Friday, August 24, 2007

Freeganism vs T-2-T

If you want to push trash picking to the limit, you should know about Freeganism. The term is a combination of 'free' and 'vegan'. Freegans don’t only take durable goods from the curb, they search for food as well. They know their places; dumpsters at restaurants, supermarkets and shopping malls. Also they don’t only look for treasures to recuperate, but anything they need in everyday life; clothing, tools, washing liquids, kitchen stuff etc. etc. See the links below this post to find out more about their lifestye and motivation for it.

Personally, I don’t ‘shop’ for food, but mainly because I never find any. Large shops in Holland don’t throw their unsold food in dumpsters and I never saw any on the curb next to smaller shops. I think the latter, often owned by Turkish or Moroccan people, simply hand it out to their own extended families. Foodbanks have a fairly active policy and don’t wait for shops to bring in food, they go to pick it up at the larger restaurant chains and supermarkets.

I am somewhere in the middle of being a Freegan at heart (because I will take home anything I can use and my anti-consumerism is almost as extreme as theirs) and a ‘trash-to-treasurer’, someone who mainly scours the trash in search of vintage objects to recuperate or recraft into something original and beautiful.

I think it's a pity the two groups are seperated, because I think in reality most people are more or less a little bit in both ‘camps’. I suspect there’s craftiness in most Freegans and I know a lot of t-2-t’ers who are quite open minded about picking up clothes and other textiles for example and who admit they are concerned about the world and want to reduce the landfill. Although some seem to agree with the Freegans without realizing it themselves; on HGTV, where I started a discussion on the subject, there was understanding for Freegans, but a big NO to even thinking about picking up food themselves. On the other hand on the Freegans’ official website I miss the FUN and creativeness of the less extreme curb shoppers.

If you want to read more here are the links:

The Freegan Website

Not Buying It, NYT article

My topic on HGTV

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Dresser

Here's another fine addition to my BF's flat. The previous owners of this dresser had put it on its side on the curb with all the drawers pulled out next to it, but that couldn't fool us, since we recognize a good piece. It's made of solid wood, only the back and the drawer bottoms are hardboard. One leg had to be reattached and one (at the back, so invisible) replaced.
It stores a lot of stuff and matches perfectly with his sturdy table (see May, 24). He didn't stop to talk about it for days. I didn't know a guy could be so excited about a piece of furniture.

It's a very heavy piece and we couldn't have moved it home without this very handy and helpful find of a couple of months ago: a genuine mover's dolly (company name and all stamped on it). You may think it's just a plank on four wheels, but these things are expensive. I suspect the guys forgot it after moving someone in somewhere. Rather than one simple phone call to the company, they just threw it on the street. It's one of those times when you think: What are people thinking?