Is too much consumerism getting you down? Have you heard about freegans? Freegans are people who look for different ways to live life that doesn’t take a toll on the earth. Freegans are against capitalism and consumerism. The word freegan is made up of the words “free” and “vegan”. You probably already know that vegans avoid eating or using anything made from animal sources or, that is tested on animals.
Photo credit Freegan.com
An In Depth Freegan Definition:
What are Freegans?
“Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.” -Freegan.com
Freegans look to avoid the purchase of products in an effort to boycott a global economic system which they see as wasteful and unethical. So, how do they survive? Urban foraging anyone? Do you ditch “good stuff” or, have you ever noticed how many usable items are thrown out? Well, freegans notice and they go through the garbage looking for food, furniture, clothes, household items. There are freegan groups that just look for food and then cook and share what they find with the public. Of course there are dangers. You just don’t want to just dive into a dumpster. You need to be careful when going through the garbage and you don’t want to eat food that’s gone bad. There’s also the possibility of getting a ticket if you’re found by the police going through residential or business garbage.
Freegans don’t only look for food and you don’t need to actually dumpster dive to be a freegan. You can join in by checking out the free section of craigslist.org to find gratis items or go to a swap meet. Basically, the event is like a flea market except everything is free! You can check out groups on freecycle.org to find out where there are events in your area.
There tend to be a lot of freegans in big cities like Manhattan and Los Angeles as there are a lot of rich people there and rich people tend to throw away “better” stuff and more of it. Just look at New York University! Every spring in Manhattan people organize dumpster dives at NYU since when students move out, freegans move in to get some darn useable items- detergent, soap, lamps, bookshelves. One year this guy supposedly found an ipod, all for free!
Of course it’s pretty much impossible not to buy anything, but freegans do a good job of it. With prices going up, it might not be a bad idea to get as much as you can for free! You might want to take a leaf out of the freegan book and see if you can find some swapping groups in your area and take advantage of the free section on craigslist! A more moderate path is looking at minimalism. Both of these lifestyle choices are about consuming less and can result in saving money.