NEW YORK (RNS) As a musician barely scraping
by, Gio Andollo looks to trash bins as a way of life.....He says the freeganism movement, or the practice of reclaiming and eating food that has been discarded, is populated mostly by nonreligious people. But for Andollo, Dumpster diving is an act of faith, one that is motivated by a biblical mandate to care for the Earth.
Dumpster divers are of a particular demographic, said Sharon Cornelissen, a doctoral student at Princeton who researched divers for her master’s in sociology. She said the movement generally attracts educated white people in their 20s and 30s; typically, they are people who do it by choice rather than need.
, a Christian magazine dedicated to social justice, featured Dumpster diving on its cover in 2006, motivating Micah Holden to begin trying it a year later. Now he lives with his wife and daughter in Wheaton, Ill., where they occasionally blog about being a Dumpster diving family in suburbia. Holden, who is a nurse, said his motivations to go once or twice a week are mixed.
“I have a strong belief in being resourceful and not be wasteful,” he said. “Part of that is being a good steward and being a Christian. But there’s also a selfish motivation. I can get these things for free for myself.”
He and his wife shop at the grocery and online, like any other consumer, but Dumpster diving is an added hobby.
“It’s not the norm for your average evangelical suburbanite,” he said.