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On Dumpster Diving by Lars Eighner

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posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 04:40 PM

Anyway, I find my desire to grab for the gaudy bauble has been largely sated. I think this is an attitude I share with the very wealthy—we both know there is plenty more where what we have came from. Between us are the rat-race millions who have confounded their selves with the objects they grasp and who nightly scavenge the cable channels looking for they know not what.

I am sorry for them.

I read this essay back in college and that last paragraph really planted a seed. At the time, I vowed that if I was not filthy rich by 40 then I would give it a shot. I would leave everything behind except the clothes on my back and a faithful dog and hit the rail tracks. I have a few years left. I am not filthy rich, but I do have a family. Something not expected when I made my vows at 19. So now I see the idea as too selfish to give any consideration. But if I was not supporting a family...

Today I came across this post. I of course was deeply saddened by the OP's story. I put myself in his shoes, and I remembered this essay. I want to share the link with everyone that has not read it yet. It has great tips on surviving the urban fronteer, yes. But for me it is the romantic idea that one can live a good life outside of the rat race just like the wealthy. You just need to give up materialism.

Here is a link to the essay, enjoy.

I searched ATS for this and while I did not find one dedicated to the essay I did find a lot of discussion on the subject. I look forward to going back and reading them later.

posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by Templeton

Our local farmers market has a wonderful gourmet selection of produce and food vendors. It is common for the community to setup tables downtown and enjoy wine and food. We are one of few public parks where beer and wine is legal consume to during set hours.

The farmers market is a community party. Often in the recycled bins are half full bottles of premium california wine...I live in CA...Where I could spend 30-50$ for a bottle of great california wine...

Or I could get a bottle of half drunk premo wine for free...You bet I take the free wine. Some is bad, some is good...but the bad I can at least cook with.

It humors me to say I'm drinking a 60$ cabernet out of a dumpster...Oooh the humanity

posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:07 PM
Thanks. First time I've run across it. Bumpity.

posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:11 PM
Yeah , brilliant post , food for thought..........excuse the pun.

posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 05:20 PM
reply to post by Templeton

We have been raised, both as a nation and as individuals, to work not just for family or personal success, but for monetary and material excess. The poor dream of filling the cupboard and paying their bills. They work for days when the gas light isn't on in the car or at least one tire being on the verge of blowing out. But more times than not, their moral compass is centered and their home lives are rich where it counts.

The Christian Bible says that the love of money is the root of evil. Not money itself, but the lust for the acquisition of it and those material goods that it brings. Over time, I have come to agree with this without having to be what one might call a 'practicing Christian'.

A truth is a freestanding statement that can be found wherever it happens to exist, in spite of wherever it does exist. So, our task is one of recognition when we happen upon them. In this case, the occurrence might cause us pause. In short, does it pay to recognize a truth if it would also lead to an understanding that our success is actually a form of failure?

These are questions that we have to answer on an individual level.

posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 10:55 AM
When my kids were young I used to dumpster dive at a warehouse next to where I worked. They repackaged toys. They discarded stuff that couldn't be repackage. I found erector set pieces, legos, small dolls and "people". Other people discovered this dumpster but were messy. Eventually the dumpster had a lock on it.

My brother went accross country hitchhiking with little money. He said he ate out of dumpsters on his trip, especially pizzas.

I go to garage sales. It often feels like dumpster diving. I rarely spend more than $2 for a sucessful day of sales. I often find free can goods. Fancy soap is 25 cents. Books are usually 25 - 50 cents. Tee shirts are about the same.

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