Free Essay

Dumpster Diving

In: Social Issues

Submitted By
Words 1021
Pages 5
Name
Professor
Course name
Date
On Dumpster Diving Quite by accident, I found the essay On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eighner on the pages of Seagull magazine. The first lines of it captured my interest considerably, for as I had never read about dumpster diving or scavenging before. On Dumpster Diving is a piece of large Eighner’s work called Travels with Lizbeth (1993), which was based on his own experience of homelessness. The author engages me by telling the origin and meaning of the term Dumpster Diver, presenting his survival guide with specified rules and regulations. Dumpster is a trademark of garbage loading onto trucks system. Dumpster diving involves persons voluntarily climbing into rubbish bins (dumpsters) to find valuables or simply useful items, including food and used clothing. Eighner writes that the life of a beggar traveling without any money opened his eyes to the fact that all those containers with waste are real “supermarkets” for the poor, and they are not only a source of survival, but also a depositary of high-quality and diverse food. Anyhow, there is a risk in eating such findings. According to Eighner’s experience, taking food out of dumpsters should involve three simple principles: “using the senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of the found materials, knowing the Dumpsters of a given area and checking them regularly, and seeking always to answer the question, “Why was this discarded?” Narrator advises to avoid such foods as game, poultry, pork, and egg-based meals. Soft drinks testing should be based on their fizzing vigorously. Being a scavenger, one has to notice the least signs of visible contaminates. Notwithstanding the scavenger has no indemnity of self- intoxication. Later on Lars tells about “a predictable series of stages a person goes through in learning to scavenge,” in which disgust at the beginning gives way to indiscriminate acquiring of the things. The story also includes information about the “can-divers” and their way of diving featured as unethical and impudent. The plot of it is neither compound nor rich in events and characters. However, it is thought provoking. The author gives us detailed guidance how to survive being a dumpster diver. Reading the essay, I asked myself right along whether it was the only aim of Eighner to teach us those rules. As the story progressed, I picked up the writer’s conception gradually. His essay exemplifies the wasteful nature of American society and implies that it is the result of materialistic values but also ignorance and lack of understanding. People unreasonably throw out even food that is appropriate for using: “Students throw out many good things including food...the item was thrown out through carelessness, ignorance, or wastefulness.”(Eighner) The scavenger can acquire “boom boxes, candles, bedding, toilet paper, medicine, books, a typewriter, a virgin male love doll, change sometimes amounting to many dollars” in the dumpsters. I suppose the purpose of the article is also to show how immoral is to throw out good food and things, knowing that thousands are starving and suffering from poverty. However, exactly that garbage helps him to survive at difficult times. Eighner’s reasoning for why people are materialistic derives from the concept that they are lost and unsure of what they want. In a way, his short essay On Dumpster Diving, suggests to his readers that to achieve the state of satisfaction, they need to know what they want. He states, “Almost everything I have now has already been cast at least once, proving that what I own is valueless to someone.” The author himself collects only things that are of benefit to him and leaves the rest for the benefit of others. The article shows that the writer being homeless still keeps his intelligent, clever, and sentimental way of thinking. He emphasises the transience of material being and says, “Once I was the sort of person who invests material objects with sentimental value. Now I no longer have those things, but I have the sentiments yet.”(Eighner) I think, describing all the rules of dumpster diving Lars Eighner represents us the necessity of keeping the etiquette even in adversity. The breakers of that common law are the “can-divers.” They, as contrasted with the true scavengers, look only for the money there and mix the contents of the dumpster making it more difficult to find the truly good things, the author explains. The worst in can scroungers’ actions is their audacity to go through individual containers in front of peoples homes, something a true diver would never do. Doing that the can diver finds different prescriptions, diaries and things the owner throws out. It is clear that privacy disclosing would embarrass us. Eighner exclaims against private invasion, thus demonstrating his culture and humanism. The last paragraph where Lars compares himself to ultra-wealthy is the most interesting point of the essay, to my mind. The rich people can acquire anything they like and the money does not stand in the way of doing that. The dumpster diver gets the things from dumpsters free too. Author’s analysis is that the truly rich or the truly poor are those who do not want or need. In his comparison, Lars means that he and the super-rich do not need the items the rest of us do. He can just go out and find them. The narrator tries to show the positives of his profession, but does not overlook the negatives as well, following it with the words: “Dumpster diving has serious drawbacks as a way of life.” The main idea of Lars Eighner in his essay is to assure us that any hopeless situation has its way out. The life goes on even if you meet difficulties… He calls us for keeping our cultural and ethical talents even when being in the lowest state of life. We may not forget that having materialistic values over moral ones destroys and vitiates us from inside. In the unique voice - dry, disciplined, poignant, comic- Eighner celebrates the triumph of the artistic spirit in the face of enormous adversity, thus, inspiring me for true respect.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Dumpster Diving

...Calvin Johnson English 111x f16 10 October 2015 On Dumpster Diving Analysis Paper The essay on “On Dumpster Diving” written by Lars Eighner is about a homeless man, accompanied by his dog. In the article, he explains the strategies and guidelines of surviving from dumpsters thereby exemplifying the wasteful nature of Americans while also explaining the etiquette involved in the process. The author began dumpster diving about a year before he became homeless. He used all of his infrequent income for rent, consequently having to derive all of life’s necessities from dumpsters. He goes on to share the valuable information he has learned as a human scavenger. Eighner starts by outlining the guidelines of what is safe to eat. The main principles involved are: 1) using senses and common sense to evaluate the condition of food; 2) knowing the dumpsters in a particular area; and 3) checking them frequently. He also wonders why the food was discarded. He is convinced that a lot of perfectly good food is discarded daily. Canned goods turn up fairly often in dumpsters and are among the safest foods; however, some canned foods can cause fatal diseases like botulism. Dried foods such as crackers, cookies, cereal, chips, and pasta are usually safe to eat once they are free from visible contaminates. Raw fruits and vegetables are usually safe except for the rotten ones. Confectionery like chocolate and other hard candies are also safe since candying is a method of food......

Words: 803 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

On Dumpster Diving

...Eng 121 7/20/11 on dumpster diving Imagine living on the street. Wow that would be pretty hard and not very pleasant either. Many people won’t even know what to do. Most of them will be depressed and will give up on life. Lars Eighner who lived on the streets is totally different from other people who live on the street. Many of those people are dumb, strange, and always yell at other for no reasons. Society looks at these kids of people and think that they are not going to make it anywhere in life. Well appearance can be deceiving. Lars Eighner survived living on the streets because his characteristic was different from others. He was smart, moral, and a proud person who made his way through tough times. Lars is a very intelligent person. Even though Lars gets all his food, and clothes from the dumpster, which most people would think it is not very smart of him at all. He actually what he is doing when he is on the streets. He has the knowledge to survive as a scavenger. When he is getting food from the dumpster he just doesn’t pick any random food. He picks out the food that he is familiar with. Usually in the dumpster there are some good looking food that is thrown away and most people just take it and eat it without knowing what it is, but Lars on the other hand ignores it and walks away no matter how good it looks. He also uses steps which most people don’t use. He evaluates the food of its conditions; he has memorized all the dumpsters in the area and......

Words: 724 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Dumpster Diving

...Dumpster Diving Lars Eighner is an experienced dumpster diver or as he prefers to call it “scavenging.” He writes “On Dumpster Diving” an essay about the three years he spent on the streets accompanied by his lone companion, dog Lizabeth. Born in Texas in 1948, Eighner began dumpster diving one year before he ended up homeless after being unable to pay for his rent. Diving through dumpsters to obtain life’s main necessities, Eighner becomes a veteran at realizing what foods are safe and what items can be useful if kept. One of the most important aspects of trying to persuade readers is to use the appropriate tone according to the situation. The calm tone that Eighner uses doesn’t strengthen his argument, but with his knowledge of dumpster diving, he ultimately persuade readers that people living in modernized parts of the world have wasteful habits. By reading the essay, I am convinced of his argument about wasteful people being very common. Eighner approaches the topic of dumpster diving with a very calm tone. The tone he uses does not allow the reader to connect with him and feel what he was feeling when he was homeless. If the essay had a more emotional tone it would leave the reader with amore sympathetic view regarding the topic of dumpster diving. For instance, he believes that the term dumpster diving is “a little too cute.”(p.147) Usually, when a person thinks of the term dumpster diving, they feel sympathy towards the individual who is led to scrounge through a......

Words: 767 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Dumpster Diving

...In Eighner’s article, “dumpster diving”,Eigher describes himself as a “Scavenger” as he lives from food and other neccesities that he finds from dumpsters. He is proud of what he does because he finds edible food in perfectly good conditions and is able to get it for free from other peoples dumpsters. Eigher says ”people get too much from what they can earn, but they throw even if things in good condition.” As our economy grows and better technologies being developed, many people can afford cheap foods and in large quantities. With the lower costs of foods people buy more and waste more. For example, when I go to the nationwide wholefoodsseller ‘costco’, most items are sold in bulks as it is usually cheaper to buy items in bulk. Since Costco sells in bulk people this it is cheap and that they can consume all of it at once, before they exceed their shelf life. But in most cases people never finish everything they buy. When I bought an assorted pack of ‘lay’s potato chips’. I enjoyed eating them at first, but i was wrong. i eventually became sick of potato chips and the remaining packs were thrown out as they had exceeded their experation date. Another example of perfectly good items that get thrown out are clothes. Colors may fade, clothing get stained from last night’s curry, and the list continues. When this happens, most people do one of the 3 choices possible; just keep it and wear it, stitch up tears, new buttons and re-wear, or throw it. Most people would just......

Words: 373 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Dumpster Diving

...February 2015 Lars Eighner Dumpster Diving Experience Dumpster diving has been going on for decades all around the world. In Lars Eighner’s article, “Dumpster Diving,” he talks about his life struggles and what drove him to dumpster dive. The life he lived was not perfect, but he did everything he could survive. Sometimes life can be a struggle but not always. When life hands you lemons-make lemonade. The word dumpster is a proprietary word belonging to the Dampsey Dumpster Company. Dumpster diving is when a person is digging (searching) through a dumpster full of trash or other items. Eighner wasn’t dumpster diving his entire life; however, he started about a year before he became homeless. He called himself a scavenger rather than someone who picked any and everything out the dumpster. Lizbeth (Eighner’s dog) was tagging right along with him even when his savings ran out. Eighner began depending on dumpster for things including food, tissue, medicine, etc. . . . Some foods should be avoided while dumpster diving such as home-canned goods. “Why was this discarded?” was always a question to think about while dumpster diving. As stated in the article, “Perhaps everyone who has a kitchen and regular supply of groceries has, at one time or another, made a sandwich and eaten half not it before discovering mold on the bread or got a mouthful of milk before realizing the milk had turned.” Most foods are discarded for a reason, that’s why dumpster divers don’t complain.......

Words: 632 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Lessons and Philosophies in on Dumpster Diving

...Thomas Sheng January 25, 2016 Lessons and Philosophies in the Stages of Dumpster Diving ‘On Dumpster Diving’, a fascinating work written by Lars Eighner, showed the real lives of the homeless. While introducing his personal experience, Eighner also mentioned the stages a person goes through in learning to scavenge. By describing the stages, Eighner described an attitude towards life, that abandoning things is necessary, even though they may seem to be rare and precious; he also tried to change others’ opinions about Dumpster diving. First, the evidence of Eighner’s attitude about life comes from a gentle suggestion that Eighner gave to the new Dumpster divers that being a pack-rat who collected everything in his sight was unrealistic, which Eighner described as “hopeless” (36). Also, at the end of the text, Eighner highlighted a deep lesson he had learned from Dumpster diving that, “Take what you can use and let the rest go by.” The statement indicates that even if something may be precious and rare, it is valueless if it cannot be made useful. How Eighner dealt with pieces from Dumpsters is a philosophy that can not only be applied in foraging food, but also in other circumstances, such as when Robinson was deserted on an island, he was willing to spend all his money on a pipe. Learning to forswear the articles found in trash is by far not all Eighner wanted to explain; it promotes an attitude, which can be and should be adopted by the “rat-race millions” of middle-class,......

Words: 553 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Diving

...for no reasons. Society looks at these kids of people and think that they are not going to make it anywhere in life. Well appearance can be deceiving. Lars Eighner survived living on the streets because his characteristic was different from others. He was smart, moral, and a proud person who made his way through tough times. Lars is a very intelligent person. Even though Lars gets all his food, and clothes from the dumpster, which most people would think it is not very smart of him at all. He actually what he is doing when he is on the streets. He has the knowledge to survive as a scavenger. When he is getting food from the dumpster he just doesn’t pick any random food. He picks out the food that he is familiar with. Usually in the dumpster there are some good looking food that is thrown away and most people just take it and eat it without knowing what it is, but Lars on the other hand ignores it and walks away no matter how good it looks. He also uses steps which most people don’t use. He evaluates the food of its conditions; he has memorized all the dumpsters in the area and checks them regularly. Also as a smart person he doesn’t carry any extra useless items with him. He only takes the items that he really needs and will help him survive. Lars is a moral person. He is able to tell the difference between right and wrong. Usually many people can do this but Lars goes deeper into thoughts when he judges between right or wrong. Like when students throw away their......

Words: 714 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Art of Diving

...English 289 13 September 2015 The Art of Diving The article “My Daily Dives into the Dumpster” (Eighner 114) was an article that more or less gave the steps to go about retrieving things from a dumpster. First there is the ability to get many great items from the dumpster. Dumpster diving has even “become something of an Urban art” (Eighner 116). “Even the most respectable people can find something that they find desirable sticking out of a dumpster” (Eighner 116). Second the ability to eat from a dumpster is based on three principals, “Common sense, knowledge of area, and the reason why it was thrown away” (Eighner 116). And finally there is a certain amount of respect to dumpster diving. There is a difference between a scrounger and a scavenger. Being careful when going through dumpsters, with the thought of how someone else could possibly use this item so let’s don’t destroy it, is how a scavenger goes about diving. Scroungers on the other hand don’t care what they destroy in the process of looking for the next bit payout. So basically it is safe to say that dumpster diving is an art and takes skills, and it should be done with thought and respect. The second informational source researched was a very strong representation of the ways people dumpster dive and the ways individuals learn the differences between their wants and needs. It also distinguishes that there is a “social class” involved when it comes to diving. ......

Words: 656 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Social Engineering

...my ????? class, Professor ???? talked about one particular example of social engineering dating back to ancient times, the Trojan Horse. It is considered one the most well-known examples of social engineering in history; a hollow statue built by the Greeks to allow them access to the city of Troy. This seemingly harmless wood statue was not apparent to be a threat by the Trojans and unfortunately resulted in the fall of the city of Troy to the Greeks. Social engineering works in somewhat the same way. In modern times it is a way for criminals to access your computer, office or confidential information for illegal purposes. In this paper, I will discuss 3 of the most common types of social engineering attacks; phishing, snooping and dumpster diving. Issues Analysis Firs I want to talk about one of the most common types of social engineering, phishing. Phishing is a computer criminal activity that uses a special engineering as a disguise on a website in order to acquire credit card information, social security, and other important information about the user. The first use of phishing started...

Words: 1031 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Prejudice Paper

...There is no denying it; we all are prejudice, some more than others. Just imagine yourself walking through an airport terminal. There is a Middle-Eastern man sitting, waiting to get on the same plane that you happen to be boarding. Due to recent events over the past decade, many Americans have a feeling that this man is a terrorist and is going to blow up the plane. Although this is not the truth, this is how most people think. People obtain these prejudices from family, friends and events. When you are growing up your personality, beliefs and lifestyles are formed. Prejudice does not just come out through skin color, but about other qualities such as physical and mental disabilities. Throughout this course we have discussed many different types of prejudices. We learned about Mike Rose, Majora Carter, the Fugees, Jo Goodwin Parker, Lars Eighner, Jane Elliot and others. Each story told another form a prejudice, each equally wrong and powerful. The most common form of prejudice is racism. See this form displayed in Majora Carter’s “Greening the Ghetto”, the Fugees story and Jane Elliot’s “A Class Divided”. Majora Carter is a young educated African American woman who grew up in the ghettos in the South Bronx. During the time of her childhood many of the buildings in her neighborhood were abandoned; landlords were burning their buildings to collect the insurance; light manufacturing industries were moving out and waste facilities were moving in to take their place. Ghettos......

Words: 1043 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Jabberwocky

...All Art Craft Food Games Green Home Kids Life Music Offbeat Outdoors Pets Ride Science Sports Tech DIY High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras by daniel_reetz on April 18, 2009 Table of Contents intro: DIY High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Video . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 step 1: Material Acquisition: Dumpster Dive in the Day With Your Camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 step 2: Material Acquisition: Tools and Why You (Might) Need Them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 step 3: Material Acquisition: Buying Recycled Stuff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 step 4: Base: Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......

Words: 16057 - Pages: 65

Free Essay

On Eighner's Dumpster Diving

...buildings but a lot of houses, shopping centers, and parks. First thing I would need is water. Water can be easily found anywhere. A Lot of public places have water fountains. Public bathrooms have running water and usually have a water fountain somewhere nearby. To prevent fom going to a water fountain or bathroom for water, I’d get a plastic container and fill it up with water for future use. Plastic Containers can be found in any recycling bin of either houses or apartment complexes. People usually don't store their containers such as water bottles and gallon containers in their house, so it usually ends up in the recycling bin. If going to an apartment complex, It’ll be found in one big center recycling dumpster, which is good because those kind of bigger dumpsters aren’t that close to the apartments. But the ones for houses are very close to the property, as each house has their own bins. It’s a strange sight to see someone going through one of those individual dumps, so I’d have to be careful and make absolutely NO noise. It’s worth the risk, as containers for storing water can easily be found there. After grabbing my container(s), I’d go to any place with a...

Words: 1130 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Biased and Prejudice

...Quite by accident, I found the essay On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eighner on the pages of Seagull magazine. The first lines of it captured my interest considerably, for as I hadnever read about dumpster diving or scavenging before. On Dumpster Diving is a piece of large Eighner’s work called Travels with Lizbeth (1993), which was based on his ownexperience of homelessness.The author engages me by telling the origin and meaning of the term Dumpster Diver , presenting his survival guide with specified rules and regulations. Dumpster is a trademark of garbage loading onto trucks system. Dumpster diving involves persons voluntarily climbinginto rubbish bins (dumpsters) to find valuables or simply useful items, including food andused clothing. Eighner writes that the life of a beggar traveling without any money opened hiseyes to the fact that all those containers with waste are real “supermarkets” for the poor, andthey are not only a source of survival, but also a depositary of high-quality and diverse food.Anyhow, there is a risk in eating such findings. According to Eighner’s experience, takingfood out of dumpsters should involve three simple principles: “using the senses and commonsense to evaluate the condition of the found materials, knowing the Dumpsters of a given areaand checking them regularly, and seeking always to answer the question, “Why was thisdiscarded?” Narrator advises to avoid such foods as game, poultry, pork, and egg-basedmeals. Soft......

Words: 974 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Brand Building

...Unit Two Discussion Board Brand-Building By Victoria Justice When creating a new product marketers look at the factors that are the most important they try to develop products and/or services that are eye catchers to the targeted group or generation (Kolter& Keller, 2012). It is important when creating a new product or service to keep the main focus on the customers. Many Marketers today use music, movies, and famous celebrities to help aid in releasing of new products or service. Consumer Product The consumer product that I would like to introduce is a swimming pool that is equipped with a built-in air pump allowing easier set up with a privacy blind. Pools are used quiet often in the summer and if they are easier to set up more people would buy them. Also there are people who like privacy when they swim and the privacy blind would help aid in their satisfaction so that they could enjoy their self swimming. Target Markets The new swimming pool would target anyone who can swim, families that have kids anyone that loves water or would like to learn how to swim in private. I grew up with a big family I had six sisters and two brothers we had a swimming pool but we were only allowed to swim when there were not a lot of people around next door because we did not have any privacy and my mom and dad did not trust our neighbors looking at us. Having a pool that is easier to set up and that has privacy would make a difference for a lot of self conches people. I know...

Words: 500 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Swimminig

...SEMESTER 1 2015/2016 Co-cu No: MPU-24L2 LOG BOOK CO-CURRICULUM SWIMMING |photo | Personal Information Name : NG JU YI Student’s Reg. No : 14ABD00994 I.C No : 961210-33-5013 Telephone No : 012-2281306 E-mail : jy_1210@outlook.com Course of study : DMK Current address : NO.Block C-308,Taman Kolej Perdana,31900 Kampar, Perak. Additional info: 1. 2. 3. 4. Performance Evaluation Throughout the practical session, the performance of all the students who enroll in the co-curriculum course will be evaluated through marks and graded. However, the grades will not contribute to the GPA and CGPA. Games/Sports & Cultural courses are evaluated based on the following: i. Attendance 20% ii. Log Book 20% iii. Involvement 10% iv. Achievement 10% v. Technical skills 40% Attendance 1. Students who are absent from the Co-curriculum course and present a letter/proof of the reasons stated below will be considered present with a remark: a. Medical Certificate (MC) b. Represent TAR University College for external events c. Death of IMMEDIATE family member 2. Students who are absent with the reasons below will not be considered present: a. Involvement in......

Words: 3212 - Pages: 13