My Frugal Life: Saluting The "Freegans"

It is amazing to me just how many things get thrown out on a daily basis. It is equally sad that the "flavor of the week" fashion item or latest toy is purchased by the avid consumer, only to be discarded shortly thereafter. Imagine the amount of natural resources that are wasted just to satiate unquenchable desires to have the latest and the greatest?


Uncontrolled consumerism is, in my opinion, not only detrimental to society and the world but to the individual as well. Buddhism, a spiritual practice I hold in high esteem, teaches that desire is the cause of suffering. This could not be closer to the truth. Imagine a time when you really wanted something; You thought of nothing but how to attain this coveted object. Then what happened when you finally attained it? You were no longer interested in it.

A very interesting article on MSNBC caught my attention recently: For frugalists, bargain hunting is a lifestyle. In this article, the author writes, "It's no secret that American culture is a consumer culture. We like big cars, big houses and big bags of things bought at big malls and big-box retailers. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the few people who call themselves anti-consumerists, freegans, frugalists or just plain Dumpster divers. Whatever the moniker, these people delight in drastically reducing their consumer spending, finding life's essentials at bargain prices or paying nothing at all."


I salute these so-called "freegans"; They are people with the insight to realize that our limited resources are strained and are already running out. Maybe collectively, we can make a difference in the world. Instead of being consumers, perhaps we can work together towards taking only what we need and letting the rest be?

Igor from Sedona, AZ

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

FYI - I often find good stuff in the trash - but just a note - sometimes it's better to be silent about where the stuff came from - Some people are germ phobic - not that things in stores don't get handled, too. And I take things that can be WASHED.

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June 27, 20080 found this helpful

OH! I love to trash pick too. I found 2 antique - perfect cane seated chairs at the curb one day. Eash is valued at over $200.00. Those were my best finds. I love to go "shopping" on the day the trash truck comes by. I had to pass on a hope chest that was at the curb one day. It would have been wonderful painted white with a white sea star glued where the lock was. Shabby chic on the cheap. I called a friend to tell her where the chest was. No room at my house.

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