Freeganism - What the Freegan Lifestyle is All About

Freegan Dumpster Score. Photo © Flickr user Natalie HG

What is Freeganism:

Freeganism is an anti-consumerist movement. It takes issue with society's focus on buying new and throwing away old (but still useful) items. In the simplest terms, freeganism is a reaction against the waste of resources. Participants, known as "freegans," have two main goals: to buy as little as possible and to use only what they need.

How Freegans Accomplish Their Goals:

To minimize their participation in the consumer economy, freegans forgo shopping in stores and instead rely on alternative sources for their needs – even food.

This may include:

  • Dumpster diving
  • Curb shopping
  • Bartering or trading
  • Foraging for wild food
  • Sharing
  • Gardening

Freegans also attempt to limit their impact on the world by using fuel-friendly modes of transportation (biking, walking, public transportation and carpooling), recycling, composting and reducing their energy consumption.

Common Characteristics of a Freegan:

While freegans are a diverse group, with a wide-range of life experiences and interests, members do tend to share certain characteristics. The typical freegan is:

  • Committed to living off the wastes of capitalism
  • An environmental, political, or animal-rights activist (or some combination of the three)
  • A vegan or meegan (only eating meat that would have gone to waste)
  • A strong supporter of his/her community
  • Interested in being (or already) free from the restraints of a paying job

Freegan Resources:

Want to learn more about Freeganism? Then, check out these resources: