Freeganism: Do You Buy It?

Madeline Nelson finds a bag of slightly bruised apples and day-old bread left in a supermarket's Dumpster too tempting to pass up.

"A lot of perfectly good food is thrown away," says Nelson, a spokeswoman for Freegan.info, a New York City group that promotes "freeganism," which eschews conventional commerce in favor of a lifestyle that uses minimal resources.

Freegans try not to buy things new -- not even food.

Jumping into a garbage bin may sound scary, but Nelson, 52, who lives in Brooklyn, says it's no big deal. Humans, she says, are "hardwired to be foragers."

For the thousands who search online for free merchandise, pick up roadside castoffs and even dig through Dumpsters, paying for everything they need is yesterday's news.

At a time when many Americans are on tighter budgets and worrying about environmental conservation, the practice may get more popular.

Read more on Freegans at CNN.com.


Last month, Lisa Ling investigated the world of Freeganism on Oprah. Click here to read about her investigation, or here to watch Lisa Ling take a "trash tour" of New York.


Check out the NY Times coverage of Freeganism from last summer.


Click here to see what HuffPost contributor Margaret Cho thinks about about Freegans.

What do you think about Freegans and their movement? Do you buy it? Is it something you could possibly see yourself doing? Does it make you feel bad about what you throw away? Have you ever gone 'dumpster diving'? Share your thoughts below.