Posts tagged freeganism

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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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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Everything in your house is FREE?!?!?!

While I didn’t get a chance to hit any curb alerts today, I went to a free house sale.  Similar to a yard sale, a house sale occurs when an owner/tenant decides to get rid of most of the items in their home.  I happened to find an ad on Craigslist advertising a house sale where everything was FREE.  My partner and I got up very early so we would be there at the start time.  We traveled 40 minutes each way.  It was definitely worth it!  10 minutes before the start time, there had to be at least 20 people waiting.

5 minutes after the start time, a woman arrived and let us in.  Everything left in the house was free, with a few exceptions (such as air conditioners and blinds).  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I found everything from plastic storage bins, to bottled water and furniture.  There was even a free working refrigerator, pet items and clothes.

The woman’s generosity amazed me.  She told me that she had never heard of Craigslist until she told a coworker that she had a bunch of stuff she wanted to get rid of.  The coworker suggested the Craigslist free section and it was all history from there.

What a way to recycle and help others at the same time.

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At It Again

The family took a break from curbside recycling as gas and storage was quickly becoming a problem.  Going out every night is fun, but it consumes a lot of gas since we are riding around in an SUV.  We decided to go out to hit a curb alert for furniture that we found on the craigslist website free section.  When we arrived, the furniture we were hoping to grab (a dining room set and chairs) was gone.  It looked like the only things left were actual trash besides an Ikea chair.  I liked the chair despite it having an ugly metal base, but left it there.  Where would I put it?

From there, we decided to go check out our favorite area of town.  One part of the neighborhood is always having trash pickup the following day (except for Sundays), so we knew we would find something.

The night was pretty slow.  One thing we hadn’t bargained on finding was another couple “shopping” in our spot!  I didn’t care when I first saw them.  I figured they weren’t any competition–we meet many different people out doing the same thing almost every night.  Most people have certain things they look for, but it is unusual to find someone doing the SAME exact thing as you.

It turns out they were looking for the same items as us and were even driving like us.  The only people we ever see driving are folks who recycle scrap metal. They aren’t any competition–we gladly leave scrap metal right where it is.

Anyhow, we became disappointed when we saw them grabbing some really cool stuff…if only we were a few minutes earlier.  They filled the back of their van and that was the last we saw of them.

We ended up with some really cool stuff.  A brand new looking cat carrier, mini vacuum, a full-sized vacuum, jeans, a comforter, fish tank with many accessories, magazines and a bag full of stuff I still haven’t gone thru.

Sometimes I am self-conscious when I am picking around near a pile of trash and there are people walking by.  I learned that far more people do it than one would think and in the world of curbside recycling, it is first come, first served.  There are plenty of recyclable items to go around.  BUT, if there is something specific you are looking for, you better get out there early 🙂

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