Friday, March 07, 2008

From Trash to Table?

How far would you go to save some money on your family's food budget and help reduce consumption and wasteful spending?

I recently watched an episode of Oprah where they had a woman on who will even take people on tours of NYC's best dumpster dives and teach them how to be Freegans. What is a Freegan, you might ask? Paraphrased from "Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed." The story on Oprah was both interesting and disgusting (to me) at the same time. Check it out--HERE!

I don't think that I could sneak out at night and hit the dumpsters in my town, even though, I realize, that a lot of perfectly good foodstuffs get thrown out. That doesn't mean, though, that I don't shop around, look for discounts and try to buy locally, when possible. I am a member of my area's Freecycle group and have both received and given away a lot of good-quality, gently used items. I have been trying hard to live a relatively simplistic lifestyle despite the media's constant swarm of ads and the competative nature of motherhood (who has the newest, most up-scale stroller? You buy your kids' clothes from WHERE?! That's a whole other post). We are by no means high up on the scale of being an earth friendly, green family, but hey, we're trying. I really don't want my kids leaving surrounded by trash from my generation but, I have my limits when it comes to what I'll do. Hit the thrift stores, heck yeah! Buy discounted meat, produce and bakery items at the store, reduced for quick sale, without a doubt! Proudly making a meal that I gathered from the dumpsters behind the neighborhood 7/11, not likely.

So, tell me, how far would you go? What do you currently do to "be green"?


Judy said...

I am fairly certain I'm not digging food out of a dumpster. Title to my car? Yes. Half eaten hot dog? No thanks.

We are HUGE recyclers here at our house - curbside pickup for plastics, glass, aluminum, tin and paper. We rarely have a kitchen bag of garbage to put out at the curb - RARELY. We recycle wrapping paper...really, anything.

I also belong to my local freecycle group. I try to see if anyone wants some of the stuff I have before I either donate it or throw it away. I've given away our old grill, empty pots from the home improvement store when we put in the landscaping, cleaned butter tubs, an old patio set, old sheets and towels, little kid clothes, a broken DVD player and even grass we dug out of the yard. I've also gotten a lot of stuff from here - Christmas decorations, shoes for Travis, a coat for Travis and one for Tyler, bulbs, three ficus trees, magazines, pajamas for Tyler that were NEW WITH is a great site. You should see if you have one in your local area.

Anonymous said...

The same things you do - recycle, use only paper bags at store, and then reuse them for kitchen trash bags, things to Purple Heart, maybe a few other things I can't think of right now.



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