A comment thread on a previous post reminded me of a fabulous article on Freegans in the NYT.
Kit is a freegan. He maintains that our society wastes far too much.
Freeganism is a bubbling stew of various ideologies, drawing on
elements of communism, radical environmentalism, a zealous
do-it-yourself work ethic and an old-fashioned frugality of the
sock-darning sort. Freegans are not revolutionaries. Rather, they aim
to challenge the status quo by their lifestyle choices. Above all,
freegans are dedicated to salvaging what others waste and — when
possible — living without the use of currency. “I really dislike
spending money,” Kit told me. “It doesn’t feel natural.”
Eventually, Kit and I arrived at the house that he’d picked out for
himself. It was a tall, narrow structure, with boarded-up windows and a
front lawn in desperate need of mowing. There was no “for sale” sign,
but that hardly mattered, because Kit simply planned to move in.
Buffalo is fertile ground for squatting. Kit’s house was one of 10,000
such abandoned structures in the city. As far as Kit was concerned,
this rust-belt city, hit hard by foreclosures, was a veritable Eden for
Apparently, the freegans are settling in old rust belt cities with their bountiful abandoned homes. They're part of this neo-hippie movement that is spawning chicken huts in suburban developments.
I remember when the East Village was full of squatters. I was once on the fringes of a squatters riot around Thompkins Square Park. I like knowing that the squatters haven't disappeared. They just gone upstate.