Renae Scott has always been the type of person that dances to her own tune. When she was a young adult, she became frustrated with the strict traditional life that she was being told to live. Get a job, go to work, find a spouse, and have a family. She was fed up with being told how to live her life.
Renae worked as a dance and yoga instructor, which allowed her to get away from working in an office. But like so many other people, Renae wanted something more out of life. She began to question why people needed to sacrifice so much to live an enjoyable life. All she wanted to do was climb mountains, travel, and breathe fresh air.
In 2015, Renae decided that it was time to make some major lifestyle changes. She needed to do something that would accommodate her restless personality. After she packed up her Honda with the necessities, she said goodbye to her home and moved into her car full-time. She was making the changes that she needed to be truly happy.
Renae was well-suited for living the tiny life, especially considering that she was able to do as she pleased. She was able to travel to several different states, while she earned an income by teaching yoga as well as a variety of dance classes. Teaching classes like hip-hop would allow her students to get a good workout for way less money than going to the gym.
Renae was able to meet some like-minded people in the early days of her new lifestyle. Her non-conformist friends began to tell Renae about an activity that would not only save her money, but it would also help the environment, as well. So when her friends began to tell her about dumpster diving, Renae was all ears.
For obvious reasons, most people are absolutely revolted by the thought of getting food out of the trash can. But not Renae! Actually, Renae was pretty curious about it. “I’ve never been a germaphobe, and I highly value resourcefulness, so it was easy for them to convert me,” she explained.
Before you judge or become grossed out, keep reading because things aren’t always as they seem. While most people would assume that dumpsters are full of slimy, rotting food, Renae actually discovered the opposite. Grocery stores and restaurants actually throw away perfectly good food still in the packages. They also throw away fresh veggies or fruit every single day just to make room for new inventory.
Every single time Renae jumped into a dumpster, she would come out ready to eat like a queen. Renae would open up garbage bags that were filled to the brim with high-quality, expensive food that she could never afford to buy for herself. All of the food was still good, but it was on its way to rot in a landfill!
Renae could immediately see the impact that dumpster diving was having on her wallet. Renae chose to dumpster dive several times a week instead of going to the grocery store, and it significantly reduced her bills. In fact, Renae save around $200 every single month!
Thanks to all of that extra money, Renae and her husband, Yoav, have been able to spend money on other things, like traveling! Using their upgraded tiny home van to get them around, the couple has been to ten states, from South Dakota to Texas, and they’ve jumped into many dumpsters along the way.
Dumpster diving was initially a fun hobby for Renae, but it turned into something so much more. Once Renae began to realize how much food was being wasted on a daily basis, she couldn’t get it out of her head. Dumpster diving quickly turned into a moral obligation for Renae.
Even though stores and restaurants could donate or discount the food that they consider “unsellable,” they just throw it in the dumpster and let it rot. Renae wanted to erase the stigma that surrounded dumpster diving.“It’s made me more aware of waste, as well as our society’s misconceptions about food safety and how wasteful these misconceptions encourage many people to be.”
Not everyone wants to jump in a dumpster for food, so it’s not for everybody. And Renae and Yoav still go to the grocery store to get the things they can’t get from the dumpster. They continue to share their dumpster-diving adventures on Instagram in an attempt to help eliminate the shame around eating perfectly good, healthy food from the garbage. What do you think? Are you ready to try it?