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Freegan questions

So, Megan, you're gonna be a freegan for a month? OMG, what are you going to eat?!?! Don't freegans eat out of the trash?!?!!

I'll be eating food.  I have a nice advantage in that my office feeds me two meals a day, four days a week.  The amount thrown out at the end of every day is astonishing.  I guess this could be considered eating out of the trash.  And I guess eating my own leftovers, thrown in the freezer to be eaten at some unforseen date, could also be considered eating trash.  I'd like to see how low my food budget can go (despite the work food, it remains surprisingly high): I have tons of stuff just sitting in my cabinets and fridge, making me feel guilty for letting it hang around so long.  I also tend to make and eat the same thing over and over - it's about time I get a little creative with what I've got and venture into new territory!

OMG, what if you need something?!?!!   

I'll buy it.  This isn't about killing myself.  But realistically, what do we really need?  We have physical needs, social needs, professional needs.  My most basic needs are pretty much met all of the time.  I live an incredibly rich life by global standards, with consistently clean water and functioning electricity every single day.  A lot of people asked me last year why I didn't buy nondurable goods during Fix, like soap and toilet paper and toothpaste.  Well, a lot of the time the need for these items, or particular kinds of these items, are manufactured by the companies that make them.  I wanted to challenge myself to evaluate if I really needed something when I ran out of it and if there might be a more earth- and people-friendly option.  Plus, some of this stuff, like cosmetics and other "health and beauty" items, have a way showing up and hanging around: in a gift basket, as a giveaway, etc.  So I don't really need them very often.          

How will you get around?

Well, I am fortunate to live in a city where the public transport is comprehensive and pretty affordable.  (Oh, and this is a major reason why I live here, BTW.  Cars are like kids: they cost a lot, you have to keep feeding them, you have to worry if they're sick, where you left them, etc.  Not ready for that yet.) I usually spend $80 a month on my monthly Metrocard and then a little more on cabs or fixing my bike.  This month, though, I'd like to rely more on my bike when my pass runs out on the 8th.  I've always wanted to see how much I could integrate my bike into my life - this seems like a great opportunity!  I'll reserve the possibility that I'll probably need to ride the subway late at night or if I'm carrying a bunch of crap, but I'll just pay as I go and see how often I really need it in the good weather.  Believe it or not, some people I know don't use the subway at all: they exclusively bike or walk in New York City -- even in the winter. 

Are you gonna dumpster dive?!?!

Maybe, if I find a good guide.  But I think I already do...I've been going to clothing swaps for a couple of years now, my furniture is mostly cast-offs, my books are all read by someone at least once already.  My grandparents have been teaching me about being freegan for a good long time now, and it hasn't really involved Dumpsters. 

Posted on Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 10:34AM by Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf in | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

You should check out ridethecity.com It's a great new website that's a bit like hopstop but for cyclists. Basically it allows you to see the best/safest routes from point a to point b.

Riding a bike is great. I've been bike commuting for about 6 months now and granted, my commute is 2.5 miles roundtrip (in Brooklyn) but it's still very satisfying.

Good luck to you.

July 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNeelofer

Wow, great site! Thanks so much - I just got good info on where I can pick up the greenway to head downtown. We'll see how today's route works out...

Thanks for reading!

July 6, 2008 | Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf

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