Five Facts About Freegans (AKA Dumpster Divers)

The Freegan movement is huge. Freegans are everywhere…but what exactly IS a Freegan?

A Freegan is someone who refuses to support the deplorable practices of some businesses with their finances. Freegans theorize that if they purchase one thing, eventually they will find that their money went to another company involved in the manufacturing of the said product that has bad practices of some sort. These bad practices can range from animal misuse to human exploitation, and environmental issues, as well.

How do Freegans live, then?

Freegans may live in a home just like you. Some may live in a communal type setting, as many living in one home and sharing their resources is preferable in their creed. Freegans may live in abandoned or empty buildings as squatters. They see these buildings as a waste of perfectly good living space that the homeless or very poor can live in. I agree with their philosophy, there. Landlords just want money, they don’t care who goes cold or homeless.

Well, if they don’t buy anything, how do they eat?

Freegans may know someone who owns a food shop, ask for left overs that will be thrown out, or just go in at the last minute of store closing and ask whomever owns the store. Dumpster diving is also a popular avenue for Freegans. While fishing in a big dumpster might sound gross to you, most times the dumpster is cleaner than non-divers would think. In some cases food items are double bagged to reduce chance of vermin scenting it, then making the dumpster their haunt. This is a great boon for Freegans who are actually reducing waste by consuming food that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

But, doesn’t food degrade over time?

Yes and no. According to Lakeland dumpster rental, if the food was being freely distributed under the sun and exposed to natural elements, then yes. But, as pointed out, double bagging is becoming the normal practice. When buried under tons of dirt, bags and food will not degrade. In recent ‘digs’ by different colleges and high schools, it was found that newspapers from fifty years before were still in perfectly readable shape. By removing the wasted food from the dumpster, Freegans are in effect removing non-biodegradable waste from our quickly filling landfills. So overall, the safety and health of the divers are still being considered. These divers will certainly get something that is expired already or no longer usable.

What else do Freegans find and use?

Practically any and everything. Consumerism is rife with the idea of more, more, more. Instead of using or reusing what consumers already have, we are encouraged to move on to bigger and better items. Older products are tossed into the trash instead of given to thrift shops or shelters. Freegans can clothes themselves, feed themselves, and provide all sorts of home products to their stock without purchasing a thing.