I'm sure you can all think back fondly on a time when you got a sweet hand-me-down sweater or found a soda in a vending machine that you snagged. This does not make you a freegan. If, however, those both happened in the last week and you have also chosen a profession you know you'll get free samples from, you visit Costco specifically when you're hungry, you choose to use library internet rather than getting your own or, the thought of a new pair of shoes for free makes you giddy and giggly...then you may indeed be a freegan.
This is a perfectly acceptable way to cut down on costs while continuing to do what you like to do. However, I'm afraid that there is a dark side to freeganism that I only recently became aware of. It is possible to become addicted and blind to the fact that you can collect too much stuff. Eight pairs of free shoes may be too many, a full wardrobe of shirts that you didn't pay for but received fairly, daily trips to the supermarket dumpster for expired veggies and cookies may all be indicators of a freegan overload.
The good news is there is a quick and easy fix! You now have the power to enable and encourage other freegans with your excess. Feel free to gift on some of those things you don't really need. Donate to a local thrift shop (not quite a freegan move but close enough for me to allow it). Ask among your friends to see if any of them are freegans or know one and earn some of those good karma points. A sweet side effect of giving your excess (but usable) stuff away is the awesome feeling of doing good while streamlining your life. Those of you that have done this know what I'm talking about. Those that don't well hop on board and give it a go.
Hat, Free. Vest, Free. Shoes, Free. Pure joy, Free.
A likely bunch of candidates for freeganism.
You can have fun with free stuff and what better way to not waste a 5lb bag of spinach than with a spinach eating contest.
Photos by Kayla Watson.