There is a legal way to get the things we need without paying for them: welcome to the Freegan movement.
Freegan is an acronym for the words free (free) and vegan(refusal of any form of exploitation of animals) created by activist Alan Weissman. As he himself says: “whatever you buy at the supermarket, I find it in the dumpster three hours later”.
The movement originated in the metropolitan area of New York in the late nineties, as a response to the prevailing consumerism that is rampant in the West. The freegans, in fact, do not comb the garbage out of necessity, it is mostly a philosophy of life. A choice, a provocation: in this way, they challenge the waste that is in our society.
Food, books, clothes, furniture: everything is thrown away when it is still able to function perfectly. And then they decide not to buy. They boycot consumption, fix everything they find and exchange it for free; they also collect what is edible that grows in urban parks and sometimes make small gardens.
Dumpster diving (recovery of still usable waste) represents their best known activity. They favor bins near supermarkets where it is possible to find huge quantities of food still packaged, expiring or just dented.
But it is not the only activity, in fact there is an ever-expanding network of places, real and virtual, where it is possible to exchange objects for free. The most famous is certainly Freecycle, a network for the reuse of goods, an alternative to landfills, which promotes the gift of everything that can be reused and recycled, through distribution centers all over the world.
With their action, the freegans, send a very precise message: produce less and consume better. Not to mention the value of individual behavior. As the writer Tristram Stuart says: “Buy only what you really need, and eat whatever you buy.”