What I Do To Maintain A Freegan Lifestyle

I've been a freegan now for two years, and I'm still alive! I didn't die from any illness, end up on the street, or commit any crimes. So how did I do it?

I live in my friend's basement. This sounds horrible, but it is actually quite nice. I have one room and that is all I need.

While I don't have a job, I do work. I'm a freelance writer, which is the best and most flexible job in the world. I also sell artwork at the local public market (all made from recycled, found, or donated objects.) It's not like this work pays all that much, however, it does help me to get by.

Having a huge garden helps. My friend and I have what amounts to a giant all you can eat buffet in the back yard. At the end of each season we collect the seeds for next year. Knowing how to preserve food is also a handy freegan tip. My grandmother showed me how to pickle nearly anything. Eating food you grow yourself is amazingly healthy.

Forget the car, I ride my bike. It is healthy for you and the environment. Sure, there are times a car is necessary. But using it only when you have to will save on gas as well as wear and tear on the vehicle. Sometimes I can actually get to places faster on my bike than with my car.

I do as much as possible myself. The internet and library are a great resource. I cut my own hair, change my own oil, make my own laundry detergent, and mend any damage done to clothing. You'd be amazed at how long a pair of jeans will last by using mild detergent, hanging them to dry, and knowing how to mend.

If I must buy something, I always try to find it used. Buying from a thrift store has a few benefits. First, you can rest assured that your purchase did not go to some company paying children pennies a day for their labor. Second, no additional resources were used to create yet another pair of sneakers. And third, by shopping at Goodwill or Amvets, your money is going to a worthy cause.

Sometimes I miss going on a shopping spree at Wal-Mart. But our choices have impacts that go beyond an impulse purchase. We must take back our control, let go of our programmed consumerism behaviors, and appreciate life.

wansu wansu
22-25, T
2 Responses Aug 11, 2010

growing up in rural alaska i know exactly how you feel and think WOW THANKX for the reality check. i have been living in hell so-cal 10 yrs now ppls hear change cars like clothes its sic everyone judges everyone too. i hate it. AND I HAVE NOT FALLEN INTO myself i am very lonely but i make good money and you have too have that to survive i hate that too!

Nice story. :) How do you make your own laundry detergent?