great news for you, my partner, Cheryl Davies, is the co-host of this ride and she’s never rode more than 30 miles in a day. If she can do it, so can you!
Day 21 – July 28th 2016
Today Cheryl and I had to do laundry so we walked down to Da Wash House on Joseph E. Boone Blvd. It was about a mile walk down streets of Bankhead that we have not been to yet. This place truly is fascinating. As much as half of the houses and apartment buildings are abandoned and falling apart. The major difference between vacancy here and in an upper income neighborhood is that there the buildings are maintained. Here they are being left to be absorbed back into the earth by nature. The trees are growing wild, the vines are creeping into every opening of the house, and animals and insects have turned the nooks and crannies into their own homes. Many are boarded up to keep people out and to keep people from living in them. Others have wide open doors and windows while some have entirely open sides of the house.
Day 4 – July 11th
Before going to bed last night I said to Cheryl, “Let’s go to Walmart tomorrow.” As soon as the words came out of my mouth I was taken aback. I never expected those words to come out of my mouth again after I made the choice to stop giving them business a few years ago. But I feel that this project calls for it. Millions of people shop at Walmart for groceries and some people around the country have told me that it’s their only “grocery store” nearby. This is also where much of the community of Bankhead gets their groceries so it’s a must see.
The average grocery store in the USA has around 40,000 items and most of them are backed by big time marketing campaigns that are doing their best to make sure you choose them. So of course shopping at the grocery store can be overwhelming. These companies will do their best to take your money and most of them don’t really care whether you received a good deal or are slowly working your way towards a heart attack or diabetes. There is plenty of good news though. Their tactics can be beat. Every single one of their ploys and tactics don’t stand up to an educated and determined person. You can eat healthy for much less than they’d like you to think and it might even prove to be tastier! Here are 17 tips to help you shop on a tiny budget at the grocery store and get the most out of your money.