Friday, June 22, 2007

consumerisn't.

NYTimes article about freeganism.

With my recent interest in sustainability (that has not gone away), I found this article quite fascinating. In particular, I've been having pangs of guilt nearly every time I drive my car or buy bananas from Guatemala. It's hard knowing what's reasonable to cut out or change when you can't do everything. (Unless I join some commune and live off the grid completely. Yeah, not going to happen.) It's trying to find a balance and do more, knowing I can't do everything.

Anyway, some quotes!

"Not buying any new manufactured products while living in the United States is, of course, basically impossible, as is avoiding everything that requires natural resources to create, distribute or operate."

“It’s always hard to give up class privilege. But freegans would argue that the capitalist system is not sustainable. You’re exploiting resources.” She added, “Most people work 40-plus hours a week at jobs they don’t like to buy things they don’t need.”
I guess when I read this, I didn't immediately think, "I'm going to start rummaging through dumpsters!" (Although not a horrible idea, really...) To me it's just about simplifying things. Not buying things that aren't necessary. Buying used when possible. And just..having less stuff.

And of course, as I write this I'm thinking about when I should go to the Gap so I can use my reward certificate and also use my credit since I accidentally overpaid my bill. Sigh. Next step: cut up that damn thing.

4 comments:

tim j said...

Every time I hear about freegans, I think about people I met once in college who normally lived as vegans, but they would eat meat if you weren't going to finish it. Wha?

Living off the grid is easier than you think, and there's a lot of people here that do. I'd like to, but without the commune part. I wouldn't mind a semi-commune, like, one giant chunk of land where all my friends lived and we had our own houses we could do whatever we wanted with. But without the hippies.

You would probably like Compact, a blog by a woman who's been trying to be a non-shopper, living in SanFran, and doing pretty damn well at it. She and her housemates made a pact last year to not buy anything and stuck to it pretty well.

Also, I need to find a copy of these books: Buy Buy Baby, about babies as a consumer culture, and Not Buying It where some woman went a year without shopping and then wrote a book.

e said...

Goddamn you Tim, I just spent an hour reading crap from those links! (Crap that just makes me feel guilty, heh.) Interesting stuff, though.

tim j said...

aww I've done the same, along with the guilt and the "why can't I do that?" thought. But I realized, hey, I don't live in a city and I can't save the world by myself; I just do what I can and that's pretty good.

baby steps!

e said...

I think part of the problem is that at the end of the day, I don't WANT to do that. I'd like to do more, but a lot of that stuff is just too much.

But yeah, baby steps. Poco a poco.