my freegan summer art project
I’m bummed (no pun intended) that I missed out on the NYU Dorm Dive that The New York Times reported on last week in their feature on freeganism. I’ve been trying to re-create Dutch designer Tejo Remy’s “You Can’t Lay Down Your Memory” drawer chest for some time – that would have been the perfect spot for me to collect all the different drawers I need.
A co-worker told me about the article by asking, “are you going to be one of those people in The New York Times who eat trash?” Sadly, that’s how people often describe freegans, just as people often define vegans in terms of what we don’t eat (“oh, vegans? they don’t eat anything – no meat, no cheese, no eggs, no butter…”) instead of our commitment towards living without contributing to animal suffering.
Most people share the freegan ideals of reducing waste and impact, but there’s a psychological “ick” factor that a lot of folks have trouble getting over since the first things that come to their minds are trash and trash bins when they think of freeganism.
I think it should be considered derogatory to refer to freegan treasure hunts as “dumpster diving.” I like to think of freeganism in terms of freebies – you would have to be an idiot to refuse free stuff, especially free food! is what I’d say. Not to mention that folks like Tejo Remy demonstrates that freeganism can be oh so chic and stylish – here’s more creative ideas on what to do with broken plates, empty bottles, discarded paper, bicycle rims and wood scraps, and rags.
Ready to sign up? Here are some upcoming freegan workshops and treasure hunting events in NYC.