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freegan

dumpster_freegan_bagels

You are probably asking yourself what is Freeganism. Freeganism is an extreme form of activism against waste and over consumption. Freegans try not to participate in the “regular” economy and minimize their use of resources. What this actually entails may appeal to you or appall you either way it is rather interesting. The core concepts of the freegan life include a truly anti-capitalism life of sharing, squatting, working less, and foraging.

Sharing

This of course isn’t limited to the freegan lifestyle. But freegans take special care to minimize the amount of participation in the economy by sharing goods, space, food, and services.

This is a great method of reducing consumption we can all take on. As a neighborhood we already practice this. I have an extension ladder that has hit most of the roofs in this neighborhood. I don’t mind because each of my neighbors has something I might need one day.

Squatting

Why pay for a place to live? There are all kinds of free places to live out there, may not be safe, clean, or habitable but they are free. The idea here is that by not paying you are staying out of the economy, being “frugal”, and making use of an otherwise useless resource.

Working less, or not at all

The man is just trying to keep you down, don’t let him work less or not at all. All that money supports the capital markets, besides what do you need all that money for if you aren’t buying anything. Freegan’s believe in consuming less, reusing, and not supporting capitalism. Working is keeping up the machine

Foraging

This is where it gets crazy. A big part of the freegan lifestyle is avoiding capitalism by not buying anything. This includes food. Where does one get food if they aren’t willing to pay for it? The garbage sir, the garbage.

Freegans, forage for food. Some do research and forage for food in the wild, which is extreme but not crazy. Others do some urban foraging, in dumpsters. The amount of food people throw away is astounding, a good bit of that food is probably still edible. Freegans will hit the dumpsters up for anything we leave behind, brush it off, and eat it. They actually go so far as to say you should physically damage trash compactors so they don’t damage your potential bounty.

The freegans aren’t completely crazy, they take frugality to the extremes to try to “boycott” capitalism and have less of an impact on the environment. Some of the practices they advocate are illegal, like squatting, and some them are probably less than healthy, like getting your food from the garbage. Other practices are great for everyone, like reducing your consumption of new products and using services like freecycle to share your old goods for free. What do you think about it? Crazy or not?

Photo: (hippiepeace)

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