Sunday, June 15, 2008

free... gan?

because i have fallen off the oprah train since i began working 8-5, my friend in law school was catching me up on some of the more interesting episodes. one of them has stuck with me and i have been pondering it since may 17th (when he told me about it).
as stated by wikipedia:

Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." The lifestyle involves salvaging discarded, unspoiled food from supermarket dumpsters that have passed, or in some cases haven't even passed, their sell by date, but are still edible and nutritious. They salvage the food not because they are poor or homeless, but as a political statement.

this movement fascinates me. i come from a household that could be a poster child for the shift in generational attitudes. my grandma (elsie) could have walked from the great depression to 1990 without blinking an eye... she would wash out ziploc baggies and resuse them, she would eat the entire apple including the core and she had a ball of all ready been used aluminum foil the size of a small dog. my mom on the other hand embraces the 'disposable' feature of many things (namely the disposable food storage containers) and the idea of rinsing out a baggy doesn't even cross her mind. since earning a decent income as an, ahem, adult i have noticed myself following the path closer resembling my moms, as opposed to my grandmas. while both have pros and cons, this movement has really got me thinking about if i'm using everything i need before replacing or discarding it.
(oil painting of depression glass)

i have a friend who is exactly the person i wish i could be 100% of the time. she only buys what she needs, and uses all of it. she buys locally whenever possible, and if not locally, definitely organically. she has a tendency to break things, so every inedible thing she buys is thought about and decided upon in a logical manner. she doesn't wash the baggies, but she would definitely eat the whole apple.

starting july 1, i am going to try my own stab at a movement less intense than freeganism, but something that i think will help me be a smarter person both financially and ecologically. (my goal is to be able to do this for 1 year to see if i am changed) i am going to try to not buy any clothes unless the ones i have become 100% unwearable, same with shoes, and i'm not going to get my hair cut, i will eat all leftovers from meals, and i will make what i can from textiles and what not, and buy locally if possible. gifts will all be handmade, if not by me than by someone else (heart you etsy)... and whatever else i'm not thinking of at the moment... you get the idea.

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