Can You Dive It?

A local college man has managed to survive while not having a meal plan.  If you are in college, and have had the convenience  of food being available most any hour of the day, you might find this hard to believe.  What’s his secret? Dumpster diving. Travis Duerksen allowed me to come and check out his collection.  When I first walked into the Hillside dorm apartment, the first thing I saw was one of Travis’ most interesting finds:
Here stands one of Travis’ proudest finds, a fully functional back-to-school display. He says that he found it in the dumpster… still in its original wrapping. He assembled it with the included instructions and is currently using it to store groceries for the entire four person apartment.

After meeting his prize-display, I asked more questions about Travis’ dumpster diving.  To start off, he says that he just walks to where the cast-off food is.  In his experience, he finds that people don’t often notice someone just walking up to the dumpster as opposed to a car-load of teenagers driving behind a store.  After finding what he thinks looks good (and editable), Travis goes and makes sure that his stash is sanitary. From being a trash bin, things can get pretty germ-y.  He fills his sink with a bleach mixture and soaks the sealed packages of meats or other items.  This cleans the outside of the packages that have been exposed to the dumpster.  This can help in prevention of sickness from eating the food.  Travis makes the point that this is food out of the trash and if you aren’t careful, you could get sick from eating it.  If you want to try to dumpster dive yourself, be cautious and do a little research on food-ridden bacteria.

Since Travis doesn’t have a school meal plan all of his food has to come from his means.  Right now, Travis only buys things like some bread, butter, milk, and eggs.  Much of his meats and other perishables come from the dumpster.

Seen here with a fridge full of frozen meats, Travis says that he has enough food to feed two men without meal plans and two others that have partial plans.  Although this is a great way to get free food Travis says that it is depressing that so much of this food is just thrown out.  Much of which one could have bought off the shelf the same day before.

Travis sets a good example of how products like food shouldn’t be wasted as quickly as our society throws them out. He says that all of his food comes from one store and that they throw out things everyday.

Perhaps dumpster diving can spread some light how much waste we create, even with just slightly expired food.

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  1. Wow!!! A plus, plus. I love this, Justin. Great connection with students, so interesting, relevant!!! More like this. I wanted to read the whole post and terrific connection to the other bloggers. Great job.

    • BIFF
    • November 6th, 2011

    Do his parents know about this?

  2. Looks like I need to try dumpster diving more often! {Also, I really like the profiles that you’re doing these days. Awesome}

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