Friday, August 24, 2007

Freeganism vs T-2-T

If you want to push trash picking to the limit, you should know about Freeganism. The term is a combination of 'free' and 'vegan'. Freegans don’t only take durable goods from the curb, they search for food as well. They know their places; dumpsters at restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls. Also they don’t only look for treasures to recuperate, but anything they need in everyday life; clothing, tools, washing liquids, kitchen stuff etc. etc. See the links below this post to find out more about their lifestye and motivation for it.

Personally, I don’t ‘shop’ for food, but mainly because I never find any. Large shops in Holland don’t throw their unsold food in dumpsters and I never saw any on the curb next to smaller shops. I think the latter, often owned by Turkish or Moroccan people, simply hand it out to their own extended families. Foodbanks have a fairly active policy and don’t wait for shops to bring in food, they go to pick it up at the larger restaurant chains and supermarkets.

I am somewhere in the middle of being a Freegan at heart (because I will take home anything I can use and my anti-consumerism is almost as extreme as theirs) and a ‘trash-to-treasurer’, someone who mainly scours the trash in search of vintage objects to recuperate or recraft into something original and beautiful.

I think it's a pity the two groups are seperated, because I think in reality most people are more or less a little bit in both ‘camps’. I suspect there’s craftiness in most Freegans and I know a lot of t-2-t’ers who are quite open minded about picking up clothes and other textiles for example and who admit they are concerned about the world and want to reduce the landfill. Although some seem to agree with the Freegans without realizing it themselves; on HGTV, where I started a discussion on the subject, there was understanding for Freegans, but a big NO to even thinking about picking up food themselves. On the other hand on the Freegans’ official website I miss the FUN and creativeness of the less extreme curb shoppers.

If you want to read more here are the links:

The Freegan Website

Not Buying It, NYT article

My topic on HGTV


Debbie said...

This was an interesting blog article. I live in the U.S. and I find it hard to understand our laws about food disposal. Grocers amd restaurants must put leftover or stale foods in the dumpster because there are health laws against giving it to homeless or poor people. Instead they must dig through a dumpster filled with who knows what else to get the food....just doesn't make any sense to me at all!

rhino said...

thank you for posting this article we dont rummage through dumpsters however we shop at a hospice thrift shop and donate what we can to freecycle as well. everyone is shocked we dont have long distance cable or even a cell phone (we use a 2 way radio). we have a small tub washer that attches to the sink i dry clothes by hanging them on the shower rack has not failed yet ;) one again thank you it was a pleasant read :D