How Low Will You Go To Get Something For Nothing? (…What If It Was For A Good Cause?)

by Andrea

Clothing And Shoes, Office Items And Housewares, Personal Care Products, Today's Economy

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dumpster-diving-public-domain.jpgI recently watched an Oprah Winfrey episode where she profiled the Freegan movement. Freegans are people who get as many items as possible that they use — for free.

This may mean taking items they find on the street. This may mean dumpster diving for food. This may mean going without new clothes.

The purpose of the Freegan movement is to inform the rest of the world about over consumerism.

According to Wikipedia, Freeganism is “an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.”

As I watched the show, I was amazed to see how many items these people manage to find for free.

My tween daughter, who sat there with her mouth agape the entire time, told me that if I even considered supplying food in this matter I would have to deal with a case of anorexia.

Still, as someone with a quite few ‘found’ furniture pieces in her home, who is a member of Freecycle, and who is also not afraid of hand-me-downs, I find the Freegan movement intriguing.

So, how far will you go to save money? Will you dumpster dive? Will you eat discarded food? Where do you draw the line?


There’s an unbelievable amount of debate & discussion about Freegans on the Oprah message boards and on the Simple Dollar website.

For more about over consumerism, check out Simple Living — a group that “equips people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly.”