Though it may not be a term that you’re readily familiar with, I know that our family is more than ready to become freegans. But what is a freegan and how do you become a freegan? Today, we’re going to talk about that and how easy it is to get started. You may already be practicing some of the tenants of freeganism without even realizing it yet! And don’t worry, once you become a freegan there is no crazy membership to join, or dues to pay. Becoming a freegan is more of a state of mind than anything.
What is a freegan?
Freeganism is a term for people who wish to live “free” from consumerism. Freeganism embraces frugality and a simple lifestyle.
What do freegans believe?
* Less waste – Freegans are reacting against what they perceive as waste generated by excessive consumerism. They believe in minimizing waste in their own lives, not throwing away usable items and learning to repair and refurbish broken things. In fact, many freegans actually make a living off of the wastes generated by capitalism – leftover restaurant food, for instance, and wearable clothes that have been thrown away. Many freegans “dumpster-dive.”
* What you need – Freegans believe in using only what you need and purchasing as little as possible. They shun what they see as frivolous things like plastic toys, gadgets, and larger-than-needed vehicles. Freeganism is about minimizing.
* Low impact – Having as little impact on the planet and the environment is a mark of freeganism. If they drive vehicles, freegans use as little fuel as possible and own as small a car as they can. They might use biodiesel. In general, freegans try to generate as little pollution as possible.
* Community – Gardening, foraging, and sharing are aspects of freeganism, so a sense of small community tends to be a part of it. Many freegans learn to grow and preserve food and forage for wild foods in season.
* Animal welfare – Many freegans are concerned about the welfare of animals raised for meat, milk and eggs. They might raise their own, or shun animal food products altogether
How Do You Become A Freegan?
Freeganism is not a religion, but those who consider themselves freegans do subscribe to a particular ideology.
Does the ideal of being a minimalist appeal to you? Are you concerned about the health of the environment and planet? Do you love animals and are you concerned about their welfare? Does consumerism rub you the wrong way? Consider some of these questions to determine if freeganism is right for you.
Freegans like to think they are breaking out of the cycle of working, earning, spending, and throwing away. Ideally, freegans live “off the grid” and engage in the ancient practices of gleaning, foraging, and scavenging. While we haven’t quite worked our way towards that, and somehow I don’t know if we will truly get there, we are working our way to becoming more self sustained.
Think that freegan or freeganism is just another term for going green? You may be right. Being a freegan does mean embracing part of the green lifestyle. But it’s also about learning to live with less and simplicity.
Freeganism incorporates aspects of going green, frugal living, and simplistic life.
And if this sounds like you, you just might be a freegan.