A friend pointed out when I was discussing my successes with picking through the garbage (my most recent addition an unmarked Graco playpen, a Disney Princess kids camping chair, four green chairs and two planters) that Oprah has discussed the freegan movement on her show. This of course intrigued me and prompted my research of what exactly this entails.
According to freegan.info, “freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources.” Basically, freeganism boycotts the current economic system that places profit motive above ethical considerations.
Some practical living strategies freegans employ include: waste reclamation, waste minimization, eco-friendly transportation, rent-free housing, working less or voluntary joblessness, and going green or local eating (see The 100-Mile Diet review I wrote). The 100-Mile Diet discusses the popular belief that in 2012 will be the end of civilization. Perhaps freeganism is the only way to save our existence and sustain a local food system.
INTERESTING FACT: It is estimated that the average Canadian meal travels about 2,400 kilometres before it reaches the kitchen table. http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5gGm9CgWJPIcG3PtyPSiPIX-onqVw
Although I agree with the freegan purpose and general lifestyle, I think for now I will just stick to picking our local neighbourhood garbage for kid items and commit to eating as local as possible – NOT from the dumpster.