Containering (en)

To find all my posts, click on „Dumpster Diving“ on the right side of this page!

In the topic Food Waste you already read that half of the world’s food is thrown away. However, that is still quite unbelievable that if you don’t see it with your own eyes.

It might sound awkward when you read about people who do containering. I thought only crazy or poor people would get their food out of the garbage at the supermarket. However, I am really happy that in spring 2016 I just tried out Containering and I love it!


What will we find today?


A lot of food!

Why don’t I say Dumpster Diving?

I think that term sounds very inelegant. Besides, it’s not a realistic description of what we do: When you’re do containering, you don’t actually dip into garbage cans. You just reach in with your hand and take what you need. My regular supermarket often even leaves the things it throws away in boxes next to the bins as these are often too full.

Overall, containering is not a dirty, disreputable or semi-legal activity. In Austria and Switzerland, you can legally do it as long as you do not break in and do not cause damage to property. In Germany, unfortunately, containers are illegal – but activists hope that the legislation will change. Otherwise, the container or food rescue scene looks a little different in every country. Just inform yourself about the local conditions – and text me if you notice anything particularly exciting!

Why do I go containering?

I go to containering for idealistic motives: In my opinion, it is ethically wrong to throw away edible food. On the one hand, our food system produces extreme surpluses and on the other hand, people are starving. Containering does not solve the problem immediately. However, if I save fruit and vegetables instead of buying them, I do not give money to surplus-producing, unsustainable businesses for their activities. I prefer to put this money into small, sustainable structures such as refill stores that consciously avoid food waste and offer organic zero waste options.

In my area, hardly any people knew about „Dumpster Diving“ at that time. I wanted to change this and this was one of the motivations for writing this blog and the german column „Waste’s End“, which appears monthly in the Vorarlberg street newspaper „marie“.

In this way I would like to draw attention to food waste and contribute to changing the awareness of food.

If you have the opportunity, I can only recommend you: Find a supermarket near you, try containering yourself and tell people about it!

Maybe there are also other ways to save food in your area. For example, organic farms give „ugly“ carrots, restaurants give the food from the night before or hotels sometimes give their buffets to „food savers“. There are already social media groups in many cities. Find out about activities in your region and network with existing groups!

On Instagram I will show you what I find in container, what food I save and what I prepare with it. Also here I can warmly recommend the keyword „recipes„. Often I just come home with fruit and vegetables that need to be processed. This inspires me to create new recipes and concepts for you!