Thursday, April 30, 2009


I came across this article from the Go Frugal Blog and this past week and thought it was interesting. The article is about Freeganism groups popping up around the country, including New York where the group is up to about 500 people.

Freegans are groups of people who make it their lifestyle to live as frugally as possbile, to the point of finding their food from the outdated things bakeries and stores throw away. According to the blog, some of them refuse to work, taking the Freegan way of living not only to live cheap but to basically prove a point against corporate America.

"Some of the Freegans' tactics are quite sketchy for the average greenie--they advocate peeing on or super gluing trash compactors, calling them the enemy. The Freegans support shoplifting, squatting, and employ theft as ways to stick it to the man. They also encourage avoiding flushing the toilet to the extreme of drinking your own urine."

There are a few things about this group that are understandable. There's nothing wrong with wanting to 1) live frugally and 2) reduce waste. But there are limits. It is a shame that bakeries and other food shops throw out so much edible food at the end of the day, but some of them do sell at a discount. For those truly down on hard times, I can almost see the justification in taking things like thrown away bread. It's a little scary to think of other foods being pulled out of the trash that might have germs and bacteria that could make them sick or even kill them.
There's also a difference between living frugally and saving your money and just not working because you think you're really bucking the establishment. Seriously, with the unemployment rates like they are, I doubt the establishment really cares who's bucking them. Fine if it's your lifestyle choice, but like most choices, there's always a happy medium. I'm cool with the not flushing every time you pee, but you will not catch me drinking my own urine. And I can't condone shoplifting or theft.
What makes this group so fascinating is that it seems to be a product of the economy we're living in these days. If anyone has any more info on these groups or wants to set me straight on anything, please feel free. I welcome any discussion and thoughts. And please make sure to read the original article linked above.

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