Transition Whatcom

My name is Eric and I am new to Bellingham within the past couple of weeks.  I am interested in freeganism (aka dumpster diving).  I don't know the policies of the stores around town, but I know that down south towards Seattle there is a lot of produce, nuts, whatever that goes to waste because it passes the "sell by" date; I think it is the policy of most chain grocery stores to toss the food out rather than pass it on to someone in need.  I have never actually "taken the dive" so to speak and when I was telling a Seattleite friend that I was interested he suggested having someone to show me the ropes (mainly to get over the gross-out factor, and the fact that it is illegal), is there anyone who would be willing to team up? Or maybe there is someone else on the board like me who is interested who would like to come with; I would feel more comfortable going if I had someone to come along, even fellow rookie freegans.  Let me know.

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Happy to join you! WWU is the best at the end of the quarter and best at the end of the year when the students are leaving the dorms......
Jamie, that would be awesome; what do you usually find at WWU? I don't really need more things, but food is pretty essential to living, so that is mostly what I am interested in.

Danah, that is a great idea! I didn't even think of that, I'll look into it, right now!
Definitely- WWU students throw out everything, check the dumpsters at Western the last week of the quarter. I did my first dumpster dive in 1976, in Chico, California.
Dumpster Divers etiquette encourages us to Not post the name & locations of our favorite sites online to be viewed by all! Doing so could result in locks being put on the containers, so please be discreet, and consider”Xing” any of the past posts that could result in a lock. Word of mouth is best, and being sensitive to appearing harmless & as graceful as possible when we dive, so as to not scare off the customers or neighbors.
Kate, you have me beat by a couple years...I think my first dive was in 1978 while traveling in the South lands. I've also learned the art of urban grazing, finding edible fruits & leaves from plants that many of us just walk by....though its usually not a tummy filler unless its blackberries in the summer.

All, Learning to camp & backpack and live simply on the land with a tent,,tarp, bicycle, backpack, campstove/firepit/ax/saw & underground-cooler is one of the best ways I know to learn to regain confidence in meeting our basic needs, along with gardening, farming, wildcrafting, and plain helping each other out. I've spent many of my early years being able to live rent free, car free, and also managed my hygiene & transpo to maintain full time jobs. It can be easier to do this type of lifestyle now (especially for the young & fit & childfree) because its more socially acceptable, and easier to find like-minded folks.

There are still independent families that choose to live debt-free and some are nomads in the forests of Oregon, Arizona, etc. It is possible to choose not to be a 'debt-slave' in our culture. It does make sense to selectively choose debt in situations like learning a skill (ie education), or buying on loan with low interest rates & early payment option, when you have the savings to pay off your debt within a month or two, and thus creating a good credit rating.

At some point, there will be less waste in the dumpsters, as many of these products/wastes are imported using blood-stained oil energy. A smart farmer or gardener knows nothing that comes from the land is ever wasted....the cycle of life allows for composting that then provides the nourishment for the next generation of life.

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