1) – a 240 character description of the story. (For use in TubeMogel)
Wendy Scher does her groceries, when the shops are closed. The piles of trash in front of New York’s supermarkets are where she gets her food from- for free. Barely ever she needs to buy food. She lives from $750 a month in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
2) – a longer 250 word description of the story. Details like name, age, addresses are important here.
“What I don’t do? I don’t have a fulltime job, I don’t have a car, I don’t have a husband or children, I don’t have a TV,” said Wendy Scher about herself when I asked her how she is different to others.
The 33-year-old is an anti-consumerist vegan and freegan. She only works a few hours per week, lives from less money and consumes as little as possible. But food waste is also a major problem on the larger scale. According to the UN Environmental Program, 30% of all food in the US is thrown away. Food makes up the largest share of waste going to municipal landfills, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Most things in Scher’s apartment and her kitchen shelves are found. “It’s just about having an observing eye,” she said. The most useful thing she ever found on New York’s streets is her bike. But the list of found items is long: printers, vacuum cleaners, coffee machines, pots, pans, kitchenware and once even twelve flowerpots.
Scher lives from only $750 a month: $530 is the rent for her room in a shared apartment in Bushwick. The rest she spends on bus tickets, metro cards, laundry or toiletries – the only things she can’t find for free. She doesn’t make savings but can make due right now.
She became a vegetarian when she was 12 years old and a vegan by 19. Lately she doesn’t even eat sugar or bread any more. But even such a specific diet isn’t a problem as a freegan. The healthy and organic supermarkets in Williamsburg waste as much as any other supermarket. What has been on the shelf minutes earlier can be found in the trash bags on the street a little later.
3) – a compelling headline and subhead that are SEO optimized plus at least 5 tags
headline: Free Food
subhead: Living off less money with dumpster diving
tags: freeganism, food, trash, waste, dumpster diving, anticonsumerism
4) – a word for word accurate transcript of the final piece
It’s just about what you really need. I know people who can’t go through the day without buying a soda or a juice at the bodega. They can’t go without that. What’s the deal? Don’t you have food at home. Stupid people are really addicted about buying stuff.
Sometimes I just have two dollars in my wallet and I see how long I can go with just two dollars in my wallet. It might be a week or two. I don’t really need cash very much.
It’s just there is certain hours. Between the stores close and the store is collect and you want to be out there and get the useable food before it goes away.
It doesn’t make sense to spend money and get all the new stuff in packaging when somebody is throwing it away next door. Why would you do that?
People like me can always entirely life of the waste, almost entirely, of large chain stores, because resources don’t matter to them.
I just call myself an anticonsumerist activist for justice and animal rights. I could call it living while you are awake.
It’s about doing as much as I can. It’s not about odds. I have rescued two dogs in my life from certain death and I am not gonna say, I didn’t do anything about the 10,000 others I didn’t save. I am gonna say I saved the lives of the two dogs completely. And that’s worth it.
If you are not working to make this world better. Than what are you doing here, there is to much work to be done.
5) – at least three suitable links to the subject, story or theme from other sources
6) – short behind-the-scenes story about how you found the character, something interesting that happened that’s not in the final piece, why you created this story, etc (great for blogging)
After spending time with Wendy Scher, I was keen to taste and try the food she has found. I buy all my food in shops or restaurants and can’t imagine to collect it on the streets. I am like Wendy described it. I can’t go through the day without buying a coffee somewhere.
But the colorful vegetables and fruits in the black garbage bags are perfectly eatable. Wendy made an incredibly tasty smoothie out of waste. The ingredients: kale, pineapple, banana, pumpkin, fruit and veggie mix for toddlers (sweet potato, apple, carrot, cinnamon), flax seeds, sea salt and pumpkin spice