Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was a little bit shocked to find that there's such a thing called Freegan (from free and vegan) Freeganism is an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources".

The world's most material girl, Madonna, has done quite so well in bringing us just that much closer to materialism. I am one hell of a big sinner too. Things things things. Separation does make the heart grow fonder! The longer I can't be with another thing, my heart just longs for it so bad. But as soon as a desire is satisfied, another one pops up just like pimples on a teenager's face.

On the Big O today, this woman, who was previously earning a 6-figure salary, gave up that life and started picking up food from dumpster. She even organised trash trips for people of the same interest. Such trips are not fancy trips with fancy drink but trips where you get closer to a possum or rodent, skill-wise speaking. What striked me the most, was that our society wastes so much. American, being 5% of the world population, consume 30% of the world's resources. Madeline and her troop could find buckets of food, loaves of bread, fresh fruits, muffins, cereal, salad and canned food from just a handful of dumpsters, mostly all from grocery stores.

Have you not picked an apple and seen a small dent on it and not purchased it eventually? I have. These perfectly fine fruit are thrown away, they are not even given to the poor or homeless (due to some restrictions). And how much food have I wasted? If I remember correctly, $30 BILLION of food is wasted annually in the US. Now wouldn't it timely if the CEOs of failed companies started embracing freegan lifestyle?

Consumerism, I think, is a more serious problem than drug or alcohol addiction. It is a problem that is so serious but it lives under our skin so comfortably that we don't even realise it. I am sure there are lots of things that I don't need in my life. Looking at the bigger picture, we are digging our own graves and hauling our asses into them too. One the one hand, we scream to preserve the nature; on the other, the economy would stop now that it has become so reliable on consumerism, if people don't buy new clothes for 3 years, like Madeline.

One very good example, products from Apple - all the pods. Even better example, cell phones. I have always wondered, how the heck are we going to save electricity if everyone has a cell phone now? Or iPod, or just any electronic gadgets that are bombarding the market daily. Or TV, it used to be that one family had one, but now every room in a family has one too. There's only so much switching off all electronic devices can do in terms of saving electricity. There are 2 fridges in my apartment.

Back to myself, living as a freegan is probably my ideal. But can I do it? If so, when will I truly give up all things material in the world?

1 comment:

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