Posts tagged anti-consumerism

The Freegan Establishment

I’m still amazed by the freegan movement and the lengths that people go through to avoid consumerism.  I found this article very interesting.  It’s about people deeply involved in freegansim.  There are some good points, but being a mother, I don’t agree with going all the way.  There is a limit to the free stuff.  What do you think?

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06Squatters-t.html

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Summer’s here and so is the good free stuff!

Although I’m pregnant and ready to give birth (just about), I’ve still been out, on a quest for free goodies.  I get such a rush when I find awesome things.  I imagine it’s similar to the “high” people get when using drugs….my habit is healthier though.

Last night, I went to two curb alerts.  The first included a random mix of items.  The original ad was posted hours earlier on Craigslist and I was happy about that.  It gave me time to get there and possibly beat others.  I got there shortly before 7pm and was the first there.  I caught the guy putting out stuff so I had first pick.  I tried picking through the bags, but wanted the majority of items, so I took them.  There was also a nice CD/DVD shelf made of sturdy wood.  I grabbed that too.  The street was a one way and a neighbor across the street asked me to move because I was “creating a train”.  I obliged and circled around the block.  He was putting out books and I took a few, then left.  When I got home, I looked through the items.  There were cute wine glasses, an unopened bottle of sparkling apple cider, baby items, and other misc household items.

Hours later, a curb alert for sidewalk sale leftovers was posted.  It was late enough that there was still a good amount of stuff left.  Because of the location, it looked like the homeless/transient people had gotten first pick, but they didn’t take much.  I, however found a cute wooden chair with lots of character, sheets, pillow cases, a duvet cover, and other cool household items.  I also got a modem and router that are compatible with my internet service.

Today was the best day of all.  I found an ad on craigslist for a house clean-out.  The home was located in a suburban neighborhood and the individuals posting the listing were hired to get rid of EVERYTHING.  They had an estate sale and whatever was left over was given away.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  My sister who is visiting accompanied me.  I got beautiful wall art, a beautiful comforter complete with pillows both functional and decorative, a computer, a cute little footstool that is more classic than modern, and other little things.  It was a first come, first served and you could take whatever you could carry.  It was an early Christmas for me and the other people taking things were so polite.  A nice couple offered to take a few things downstairs for me so I wouldn’t miss out.

I was surprised at the number of things that people didn’t take.  There was another computer, 2 monitors, a laser printer, textiles, glassware, art, and pretty much anything else you could think of.  Someone else made out with a beautiful armoire.  It must have cost hundreds of dollars brand new.  It looked very gently used.

Thanks to these curb alerts, I will be doing a little redecorating in my bedroom.  Everything from the sheets and comforter to curtains and I will probably add in a cute rug.  I’m so excited.  Re-decorating for free is so fun!

I’d like to do some curb hunting soon.  I’ve gone out a couple of times but didn’t find much.  It seems that this once looked down upon activity is gaining more attention.  More and more people are realizing that taking stuff from the “trash” is not what they previously thought it was.  I’d like to keep an open mind and say there is enough to go around, but I feel like one of my favorite activities is getting harder and harder because of the attention it is getting :(.

Hope your finds make you excited like mine do!

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Awaiting warmer weather

Now that Winter has departed and Spring has arrived, I can’t wait for the warm days without rain.  I’ll be able to do more curbing and diving as the weather improves.  Just today, I was checking out craigslist and found that many people were putting items out.  I wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t go out and get anything, but the thought of finding treasures that other people think of junk excites me!

This past winter was so slow for these activities that I’ve kinda gotten out of the groove.  I’ve taken to answering ads on craigslist for those giving things away.  I’ve gotten some cool things that way, but there’s something about rummaging through others unwanted items/trash that brings joy.  Can anyone relate?

Just today, I did get a free camcorder.  With all of the new technology, it seems like things like these are becoming almost extinct.  The camcorder takes mini tapes, but I like it.  Call me old school, but I don’t care for the newer digital video recorders that are surfacing on the market.  I don’t own a fancy cell phone with extrodinary video capabilities either.  With the upcoming birth of the new addition to my family quickly approaching, I thought this was the perfect item.

I also scored some baby clothes.  To my surprise, everything was brand new, with tags still attached.  This was also a great find, even though I didn’t obtain it the normal way.

Rain, rain, go away….and don’t come back!

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The best things in life are free…..

While I haven’t been able to do any dumpster diving because of the cold (and now rain), I’ve been doing lots of craigslist curb alerts.  They are as good as dumpster diving in my book because people put items out on the curb, post an ad on craigslist, and ask people to stop by and take the items.

Just this past Saturday, someone posted a curb alert for furniture and footwear.  Since I was bored, I decided to take a look.  Not everyone posts exactly what they put out.  Sometimes, it’s a big, fun, treasure hunt.  You never know what you are going to find.

When I arrived at the curb alert, the items were a mess.  Things were thrown out and it looked like a big pile of trash.  I’m not afraid to go digging.  It’s what I do best!  I was with my partner and he however, was a little timid at first because there were two bars and lots of people standing around.  I began looking.  I found some floating shelves.  Next, I found some assorted housewares.  I’ve been into decorating my home lately and free is always the cheapest it gets!

I put those items in the car and walked over to the pile of mess again.  My partner pointed out a Macbook Box.  I figured that no one would throw out a Macbook, so I began looking inside of the bags.  I found something silver that caught my eye.  It turned out to be a laptop!!  I was so excited!  Further examination of the bag revealed all of the manuals and cds that come with the laptop when they are new.  We took those items to the car and went back to the pile once again.  I decided to look through the clothes.  It was there that I found the charger to the laptop.  A complete laptop…I can dig it!

My partner plugged the laptop in when we returned to the car for good.  I have a power inverter for things of this nature.  The laptop works just fine.  It is an older Gateway Solo 5300.  It is in great cosmetic condition and works.  I couldn’t ask for more….well, maybe wifi, but I ordered a network card from ebay and should have the internet up and running on it within no time :).

My son has been asking me for a laptop forever.  This nice new (to us) item may be his….if he can get his grades up.  I already have a laptop that works well.  I can’t afford to buy him one, but this is a total blessing.

The good folks that threw this item out didn’t mention it in their craigslist post.  I’m happy, because it wouldn’t have been there otherwise.  Finding that laptop made my day and kept me busy.  My partner says from now on, he isn’t going to hesitate in looking.  Let that be a word to the wise….have no shame in your game.  People may stare and even laugh when they see you digging, but I guarantee you they’ll stop once they see your treasures!

We hit more curb alerts.  I came home with an 8′ x 10′ cream rug.  I am in love with rugs: they are versatile and provide a quick change to your home.  It is in great condition and pretty much clean.

We also obtained some heavy duty cardboard storage boxes, computer equipment, including a huge battery back up/UPS (uninterrupted power supply), a small 3-drawer dresser, a toy car for the kids, and a brand new carrying bag.  It was a great weekend and I had fun.

It’s raining now which totally sucks.  The end of the month is the BEST time to find free things.  People are moving, can’t take everything with them, and end up throwing it out.

Hoping the rain stops soon…..

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Missing My Trash Picking

It’s been awhile (about a week and a half) since I’ve gone trash picking.  I’m sick with regret.  All of the stuff I am probably missing…I need to go out.  I haven’t because I have my living room full of crap that we’ve rescued and haven’t done a thing with.  I don’t want to create clutter, but I want to find some treasures.  What is a girl to do??

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No trash for me

I skipped going out Thursday night because I was too tired. I will usually ignore y fatigue and go anyway, but I didn’t The next morning, on my way to the grocery store, I stopped in an area and decided to take a look. The trash hadn’t been picked up. I felt an overwhelming sense of happiness! I am usually too embarrased to look when people are around, but I ignored that. It was daytime and I could see everything so perfectly. We didn’t end up finding much, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

I did go out last night, but only magaed to find two things. It almost looked as if the trash wasn’t being picked up the following day. After a half an hour or so, we reluctantly left the area and returned home.

Where’s the trash at?

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TV’s, Flooring, and MORE

The last few nights have been super exciting.  We’ve been able to rescue many items.  Thanks to our curbside recycling efforts, I have a like new bed set.  This includes a comfy brown comforter, blue satin sheets with 2 pillow cases, a mattress cover and a comfortable foam type pillow with a cover.

One night, we went to an area we don’t normally go to.  We were found an almost new looking Sony Grand Wega 50″ rear projection tv.  We hurried home to test it to see if it worked.  It didn’t.  The good news is that it only needs a $200 lamp.  The tv retails for over $2,000 brand new.  We decided to keep it and buy the part.  You can’t beat a beautiful TV for $200.  In the end, even if we don’t fix it, it can still be sold on my favorite website, craigslist.

Last night, we went to a ritzy part of our favorite area.  We found a full to queen sized blow up bed.  It’s so cool because the air pump is attached to it.  We also rescued a Krups Coffee/Espresso Maker.  The person wrapped it very neatly, as if they were hoping someone would take it.  Imagine, if we didn’t pickup these items, they would be dumped into our landfills and hurting our earth.

The only dilemma I find with our efforts is what to do with all of this stuff?  To be honest, I keep what I can use, sell what I can’t, and donate the rest of the useful items to a thrift store.  I don’t see why things should go to waste.  Some people that engage in this activity believe in only taking what you can use and leaving the rest for others.  My next thought is what will happen if no one else picks up the items? They will go into the landfill.  So, when we are out, we take what we find.  As long as it is recycled, it shouldn’t be an issue.

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