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Freeganism: Shopping For Free From Your Local Dumpster

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Here’s an interesting article in the New York Times about a growing movement called freeganism. Freegans are dumpster divers. While some do it for economic reasons, most dumpster dive for political reasons. By living completely on the trash of others, freegans claim they aren’t contributing to big corporations and they’re helping reduce their impact on the environment.

Freegans aren’t just dumpster diving for old home furnishings. They are also dumpster diving for food. Now, before you say ewwww, they’re not eating half eaten food with maggots growing on it. Many grocery stores throw out products when they pass the sell by date. But as I discussed earlier, just because a piece of food has passed the sell by date, doesn’t mean it’s bad. Because food is well packaged these days, freegans don’t worry about contamination while sitting in the trash. From what I’ve read, it looks like bakeries are the places to hit up. Because bakeries want to sell only the freshest product to their customers, they throw out bags of perfectly good bread on a daily basis.

I find the idea of freeganism very intriguing. Not only is it frugal (it’s free stuff), it would be way to buck the system. However, I think the biggest problem with freeganism is the time commitment. If you really want to find good stuff on a consistent basis, you have to go dumpster diving a lot. It also takes a lot of time rummaging through trash to find the good stuff. Going to the super market and handing over cash is definitely more time efficient.

For more information about freeganism, check out freegan.info.

So, would you all ever consider taking on the freegan lifestyle? If you’ve ever dumpster dived, what was your experience like?

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