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Friday, November 20, 2009

So busy!

Been a while, so there's lots to cover!

I presented a speech in one of my classes on how wasteful today's American society is. It was supposed to be a persuasive speech, which worked in my favor; It was easy for me to convincingly persuade my classmates about something that I am so passionate about. I was the first to present, so I brought several treats from my many recent dives for them to eat while I explained everything. I was expecting more surprise when they found out where the food and drinks came from, but everyone seemed fine with it. It went really well, except for my forgetting some of the most pertinent information relating to the audience.. I was going to explain what happens at the end of the semesters and talk about the Office of Recycling and Waste Reduction on campus, but ran out of time.
At the end of the year they put bins in all the dorms where the kids can put stuff that they don't want or need or cant take home with them. All the stuff gets collected, sorted and sold at the Cram n' Scram sale about a week after school ends. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is sold for 50 cents; shoes, clothes, pots and pans, TVs, computers, rugs, mirrors, bed sheets, fans, lamps, and everything else you could find in a dorm. The problem is that most of the stuff that they don't need still ends up in the dumpsters... Which is where I come in. I will be helping with sorting these items at the end of next semester and will also be making trips to the dumps to recover stuff. One of the perks of volunteering with the sale is that you get to keep anything you want that gets donated to the sale.
A few weeks ago there was another event called "Landfill on the Lawn" where the dumpsters from two dorms were emptied on the lawn in the middle of campus. Volunteers with the ORWR sorted through everything to separate the recyclables, and even though there is a recycling bin next to almost every trash can, dumpster and other waste receptacle on campus, I would say at least half of the piles of trash was replaceable. New laws in NC and city ordinances have made disposing of any aluminum, glass and pretty much any plastic bottle in to a trash bin illegal and the ORWR is working on a new program that will help educate and bring awareness of these new policies to people on campus and in the community.

So I mentioned that I have been diving a lot lately and you may wonder why I haven't been posting them.. I've just been really busy wrapping up the semester. Between work, school and diving, I don't have loads of extra free time these days and so I haven't been able to post much. I have also been organizing dives with the Meet up group that I started, but they don't seem to be working out; I'm just not that organized these days... It also hasn't helped that my computer is on the fritz again... so Ive been spending lots of down time in the library, which should be every freegans favorite place! I recently discovered how valuable a resource the library can be and am very excited about it! Anyway, I have stopped writing detailed inventories of individual dives, but have been taking more photos, but now I'm having trouble posting them.. Here are a couple and a list of random stuff I can think of that I found lately:

10 new bottles of cough syrup
bottles of Tylenol arthritis medicine
children's Tylenol
children's chewable vitamins
Rx medicines
returned- brand new electric toothbrush (found the same one in a store for $80!)
sooo many bottles of assorted beverages- juice, tea, beer, water, Gatorade, soda
jars of baby food
Epsom salts
several 5lb bags of sugar
lots of fresh fruit and veggies (lots of individually packaged Chiquita produce)
pop tarts
apple sauce
jello and pudding desserts
instant hot breakfast cereals
boxes of organic cereals
several boxes of rice krispy treats
loads of freeze pops!.. gotta love em'
deli meats, bacon, sausage - don't usually eat it, but brother and Basil cat like it!
canned veggies
Halloween candy
body wash
hair curlers

Each of these loads came from one night out. There are many more pictures, but I cant seem to post them. I loooove the cold weather because there is almost no danger of getting spoiled food, though I always err on the side of caution.

Speaking of safety, there are two issues I wanted to post about a while ago, but haven't gotten around to yet. One is rat poison. I noticed one night that my arm was resting on a pile that had been sprinkled on the rim of the dumpster. I wasn't too concerned about it because I take many precautions, but it got me thinking. I want people to be aware of the danger it presents for inexperienced divers. It is very common to find poisons in dumpsters and if you don't know what to look for, you could end up eating something that has been contaminated. This is why I never ever ever take anything that has been opened exposing the food unless I am absolutely sure it is safe, and you must ALWAYS wash everything ESPECIALLY produce, unless its inside of lots of wrappers.

Another point to consider is the danger of climbing inside a dumpster. A few weeks ago I was inside digging out some food and my feet had sunk down under boxes and bags. It was slightly uncomfortable, but I didn't think much of it, but something happened to it.. It was sore and hurt to put all my weight on it for a couple days. Aside from the danger of sprains or breaks, cuts are very possible. This is why I always wear gloves, though the thin vinyl doesn't offer much protection. Its best not to handle any broken glass. If you find a case of expensive olives or baby food or something that you really want to take, its best to take the whole thing to a safe place where you can carefully clean the jars off, or just take the clean jars without shards all over them.

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