Reporter's take

Causes Week 2017: Reducing waste with just a bit of imagination and courage

There is a buffet of causes to feed the hungry soul and for people to be inspired into action.

Then there are those that may appear less palatable - dumpster diving, for instance. On the surface, the advocates may appear to be extreme in their beliefs - from cutting waste to rejecting consumerism - but dig deeper and the message of sharing becomes clear.

Dumpster divers believe if something can still be used, or eaten, it can be shared with those around them. It is not an easy lifestyle option, having experienced a meal myself comprising ingredients picked up from a bin.

But when there are people just getting by in a society that dumps about 790,000 tonnes of food a year, saving that less-than-perfect orange from the bin makes perfect sense.

Better still if the item can be redirected to someone in need, before it hits the bin - like how discarded linen from the hotel industry is repurposed into everyday items like bags, privacy screens and even stretchers.

Both causes are based on the same principle - your waste is my treasure. Instead of being quick to throw things out, the causes today show that, with a little bit of imagination and courage, everything can be new again.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2017, with the headline 'Reducing waste with just a bit of imagination and courage'. Print Edition | Subscribe