Freeganism: Dumpster-Diving Rebels Opt Of Economy
In the midst of everyone literally scrounging for money-saving loopholes in this economic downturn, a collective group of well-disciplined and street smart individuals have coined a new philosophical approach to economy and living life: freeganism. This group welcomes all the anti-capitalists, vegans, shoplifters, dumpster divers, eco-conscious citizens and those looking for a number of reasons to stick it to "the man."
An option out of capitalism, freeganism, or freeganomics, strives to be the ultimate boycott to society's expectations. It's a philosophy whose roots stem from the basic concept of eating for no cost and toning down people's glutinous habits. However, it doesn't stop there.
Freegan.info, a website sponsored by the Wetlands Activism Collective, encourages cutting down on driving, buying only items necessary to living and riding the bus or a bike over driving a car. "Think about how your life is wrapped up in the game of consumption: think about the job you hate, the ugly billboards in your community, the horrible waste, the stink, the fast pace and lack of compassion that surround you and understand that as you consume it, it consumes you," the website states.
Then the eating habits for veganism, a step further away from animals than vegetarians, come into play. Not only is there no consumption of meat, there is also no consumption of anything related to animals, such as dairy products. Vegans choose not to wear anything made from an animal, like appealing leather jackets. But, this makes sense. If you were scavenging around the city for food in dumpsters, the first two things that would go rancid first would be meat and dairy products.
The freegan movement began in 1989 in New York City. Today it has gained nation-wide recognition with help from the internet. Freegans were able to produce You Tube videos and put up a website encouraging and guiding newcomers to the philosophy on everything from where to dumpster dive to funneling laundry detergent thrown out at laundromats. Even Craig's List has started a "free section" for anyone to create a post with the free products they are desperate to get rid of.
Another growing organization that works alongside freegan members is Food Not Bombs, which collects thrown out but reusable food from dumpsters and puts together weekly vegan and vegetarian meals for anyone to attend. With all the valuable items that are still of use and are just being thrown away by grocery stores, restaurants and businesses, Food Not Bombs encourages taking advantage of the situation and not letting those things go to waste. Also, advertised on Freegan.info are events in alliance with the movement, such as "free swap markets" held regularly for people to bring things they'd like to give away and at the same time, take an item or learn a skill.
People that feel tied to workday slavery now have an option out, with only the price of complete nihilistic independence to pay. There will be no partaking in capitalism or the still-crumbling economy. There will be no more social responsibilities or guilty conscience from money and material items.
Hypothetically, if more people were to begin investing their time into living by the freegan philosophy, what would happen to the economy? People might abandon paperwork needing to be filed, leave their unfinished reports on desks and throw their ties into burning trashcans for the first few weeks.
Once conditioned needs cave in alongside basic human needs, the dollar might regain consciousness and people will never speak of their desperate moments to un-cage their inner rebel. There isn't anything wrong with putting edible food to use, but the full leap into the anti-capitalist pool is one high-dive too lofty for most productive members of society.