oh-myyy-ribbon
News

Dumpster Diver Explains How She Finds Loads Of Freebies Left Behind From Music Concerts

Laura at a festival (PA Real Life/Collect)

By day, Laura Collins can be found leafing through storybooks with the school children she helps as a teaching assistant. But, in the dead of night, she is more likely to be located diving head-first into a gigantic dumpster – retrieving treasures, discarded by other people. One man's trash is another girl's rave dream, right?


Collins calls herself a “real-life wombler," after Elizabeth Beresford's cute pointy-nosed animals, which became TV favorites as they creatively recycled trash.

Laura and her cat (PA Real Life/Collect)

Despite “bin-diving" being permitted in the UK, where she lives, trespassing is not, meaning that Laura runs the risk of arrest on every hunting trip.

“I stick to shops and bins on the outskirts of the city and no one has tried to arrest me yet," she said. “I tend to avoid the city center where there are more people and more security, which means a bigger risk of being noticed."

A 'wombling' haul from Boomtown Festival 2019 (PA Real Life/Collect)

And her foraging has netted helped her furnish the room she rents.

“Everything in my room is a cast off I have found in a bin – stuff like furniture I've found outside the front of people's houses, including bookcases, drawers and a drinks bureau," she said. “If I'd paid for it all, I reckon it would have set me back around £1,000."

A 'wombling' haul from Bestival 2018 (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I also regularly find food," she continued. "At festivals, in particular, there is so much dried food. I have about 100 cereal bars from festivals, which will last me about a year."

One of her best diving treasures was found earlier this month, when she stumbled across a huge bin full of unread children's books.

“I took as many as I could and have donated them to the local schools where I work as a teaching assistant and run after school clubs," said Laura.

A dish Laura ate when living solely off dumpster-dive finds when in Denmark for a week in 2018 (PA Real Life/Collect)

“But what upset me was the waste. I can't understand why the retailer didn't just donate them to charity, instead of throwing the books out. I've always been into reusing and recycling," she continued. “My mum brought me up that way and until I went to university, I thought everyone lived like that – being careful not to waste anything or throw anything in the bin, if it still had a use."

Laura was shocked into action when she started volunteering at the Oxfam Charity's festival shops and saw just how much waste festival-goers left behind.

“I was at Glastonbury in 2014 working as a volunteer at the Oxfam festival shop," she explained. “When it finished, someone said, 'Shall we go wombling?' I couldn't believe what we found. People had just walked away and left their tents behind, as well as lots of food. I felt really upset and angry. We live in such a throw-away society that I think people leave their stuff behind because it's easier than packing it up. Their attitude is, 'we'll just get another one.'"

Camping equipment Laura salvaged at Bestival 2018 (PA Real Life/Collect)

She was shocked by that attitude, but understood that not everyone was raised the same way.

“They haven't been brought up thinking about what's gone into creating a product like, for example, a tent and they're not considering the pollution they are adding to when they just throw stuff away," she said.

Now, recycling is so important to her that she could not have a relationship with anyone who did not share her values.

Her current boyfriend, Oscar Adedeji, 27, works for an environmental conservation agency. Together they signed up to an app called Too Good To Go, where restaurants and other food businesses sell on dishes and food items that have not been bought that day at a discounted cost.

A 'wombling' haul from Boomtown Festival 2018 (PA Real Life/Collect)

“We probably use the app twice a week," she said. “You can get a dinner that would have cost £10 for just £2.50, as long as you're prepared to eat a bit later, because you have to go and pick the food up and it'll probably be 9pm by the time you get back home with it."

Laura posts her wombling tips on her Instagram account (@lauracollins95) in hopes that it will inspire consumers to be more conscious.

Wombling at Glastonbury 2015 (PA Real Life/Collect)

She recommends wearing a hi-vis vest to “look more official" so people don't bother her as much.

“I do want to raise awareness, but I am not a forceful, angry activist," she said. “I'm quite a shy person, so although I want to get my point across, I don't want to do it in a way that will upset anyone."

Laura and her cat (PA Real Life/Collect)

“When I went to the WOMAD festival this year in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, I saw that the Extinction Rebellion movement was there, doing a screen-printing workshop, so you could print their protest logos on your own bag or T-shirt," she said. “I think that's a much better way to protest – to do something peaceful as opposed to taking direct action, like blocking the M32 near Bristol, which they did earlier this year, and just made people angry."

I think we can all learn a little bit about the importance of recycling.

Anything dangerous or any foolish act you can think of has already been done by someone out there on the internet.

And I mean ANYTHING.

Keep reading... Show less

@arlenedegaf/Twitter

A White civilian faked being a police officer in order to berate a group of Hispanic teenagers enjoying a swing set in a public, all-ages park, in Fort Worth, Texas.

One of the teens recorded the confrontation on a smartphone and posted the footage online.

Keep reading... Show less

Being in the service industry is an incredibly difficult career. It is not for the lazy or faint of heart. In fact it has been scientifically proven that it takes an emotional toll on the soul, the body and most especially the mind. So what could possibly make a server reject the coin they are working for?

Keep reading... Show less

If you've ever worked with kids you know that their honesty and lack of filter can sometimes make them cringeworthy - and pretty hilarious.

If you haven't (or you don't have a thick skin) then you might not be able to appreciate just how funny kids can actually be. For those who can, this article should be a blast.

Reddit user moosepajamas asked:

Teachers of Reddit, what is the funniest thing you've ever heard a student say?

The answers could sometimes be insulting, sometimes silly, and sometimes downright baffling - just like kids themselves!


September 31

Giphy

One time I was asking students their birthdays. One boy told me that his birthday was September 31st. I tried to explain that this was not possible, but he insisted. Later, I looked it up. I then informed him that his birthday was November 17th.

He looked at me kind of confused and said "ohhhh." Then his face brightened and he said, "Well, last year I KNOW it was September 31st!"

- RedditStateOfMind

Jesus

I teach elementary band. One time we were preparing for a challenging playing test and a student said: "Man, I need to practice."

Without missing a beat the kid next to him says "My mom says I need Jesus."

- moosepajamas

Shown Up By A 5th Grader

Giphy

Was tutoring after-school a couple years ago. A kid asked "What time is it?"

I joked "Time for you to get a watch."

He responded "Time for you to get a new joke" without a moment's hesitation.

I had to laugh at getting shown up by a 5th grader. Two reading levels behind but witty as hell.

- Garlic_And_Sapphires

Jogathon

I had a student who was a newcomer (just moved to the US, almost no English) from Latvia. This kid is very bright and was one of my favorite 6th graders ever. We were having our annual jogathon, which is linguistically and culturally not translatable from Latvian.

Student: "So I pay you and you make me run?"

Me: "Yeah, that's actually how it goes."

Student: "This is simple. I don't pay you, you don't make me run."

Me: "uhhhh...."

- estrogyn

Rosa

Middle school field trip to a different state. One of the chaperones (a large black woman) wanted to get in a little nap in the back seat of the bus, so she made one of the students move to a seat in the front that was far from his friends. He got in the seat and started sulking. He was normally a pretty lively kid, so I leaned forward and asked what happened.

To which he replied: "I think I just got reverse Rosa Parks-ed!"

- almost_queen

The Moon

Giphy

I teach sophomores. One day, this girl was sitting at her desk, looking very concerned, and obviously wanted to ask me something. Finally, she blurted out, "Did anybody else see the moon in the sky during lunch? It's supposed to be out at night, something is wrong!"

- cubfanbybirth

Physically

Teacher to student: "Were you in class yesterday?"

Student, sounding more lost than anything and probably answering too honestly: "Physically... ?"

It wasn't so much an attempt at humor as just the summation of how we all felt in that class, one of those "it's funny because it's too true" things... we all were showing up, we were all sitting in the class physically... but being there? That was another question...

- Allisade

The Ladies

First grade. 6 yr. old lil dude about 3 ft. tall and 80 lbs. walks in late from recess.

Me - "Why are you late?"

Kid - grabs his hunk of belly with both hands like a ball of cream cheese and says "The ladies love this!"

Sits down like nothing happen with no smile.

- BoBoShaws

Synchronized

Giphy

He asked me "If a synchronized swimmer starts drowning, do they all start drowning?"

I lost it in class.

- bunsenbernerr

It's A Miracle

I teach high school, and one of my sophomores referred to merry-go-rounds as "miracle rounds". He legit thought that's what they were called 😂😂 I corrected him and he refused to believe me lol.

- royalredhead

The Pizza Guy

I was sharing information about math in art to my students (they're about 13 years old) and mentioned Leonardo da Vinci. A student said: "The pizza guy?"

I was confused, but later she said, "See! The pizza party!"

We were looking at The Last Supper.

- catpflug

Astronomy

Giphy

"I thought Astronomy would be easy because I know all about it but he hasn't even brought up horoscopes yet and we're 6 weeks in."

- chrisrayn

Budget Cuts

I teach band. One day I'm working with the high school jazz band and we're going to start mapping out some basic compositions. I pass out blank sheet music for them to use, which is simply blank 5-line staves with no notes, no symbols, etc.

One kid gets his sheet music expecting it to be a new song we're going to work on, sees that it's blank, looks up and says "Wow, budget cuts must've hit us hard, huh?"

- SquirrelSanctuary

Life Choices

Math prof. I finished a proof and to check understanding, I asked "does everyone understand my choices?" One of my favorite students ever piped up and said "Are we talking about your proof or how you've chosen to live your life?"

- coldstainlessnail

Before

Giphy

Wore a Captain America shirt to school since the student council had a super hero day. A student said I looked like Captain America - before the super soldier injections.

- numero1uno

Parenting isn't always easy, but most parents recognize that their kids are going to mess up and need to be taught how to behave. Some, however, have deluded themselves into thinking that their little angel couldn't possibly misbehave or do anything wrong.

Keep reading... Show less
Laura McIntyre / Facebook

Nurses are often one of the most undervalued professionals we have. Doctors tend to get the spotlight when it comes to healing.

But in the past week, many are placing nurses and all they do in the limelight–all thanks to Laura McIntyre celebrating her twin sister Caty's dedication.

Keep reading... Show less