I have never heard of the term freegan until today. My husband pointed me to this site http://freegan.info/ that outlined some of the practices of a freegan. My basic translation is that a freegan does all they can to live life paying for little and where possible nothing. Being able to live without the need for much money. Thus it allows them to have a job with little income (low wage/low hours). This helps reduce stress levels and the feeling that you have to work more to pay for life’s expenses. Thus you have more time to do as you want, more importantly, you have more time to be with your family.
As I read the article about the freegans I thought it was a very interesting way of life, but I would have a hard time living as a true freegan. There are some frills or commodities that I do not want to live without. The touch of freegan in me couldn’t pass up some outdoor chairs and a workbench I saw my neighbor getting rid of.
The workbench was gone quickly by another neighbor, but I took the outdoor chairs just before the garbage men arrived to take them and crush them in their big garbage truck. The chairs weren’t in mint condition for colour, but a spray can of paint easily fixed that and would be a fraction of the cost of purchasing the chairs new. Plus it also helps prevent the trash landfill sites being filled as quickly.
I think I do live a partial freegan life where I am very happy to help anyone with my abilities/talents where I can. I think it’s very fair for anyone to ask me for help with a skill I have and I really appreciate it when people offer their skills/time/materials to me and my family. In the past, I have had an older friend, that has a hard time with computers, ask for help with learning how to use the computer. So I’ll go to her house to help her get familiar with her computer. In return, she has been very kind to do my sewing repairs for me and has watched a few or all of our kids for an hour or two. When people ask/give the help I don’t look to receive from them what is equivalent to what I’ve done, but am grateful for anything they give. It’s how they feel in their heart that matters much more. It took my friend about half a day to do my sewing repairs that had been waiting already 5 years to be done (really she saved me at least 2 months of work with her few hours of work because I regularly have to split my time for all of my tasks).
Our family has saved greatly on the generosity of others around us sharing their extras with our family. Such things as toys, children’s/adults clothes, kitchen supplies, and other extra supplies. We have been able to save a great deal with having to care for a family of seven.
When living in a freegan society, don’t forget to show gratitude for what you receive (and in my case one I don’t forget to thank is God).