Today hasn’t been busy at all. Its been raining on and off and besides going to get a few items for the fish I have been just wtaching either Lifetime or CNN about the Swine Flu outbreak. Fortunately no one has died from it in America and everyone in the U.S. seems to be recovering so I’m not too worried about it right now.
I finished my painting and then started dabbling online for examples of extreme frugalness and I found this:
It reminds me of a guy when I went to school in Santa Fe at the Institute of American Indian Arts in New Mexico, this is when they were still on the campus of the College of Santa Fe. And there was a guy camping in a tent just outside the school grounds in a wooded area and going to school during the day. He couldn’t afford to live in the dorms. I’m sure that guy was better off than all of the other student racking up debt living in the dorms.
And then I found this on Freeganism: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/03/04/freegans-dumpster-diving-and-the-limits-of-frugality/
Freeganism is a lifestyle choice in which for political, social or economic reasons they choose to get and use as many things they can for free. They reject consumerism and therefore get as much as they can for free. The Freegan Lifestyle includes a few extremes like dumpster diving, or even food foragers. Some are vegans but the category is broad and includes those that do eat meat are calle Meagans but here’s another link: http://www.anhglobal.org/en/serve/stories/015
The Freegan goal is to ‘tread lightly upon the earth’, therefore they may not even live in homes but squat or build their homes out of free materials while others live in normal homes and dumpster dive for their furniture or food. Some Freegans also do not work except in harvesting or finding their own food/goods and they try their best to opt out of the consumerist life. Or in the words of the Hobo in the movie “Meet Mr. Smith”, they opt not to be a “Helot”, a slave to the system.
This is truly extreme. I can imagine its one of those extremes that though are environmentally correct are just plain too extreme for most of us. There is NO way I’m eating out of the garbage. I saw something on Planet Green where this guy was eating dandelions from someones front yard and I kept thinking…does he know who walks there dogs right at that spot??? I mean theres a difference if its in Your yard but some of the extremes are too extreme and can’t be very healthy. I mean we need to be environmental and care about what we do and our impact on the earth while staying safe!
I watched a Freegan video on YouTube found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSlDzu13ytI They got in a very nice car and were dressed very nicely to pick through items found in garbage bags then drove home. Okay, in watching this video I kept thinking, wouldn’t it be less of an impact on the earth if they had not drove in a car that uses fossil fuels to get items that were wrapped in plastic to drive back home. Why not make it yourself or go without? I think these Freegans didn’t quite get the concept of their own movement.
But while I would not walk around my neighborhood and pick at my neighbors weeds or flowers, we have foraged a few times. Mostly in Tennessee we foraged. There was a woman who showed us this house that had an apple tree overflowing over its gate to a parking lot full of ripe tiny little apples. She took Lea and I to the tree with some bags and we loaded them up, that was great. Then Lea and I found a tree that had pecans and we picked up as many as we could while walking past the house and that same woman also showed us some black walnut trees. And then here we got free apples from a Freecycle or Craigslist ad in which people were offering them as deer food and we took them and made apple juice out of them. I posted it on this blog. And I do try to Freecycle for items first before buying, so I would consider myself slightly a freegan. But not that extreme. But there are things that can be learned from it. I mean instead of driving past a perfectly good item on the side of the road, can you use it? Can you give it another life? I have done this many, many times. But the getting my food from a dumpster…ah, not so much!
What about you? What do you do? Do you consider yourself a Freegan? The Freegan label is very broad…does this lifestyle appeal to you?