In the USA, a country of both abundance and excessive waste, dumpster diving is certainly a fringe activity. However, urban foraging is gaining a large following over recent years because of tougher times. Among certain folks, the urge to reuse, recycle, and of course, get free stuff, can be more of an actual lifestyle some opt for daily. It’s surprising the websites that offer tips and tricks for the habitual modern foragers. As I’ve been trimming our consumption way down, the mindset of living with less actually turns into a fun challenge. I don’t worry about the things I used to, like wearing the hip styles, and being trendy/fashionable. (I’ve set my own “trends” since the 80s out of necessity/poverty, now I’m just not so ashamed about it–on my terms.)
Doesn’t this forage business sort of bring us to a point to ponder about contentment, too? We never will find it in Things, new things, (and old things as well.) The perfect car, or shoes, or latest gadget ends up at the dump, and even the perfect meal ends up…well, you know.
Frugality can be a spiritual discipline we do, at least now and then, in which we skim away clutter that is actually internal. The crutch of things often changes us to perceive priorities wrongly. We don’t need much. What we want, and what we feel we need, get mixed up. It’s happened to me, trust me.
Without awareness or discipline, our Want matures into a monster that masquerades as a felt need that is actually internal. It is the problem that has nothing to do with external things. And it’s not a “problem,” but an opportunity for growth, and learning the ways of contentment, which brings gladness and peacefulness.
More details about urban foraging (specifically) here.
Did you ever “dumpster dive”?
(I’ve rescued some nifty items on the way to the landfill.)