Freegans ?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007
We've all heard of vegetarians and vegans, we know people who recycle (and we all should). Heck there are even people out there who eat only raw food. But how many of you can say you've heard of a new group out there called "FREEGANS"? Probably not many. Tonight while eating dinner, I was flipping through the channels and came across CBC's The Hour. I normally avoid it but George Stroumboulopoulos mentioned the segment on Freegans coming up and I was intrigued. It turns out these people get all their food, clothing, etc out of dumpsters. Yep, you read that right...dumpters. Ok, to be fair, trash cans as well - we don't want to be accused of refuse container discrimination do we? Now, before you move on to the next story and snort "it's just a nice way of saying they're homeless bums" you should know that the people interviewed all had places to live and jobs. They simply refuse to take part in the consumer system. Their motto?

We won't buy your crap, but we'll eat your scrap.

The people interviewed willingly admitted that most of the reasons behind their actions are purely political. And I have to confess that I understand their reasoning. North Americans throw out thousands of tonnes of reusable, recyclable materials every year, and food waste is a huge part of what we throw into our landfills. Sure the natural foods are biodegradable but not the overly processed boxed/canned crap we put in our bodies. There's a reason that stuff has a long shelflife. Another part of their argument is that our "renewable" resources won't last forever. Again, a very good point. However, there was something that wasn't addressed in the piece which you can view on The Hour's website. I would like to know how many of these Freegans have their own home/balcony/rooftop gardens? Or grow their own herbs? One of the items they took from a dumpster was a huge bunch of dill (I think - I don't know my fresh herbs too well). Not that their own gardens has an impact on what other people throw away but it would still be interesting to know.

If you'd like to learn more about Freegan-ism or for a better explanation of what they're all about, check out their website.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I actually first heard about this group a couple of years ago. As you say, their actions are purely political and they make some points, but holy crap they'd have to be careful not to get ill, I think.

kelly said...


ems said...

There's a movement over here too. I remember catching sight of a documentary a while ago. They do raise a really important issue but I'm not quite sure I'm ready to join them!

Tanya said...

The Freegan website blurb states: "Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources."

If they are interested in limited participation in the conventional economy, and they have jobs which support the conventional economy, aren't they being hypocrites?

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