No Shame in Second Hand Recycling

A majority of people might feel funny about second hand recycling, or as it’s more commonly referred to, dumpster diving, but the truth is it can be a frickin’ treasure hunt with a bounty of (mostly) conventional rewards. Of course I’m not talking any old dumpster in any old part of town, no. The gold mine comes around this time of year, and the locale is college campuses. Those college kids love to throw shit out.

Printers, mini-refrigerators, cameras, computers, wet suits, pesos, bongs, and all kinds of gear can be obtained simply by looking in and around college campus dumpsters. Then you have things like totes, bags, racks, and furniture of all kinds. Now I’m not advocating one to grab a shovel and start digging to the bottom of an industrial dumpster. Heck you can, but that’s not what I’m suggesting. Most kids leave their useful “trash” to the side of the dumpster even, or you can likely get a good view of things just right on the top.

And to hell with feeling uncomfortable like it affects some false sense of pride, like one is too good to collect perfectly useful items once operated by another. Or you can’t be seen by a dumpster cause girls or guys won’t go out with you or something. You can and should avoid the TV covered in coffee grounds and condoms, but there’s plenty of reasonably clean gear in easy reach. That is to assume it hasn’t been sitting long, and hasn’t endured harsh weather conditions. Of course plenty of things can withstand the elements for a short period and be okay. Textbooks are another find which can prove to be easy cash, assuming the condition is adequate. You won’t break the bank but it’s some good spending money.

I like to think most people recycle in their daily life, though I’m probably wrong. Those who do, toss their La Croix cans, beer bottles, and milk jugs etc. in the environmentally kind blue bin, to then be picked up and taken off to the magical recycling factories where they re-spawn and begin anew in one form or another. Undoubtedly a very positive thing to do for the earth and environment.

So why not recycle like this?

The benefits and possibilities are abundant. Mother Earth will smile upon you and you’ll hold a temporary slot on her scroll of the environmentally savvy. You could even start a little pawn style business with the treasures you find. Or even put on a dumpster art show. Nobody is stopping you from letting “trash” be your creative outlet.

Food is another, though far more questionable, commodity to be retrieved from dumpsters. This isn’t so much college campuses (though it can be) as it is grocery chains and markets, which obviously comes as no surprise. While I gravitate more towards household items, there certainly are people who find perfectly fine packaged food out back, other than your run of the mill hobo. In fact, I recently saw an American Ninja Warrior episode (I was in a Chicago hotel room with limited channels get off my back) and the dude who won the challenge was an avid dumpster diver from California, primarily for food. If an American Ninja Warrior advocates it, you know it’s legit.

Not only does dumpster diving serve a useful purpose by saving you money on daily products, you make that much of a difference at the dumps and landfills for things that work perfectly fine. If you’re creative and willing you could even salvage and utilized broken items for other purposes. Knowing so much working “trash” is tossed out by the tons at the end of every school year is a shame. But there’s no shame in being in the thick of the recycling hustle, and doing good for you and for Spaceship Earth.



A Silver Lining

The election season from hell has come to a close, and Satan is having a toast with his minions as I write this. As this particular Election Day incited much dread and hysteria among the masses, the final result does have fruit to bear, and that fruit has some sweet god damn juice.

Sure, progression and compassion fell short to regression and hate. Ignorance and arrogance toppled understanding and humility. People are deeply fearful for the first time probably ever in regards to the safety and security of our country and themselves due to an elected American leader (president). It’s a depressing reality and it appears many will wake up every morning dreading to hear what President Trump is doing/has done. (Typing “President Trump” feels so unnatural and downright sinful)

But check this shit out.

We could very well find ourselves at the beginning of a rare golden era of art and music and creation and inspiration. People will be inspired on a whole new level to make incredible music, drawings, paintings, sculptures, books, movies, and everything else. There is no reason not to think we couldn’t muster up another era like the 1960’s in terms of powerful reform and art that reaches a sea of like-minded people. People can unify and find that common bond in their despair about this potential land mine of a decision and work together to bring about change. That change can be channeled in so many ways from simply just being kind to the people you see on a daily basis, to making the next fucking Abbey Road.

This is the time for inspiration.

Also let’s be honest for a second: if Hillary won, many people would be happy happy happy just like when Obama won and history would be made and life would be great and people would sing their praises from the rooftops. That’s all well and good, but would her winning inspire people? I mean REALLY inspire people? I think it would’ve caused a great wave of relief and comfort, but I don’t think it’d make people want to actively make change and extra efforts to express themselves like it likely will with this Trump victory. People (the not racist, not sexist, progressive-minded kind) would likely live much more at peace, but would we be extra motivated to get our asses up and use whatever talents we have to make some kind of change? Would we forget about this election in a handful of months and just say, “thank God” and continue living our lives without the extra frustration to force us to do something different and progressive? At least with this result we can be angrily motivated to be a change that distracts us from the reality of these next four years.

In the words of Cosmic Charlie himself, every silver lining has a touch of grey. We will survive…