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Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Diversby Laura Pritchett
Synopses & Reviews
Never mind the Ph.D. and middle-class trappings—Laura Pritchett is a Dumpster diver and proud of it. Ever since she was old enough to navigate the contents of a metal bin, she has reveled in the treasures found in other people’s cast-offs.
For Going Green, Pritchett has gathered the work of more than twenty writers to tell their personal stories of Dumpster diving, eating road kill, salvaging plastic from the beach, and forgoing another trip to the mall for the thrill of bargain hunting at yard sales and flea markets. These stories look not just at the many ways people glean but also at the larger, thornier issues dealing with what re-using—or not—says about our culture and priorities.
The essayists speak to the joys of going beyond the norm to save old houses, old dishwater, old cultures, old Popsicle sticks, and old friendships—and turning them into something new. Some write about gleaning as a means of survival, while others see the practice as a rejection of consumerism or as a way of treading lightly on the earth.
Brimming with practical and creative new ways to think about recycling, this collection invites you to dive in and find your own way of going green.
"In this uneven essay collection, writers living mostly in the Pacific Northwest and the wide open spaces of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana chronicle their personal experiences of 'gleaning' — living, partially or completely, off the things others have thrown away. Far from merely 'going green,' the contributors are proud dumpster divers, yard sale fanatics and foragers for road kill who ably defend gleaning as a rejection of consumerism. The writers pose provocative questions about the taboo against reusing castoff goods in Western societies and why environmental consciousness is so closely linked with buying green products rather than reusing castoff goods; this practice many Americans dismiss as unseemly, unhygienic, even 'white trash,' as the editor notes, opens a much needed discussion on the environmental movement's class issues that is unfortunately never satisfyingly explored. While heartfelt and sincere, the essays vary in quality; several are too raw to make a compelling argument. And the contributors' mix of sanctimony and guilt (some even feel guilty about sanctimoniousness) might be more off-putting than inspiring." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Gleaners, scavengers, reusers, and recyclers as well as dumpster divers, are some of ways people characterize themselves as they describe how they make use of material that consumer capitalism, seeing no profit in it, has left lying around. As a general rule, they attribute their exploits not to want or the lack of alternatives, but to a vision of economic relations that differs from that promulgated by corporate advertising. Among the topics are blacktop cuisine, every popsicle stick counts, throwing out the dishwater, home recycling, my father's last fortune, and things the color of stone. There is no index or bibliography. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
What re-using- or not- says about our culture and priorities
Never mind the Ph.D. and middle-class trappings—Laura Pritchett is a Dumpster diver and proud of it. Ever since she was old enough to navigate the contents of a metal bin, she has reveled in the treasures found in other people’s cast-offs. Brimming with practical and creative new ways to think about recycling, this collection invites you to dive in and find your own way of going green.
About the Author
Laura Pritchett is the author of the award-winning novels Sky Bridge and Hell's Bottom, Colorado and is the co-editor of Home Land and Pulse of the River. Pritchett earned her Ph.D. in Contemporary American Literature at Purdue, but now happily lives in her home state of Colorado, where she enjoys gleaning, raising chickens, hiking, and writing.
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