Hello fellow freegans and freegan-curious!
As you all know, our mission is to promote sustainable living beyond capitalism… But as we often say, freeganism isn’t about “purity,” and we all make compromises sometimes to live in our current society. This is all a long-winded way of saying we have to do something we’ve never done before here at freegan.info – ask for money.
We operate on a nearly zero budget, we’re all volunteers, we only use spaces we can access for free, and we certainly don’t buy anything for our events – but… our web tools cost us money. Our grand operating total for the year is $350 – which is pretty good, considering that we provide events for hundreds of people each year (…and have been since 2005!!) and salvage thousands of pounds of food and other goods each year.
Basically, we pay for our website, and we pay for our Meetup group. Meetup is our largest expense, and each time it comes up, we discuss if it is worth it, but on every trash tour, the majority of newcomers find us through Meetup, so for us, it is worth it. That said, our Meetup group has 2,697 members, our email list has another 1,654. If half of the people on Meetup chipped in a dollar to help keep us going, it would pay our expenses for the next three years!
Unfortunately, we’re also in some debt. We had gotten a generous donation years ago (in 2006) that paid our expenses for many, many years. When that money ran out, the bills kept being charged to one of our volunteer organizer’s accounts, and we need to pay that person back.
Would you be able to chip in to help us stay online?
If you’re interested, please go to:
Expression of Solidarity
Freegan.info expresses its solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge institutional racism and microagressions. We acknowledge and sympathize with those who have been misjudged, marginalized, overlooked, mistreated, abused, and murdered. We recognize that we are a diverse group and that we may ourselves intentionally or unintentionally be complicit in racist innuendo. We aim to work on our issues; we strive to be inclusive and responsive to the imbalances in our society. We welcome people of all backgrounds, races, religions, gender identities, sexual preferences, and cultures, and we promise to address any tensions that we have within our group. We are dedicated to building a world that is more kind, compassionate and sustainable, and recognize that our mutual respect is inherent in creating such a society.
What is a Freegan?
We as Freegans employ alternative strategies for living that are based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Thus, we avoid buying anything to the greatest degree possible, emphasize sharing resources, and find happiness outside the pursuit of material things. There are many strategies for living with limited participation in the traditional economy, some of which we briefly discuss below.
Waste Reclamation and Minimization
Because our economic system emphasizes profit over all else, people are constantly subjected to advertising and persuaded to discard and replace usable goods. Freegans resist these messages to buy; we forage instead of buying new things, share foraged resources with others, and promote reusability over disposability in order to consume that which would have otherwise gone to waste.
Perhaps the most publicized Freegan waste-reduction strategy, commonly called dumpster diving or urban foraging, involves foraging through the waste of retailers, residences, offices, and other facilities for useful goods. These goods are safe, usable, clean, and often in perfect or near-perfect condition, a symptom of a throwaway culture that encourages disposability. Some urban foragers go at it alone, others dive in groups, but Freeganism emphasizes sharing discoveries with one another and with anyone along the way who wants them.
Because Freegans frequently encounter extraordinary wastefulness, we aim to minimize our own through materials recycling, composting of organic matter into topsoil, and repair of durable goods rather than replacement. We also redistribute surplus to our friends and give things away at freemarkets and online forums. When Freegans cannot meet their needs through foraging and need to buy, we buy second-hand goods as part of the reduce, reuse, and repair credo.
Just like millions of other individuals alarmed about climate change, Freegans recognize the ecological harm of burning fossil fuels and choose to minimize consumption where possible. We walk, cycle, carpool, use biodiesel, and choose lighter vehicles such as scooters and motorbikes.
Freegans seek to reconnect to the Earth through gardening and wild foraging, even in places one would not expect to find gardens or edible plants. Many urban ecologists have turned abandoned lots into verdant community garden plots, providing healthy food and developing the green landscapes shown to improve human health.
This is just a brief introduction to the many benefits of Freeganism and methods for bringing about these benefits. Learn more by heading over to the Freegan philosophy page.