Friday, June 22, 2007

Freegans Unite!

Joe Fornabaio for The New York Times

I was thrilled when my friend Courtney sent me this NY times article about freegans
One of my sisters, who lives in Madison, WI, spends lots of time diving in dormitory dumpsters getting books and other usable items to sell on eBay. She is also a member of Food Not Bombs. I love the idea of being a freegan, although living in a small decaying industrial city limits the wealth found in my neighborhood dumpsters. I pretty much stick to getting produce out of the Aldi dumpster.

I think freeganism, while worthwhile, can only represent a temporary response to an awful reality. In America, we suffer from an overwhelming glut of consumer goods. We have TOO MUCH STUFF, and we are constantly being encouraged and pressured to buy more and more. It's wonderful that freegans are "dropping out" of the consumption racket and preventing usable items from ending up in landfills.

But for a long-term solution, I think that ALL of us must adopt a simpler lifestyle consuming less overall and supporting sources of ecologically-sustainable and healthy consumer goods. I don't need more furniture or clothing or "gourmet meals" made from dumpster-dived meat and cheese.

Gardening and foraging for food may actually be more ecologically-responsible in the long-term than dumpster diving.


Courtney said...

I am glad that you got the article! Food Not Bombs is a great organization--I used to volunteer with them when I lived in Boston. I have not found a chapter where I am now, however. I am glad to hear they are active in WI, though!


Greenmama said...

Hi Courtney,

I loved the article. Thanks! Plan to e-mail you when I get the chance. I've been in the garden all day and tomorrow's the market.

Start your own FNB. They're a pretty loose group. Anarchists, ya know.

:), Marjorie

Valerie Winters said...

Thanks for posting the link in this post. I read the article and it was very interesting. I was unfamiliar with the term fregans or freemeets.