The daily telegraph - freeganism

Thought it would be nice to let you lot know what is going on and any future plans etc.
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The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 115936Post Andy Hamilton
Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:10 pm

Dave had a chat with a Telegraph reporter the other day about freeganism, here is a little bit of it.
Sleep is cheap for Dave Hamilton. That's because the Bristolian paid almost nothing for his king-sized wooden bed. Mr Hamilton salvaged the bed frame from a skip.

The mattress came from Freecycle.org, a free online exchange site. All he paid for were the screws to put it together. "The entire bed cost me less than £3," he boasts.
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116032Post 9ball
Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:05 am

Interesting article, I wish I had the balls to do it. Terrified by some of the vitriol being spouted in the comments though... :sad5:
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116076Post JulieSherris
Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:50 am

I don't get the attitudes of some folks.......

I don't consider myself to be 'above' any other person, or indeed 'below' in the so-called class system - I'm the daughter of a single mother (although I'm 47 now!) and of working class, although I had a good education, trained as a nurse & in later years went to Uni & got a Chemistry degree..... I consider my self to be fairly respectable, and fairly respectful of others regardless of colour or creed, I am NOT in any way 'ist'...... and will go out of my way to champion the underdog.

Reading the comments after that article on 'Freegans' makes it sound as if people who are looking to save money and be a little more self sufficient are 3rd class citizens - you can't tell me that they shop for their families & for their homes paying through the nose for everything they put in their baskets, surely?
Do they NEVER 'buy one, get one free'? Do they think that by buying it last week at full price, the shop is losing money by selling at BOGOF prices this week? Idiots!

We're renting our house in Ireland at the moment - yes, we'd love to be able to buy it - it's gorgeous, BUT........
1: Planning consent says that our landlady can't sell for another 6 years - relief!
2: We have ONLY oil heating & water - in 10 months, we've spent over 2500 euros on oil & believe me, we are NOT extravagant folks & there's only me & hubby here... the house is too large for us really, and it costs a fortune to heat.
So, we're planning to buy & then we'll have a peat bog plot that will let us cut our own peat turf to use for heating & water - there's also a forest next door - plenty of wood to use - there's ample of room for veggies & fruits to grow, and we're looking to cut our bills down by at least 70%. And do you know what? I'll be SO proud of us two if we can pull it off!

So let the non-believers pay through the nose to big corporations - let them whinge about not being able to pay the mortgage & let them run up huge credit card debts - we'll carry on driving our little 1 litre cars & living in our cost effective bungalow, and while we might have not have thousands in the bank, we'll have more than enough to make us happy & be safe in the knowledge that hubby need never stress about cash again.

Little rant now finito!
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116078Post Rod in Japan
Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:12 am

There was a rather better article about freeganism about 10 months ago, probably in the Guardian (or maybe Independent), that made the point that freegans also freed themselves from earning a living, and thereby gained the freedom to pursue whatever (anti) social-oriented causes that they favoured. This seemed like a major point worth making.

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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116127Post marshlander
Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:16 pm

I'm all for freecycling, reducing waste and even so called skip dipping with the permission of the owner.

IMHO so called freegans should work for a living and pay their fair share into the pot!
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116154Post Rod in Japan
Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:34 pm

marshlander wrote:I'm all for freecycling, reducing waste and even so called skip dipping with the permission of the owner.

IMHO so called freegans should work for a living and pay their fair share into the pot!
I'm not sure what pot non-working freegans should be paying into, and whether they do or don't at the moment, but the slight possibility that some people might be living freely on 'my tab' doesn't diminish my happiness in any way.

As for needing permission to dive into a skip, at the most basic level, the people who are wasting food haven't asked anybody else's permission to destroy a resource, so nobody need ask their permission to reclaim it.

It'll be interesting to see where freeganism goes in terms of adjusting the definitions of property rights and the nature of social participation.

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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116155Post marshlander
Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:26 am

I was thinking of the wife swap freegans - they were discussed on another thread. As we have a National Health Service, schools, libraries etc that rely on national insurance and taxation for funding shouldn't everybody contribute? If freegans can live completely 'off grid' then fine but not off all the ordinary hardworking people in this country!

I just don't agree that squatting is a right. That doesn't mean I think that houses should be left empty and or delapidated - I don't! I would prefer that local government take action after a house has been reported empty for a period of time after which is is purchased and put in the hands of a housing association.

As freegans just scavenge their lifestyle is not sustainable - if the supermarkets get their act together or better still, we bring about their demise and get back to local shops and markets where will they liberate food?

In the meantime,I think the initiatives being taken to get this food to charities is much better than waste or freegans!

Freegans say they are against all kinds of things that I agree with: Of course it's obscene that we in the west waste so much when there is so much need. I don't believe 'all property is thieft'. We've worked bloody hard for what we have and yes, to quote a freegan site "work means sacrificing our freedom to take orders from someone else, stress, boredom, monotony," Well learn a trade, cut grass, grow stuff, work for yourself, be an artist, do social work, not scrounge!

I'll get back into my little box now I've had a rant!
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116188Post hedgewitch
Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:32 am

Some of those comments are a joke.
I was dumpster diving WAY back in the early 90's and the types of food I would get never ceased to amaze me - all within the "best before" date and all excellent quality.
It is shocking and appalling that we live in the "throw away mentality" times that we do and surely it is better for this food to be eaten rather than thrown away and wasted.
It is a shocking state of affairs when you get morons who think taking out of bins constitutes as stealing and the people who take out of bins are no better than thief's.

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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116228Post Millymollymandy
Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:36 pm

I've never heard of freegans or dumpster diving. I didn't know supermarkets in Britain threw away good food either! I'm quite sure they don't in France as they just leave it on display, rotten and still at full price. :roll: So there would only be food fit for pigswill if you did it here. :lol:
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116252Post hedgewitch
Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:58 pm

Gawd you're so right MMM.
The quality of some foods in the supermarkets here in Spain are beyond being fit for the bins.
I've NEVER seen food skips round here.
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116301Post Rod in Japan
Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:09 am

There are all sorts of food scandals going on in Japan at the moment, most of it involving labelling of bog-standard foods as luxury products (since hardly anybody can tell the difference by taste anyway...), or gradually updating the sell by date as time passes - always fresh!

Some of the practices are totally egregious. For example, shop staff are required to play Russian roulette with the seafood - they go the back of the shop, open a tray of seafood, do scissors - paper - stone to see who loses, and then taste the food. If they don't keel over within 10 minutes, the seafood gets relabled.

But I do have some sympathy with retailers wanting to sell food that has passed some arbitrary date but which is still fit to eat. I'm happy to exercise my common sense in that matter too, and face the consequences. The reason for the huge waste in the UK is very closely linked the matter of sell by regulations.

The only real solution is to get away from supermarkets and back to responsible local retailers.

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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116308Post Millymollymandy
Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:06 am

hedgewitch wrote:Gawd you're so right MMM.
The quality of some foods in the supermarkets here in Spain are beyond being fit for the bins.
I've NEVER seen food skips round here.
I'm glad it's not just me then! We have real trouble ever finding red peppers that are fit for human consumption (usually the best ones are at Lidl)!
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116400Post Andy Hamilton
Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:53 pm

marshlander wrote:I was thinking of the wife swap freegans - they were discussed on another thread. As we have a National Health Service, schools, libraries etc that rely on national insurance and taxation for funding shouldn't everybody contribute? If freegans can live completely 'off grid' then fine but not off all the ordinary hardworking people in this country!
Ok, I did not see that wife swap but I bet it was cut to make the people look bad.

I might not call myself 100% freegan but I do like to get stuff for nothing. If stuff is kept out of landfill then we all benefit with lower council tax bills and cleaner air with less incineration plants; not to mention less need to ruin our countryside by digging holes and filling them with rubbish. So even the total freeloader is saying us money! Also the top earners of this country pay the least in taxes: when I became self employed I was amazed as to how little tax and NI I had to pay and that was without having an accountant. I pay £28 a month NI which next to nothing. Even when I was only earning 130 quid a week I was paying more than that! Not saying I earn a fortune as I am still on a pretty low wage, but being s.e. just opened my eyes to how much can be deducted.
I just don't agree that squatting is a right. That doesn't mean I think that houses should be left empty and or delapidated - I don't! I would prefer that local government take action after a house has been reported empty for a period of time after which is is purchased and put in the hands of a housing association.
There are art groups in and around Bristol that are legally squatting buildings, they help keep the buildings from falling into dissrepair and are giving back a valuable resource to some of the most deprived areas of the city. GOOD ON EM! That is something positive that is being done and you are also right if the money raised when the right to buy was first introduced we would have more house for everyone, less need for people to squat. This is a very big issue and I could rant on and on about it, but if a house is empty then I see no wrong is someone living there. Just as long as it is respected and no damage is done and that they leave should the owner want to move back in. - hmm, can't see that always happening though.
As freegans just scavenge their lifestyle is not sustainable - if the supermarkets get their act together or better still, we bring about their demise and get back to local shops and markets where will they liberate food?
worked for the fox! No seriously, nor is the weekends in ikea lifestyle. Forget about food, I don't really take food from bins, I do forage in parks and take fruit from trees in public places. Mankind has done that for a while have we not?
We've worked bloody hard for what we have and yes, to quote a freegan site "work means sacrificing our freedom to take orders from someone else, stress, boredom, monotony," Well learn a trade, cut grass, grow stuff, work for yourself, be an artist, do social work, not scrounge!

I'll get back into my little box now I've had a rant!
I still work, as do other people who get stuff for nothing in fact these days I am increasingly working for nothing. I would much rather help make a sustainable structure for a charity and get paid in tea than work in a data entry job for to help get some fat cat get fatter.

This is in no way a personal attack (although I am sticking up for my little brother a bit since he was mentioned), I just really wanted to state that a freegan is not necessarily a free loader.
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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116401Post contadina
Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:30 pm

Wow...Telegraph readers never fail to live up to their stereotype do they! There are no bins per house where I live so everyone uses ones provided by roadsides. Rescuing stuff from bins is so normal here it would not raise an eyebrow, as is collecting vegetables from the market bins and off-cuts from the butchers. Definitely not something to get knickers in a twist about.

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Re: The daily telegraph - freeganism

Post: # 116434Post marshlander
Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:12 am

I agree that freegan is not freeloader! It's just that it would appear that some of the people who claim to be or reported to be freegans are really only scavengers. Real freegans give back to society as you and your bro' do.

I'm NOT in favour of wasting food or anything else for that matter - on the contrary. It's just I would rather food didn't end up in the skip in the first place - sell it off cheap, give it to charity/staff - whatever!

I love foraging and wild food, no disagreement here.

Annpann expressed what I was thinking about sustainability much better than me in the thread about food waste
Well... I think most freegans rely on the highly commercial, consumerist, disposable culture... I don't think that is self-sufficient. But then everyone is self-sufficient-ish, to a certain degree.
We've passed on loads of stuff via freecycle/don't dump that and charity shops. We even got a wooden bed frame from the local tip when they weren't so funny about you having things. (Why is that?) We even got a 'new - ish' bathroom suite once - avacado with onynx taps! :oops: well it was 20+ years ago! :lol:

We used a lot of builders timber that he had used as formwork and some pallets last winter, all free, but we did ask first. I understand the arguement that if it's thrown away then it's not stealing (didn't know that - is it a fact or an opinion?) but it's hard just take something even if it's ok - it's not how I was brought up!

I agree tv progs deliberately try to show people up in a bad light but my quote about work being boring came from a freegan website.

I echo your 'good on em!' to the Bristol Artists.

Andy, you said
This is a very big issue and I could rant on and on about it, but if a house is empty then I see no wrong is someone living there. Just as long as it is respected and no damage is done and that they leave should the owner want to move back in. - hmm, can't see that always happening though.
Yes, but better still bought by housing associations for affordable housing. How often really are squatters like your ideal and how many trash the place and wont move out - or am I just believing propaganda? Is there any way of knowing?
Terri x
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