Dumpster diving is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners, but which may be useful to the dumpster diver. Dumpster diving is known as “skipping” in the UK; the term “dumpster” is American.The practice of dumpster diving is also known as bin-diving, containering, D-mart, dumpstering, tatting, or simply, recycling. A similar term is “binner” and is often used to describe people who collect recyclable materials for their deposit or resale value. Whatever we call it, these people are saving us from ourselves by keeping useful materials out of landfill.
In the summer it’s common to find fruit in dumpsters, but sometimes it’s a bit past the Best Before date. Making banana muffins is an easy and compact way to use up bruised bananas… You may need to purchase some of these ingredients, but apart from the milk and eggs, you should be able to find them all at a bulk food store.
You’re going to make… what?!
What you need
– Several frozen bananas. The more ripe, the better!
– 1 1/2 cups flour
– 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar (or use a bit more than 1/2 cup of just brown sugar)
– 3 tablespoons baking powder
– 2 cups milk
– 1 egg
– 3 tablespoons butter
– Muffin tray
What to do
– Preheat oven to 375 degrees
– Smash up the bananas in a bowl using a fork
– Add the dry ingredients and mix
– Add the wet ingredients and mix
– Lightly grease the muffin tray with olive oil or butter
– Scoop the mixture into the tray
– Place in oven and check after 10 minutes. Ovens vary, so you may need more time.
If you’re a picky eater like me, you may look into lots of dumpsters and say “Ewww… vegetables!” but if you want to find a way to use veggies and improve your diet, you can make a spinach smoothie.
What you need
What to do
– Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of spinach in the blender. If you’ve frozen it you don’t need to measure as much, since it gets more compact.
– Fill the rest of the blender up with berries and a banana. These are strong flavoured fruits which will mask the taste of the spinach.
– Pour in the milk until it covers the fruit
It may be summer break from school for some, but this really is worth a read. Here are some highlights:
“I like the frankness of the word scavenging, which I can hardly think of without picturing a big black snail on an aquarium wall. I live from the refuse of others. I am a scavenger. I think it a sound and honorable niche, although if I could I would naturally prefer to live the comfortable consumer life, perhaps – and only perhaps – as a slightly less wasteful consumer, owing to what I have learned as a scavenger”
“The land is now covered with cities. The cities are full of Dumpsters. If a member of the canine race is ever able to know what it is doing, then Lizbeth [their dog] knows that when we go around to the Dumpsters, we are hunting. I think of scavenging as a modern form of self-reliance”
They go into detail about the different types of food and other items they find and the safety of consuming them, but with a philosophical streak.
This hopefully will be a book you won’t want to trash!