Today’s featured article on wikipedia: 2002 Bou’in-Zahra earthquake
I hesitate when I say I live freegan. Because it is not entirely true. I still pay rent. That includes water, heat, electricity, internet. I still use my mobile phone.
And my cat! My cat only eats catfood. He refuses fresh meat or fish, let alone dumpstered stuff. All of the above I rationalize away like this:
– Rent: I’m thinking of moving into a construction trailer with my boyfriend. I don’t know what a “parking space” would cost, but who knows, maybe I could trade in a bit of helping for the right to stay? Water would come from the ground, little bit of electricity could come from solar panels and a wind turbine.
– phone: I could change my contract to 0 € base price per month and just not call anyone. Still could be eached and my active communication would be via chat, mail and skype.
– the cat: Tough one. Does it even count? It’s just me who want’s to live without money, not him. So when I buy things for him, isn’t that all right? After all I also bought a stamp for a package and a printout of a photo, both as a gift. But both from bottle money too… I guess part of the problem could be sovled by the construction trailer; when my cat could go outside I wouldn’t need a litter box anymore and maybe he could even get his own food outside. Then again, he’s an indoor wimp, so I’d probably still have to save him from starving…
So much about basic monthly costs. I don’t think of it as so much pseudo-freegan as I feel the problem could be solved in principle. I can picture it. And I’m not dogmatic. This is not about proving that I can do it in every facet, there are others who have shown it to be possible. It’s about the difficult facets that I cannot picture to solve. It is about encountering personal limits and then learn and grow from there. And my cat, it would be downright wrong to let him suffer from my personal experiments.
So there are several things that I need or want where I don’t see how they would work in principle. And that are not basic monthly costs but come up every now and then, or, in case of my wants, just once. Those are the interesting ones, because I don’t want to make random exceptions. Rent+phone+cat are my exceptions and it would be pointless to slowly add to these consecutivly.
From this follows that I have a wishlist of products:
– detergent for laundry and dishes
– white vinegar and sodium bicarbonat as cleaning supplies
– bike chain oil
– bike chain
– bike ligths
– bike carrier
– bags to hang on the bike carrier
– food dryer
– dancing “shoes”
Not much that I’m asking for? It get’s even better. Many problems are already solved:
– detergent: I collected some soapworth to use it like soapnuts. For my birthday I got another bucket full of these flowers from my boyfriend and a brand new pack of regular eco-detergent from my flatmate. No worries about laundry for about two years I’d say. About the dishes: I yet have to try how the water of cooked soapworht works on them. So far I’m freeloading on the flat’s detergent in the kitchen. The trade with some dumpstered yoghurts seems fair enough to them.
– white vinegar and sodium bicarbonat: No idea about that one yet. But often just water is fine for washing anyway. We’ll see.
– underwear: I got three bras from my flatmate Lisa, she didn’t need them anymore. So I won’t worry about bras for another two years or so. Still need pants though.
– toothbrush: hm… money from collected bottles?
– dental floss: still have some. Will see.
– candles: An interesting one. I thought those where really hard to get, but candles or wax just pop up everywhere!
– Bike chain oil: still have some. Will see.
– Bike chain: Let’s hope it will last…
– Bike lights: Thought of offering work in exchange for these: http://www.reelight.com/ I’ll try when the days get shorter
– bike carrier: I’m not too worried that this will pop up eventually
– bags to hang on the bike carrier: I will trust on freecycling, but then again, they are not so important anyway
– Food dryer: will try via freecycle. Or make an exception? Christmas present? The birthday money from my grandma? Building my own solar one (that would work only one third of the time during summer)? That’s the biggest one so far. Also something I don’t really need but want A LOT though. Making those dumpstered tomatoes last…
– dancing “shoes”: these: http://www.discountdance.com/image/419×450/h07.jpg
I’ll repair mine first. Maybe make my own when they fall apart completely? Also I almost got enough bottle-money to buy a new pair. I just kind of don’t want to…
– toilet paper: big one. so far my flatmates let me get away with not buying anymore. maybe bartering will work here in the long run
Bottom line: Freeganism, not that hard.