Globe Editorial

Waste: ‘Freegan’ chic

December 17, 2009

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Perhaps a throwaway American society needs people like recent Harvard grad Spring Greeney and MIT senior Adam Talsma, who style themselves as “freegans’’ and participate in voluntary Dumpster dives. Greeney and Talsma, featured in a recent Globe article, aren’t poor or hungry. They and other freegans salvage discarded food, clothing, and furniture from dumpsters, to make statements about conservation.

Still, whatever time freegans spend raiding the trash behind a grocery store or restaurant would be better devoted to encouraging charity and discouraging waste. They could, for instance, lobby restaurants, hotels, and universities to participate in programs like Second Helping, in which untouched food is donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Buying too much and throwing out edible food has become second nature in the United States. But while Dumpster diving is a newly kindled fad, avoiding excess should be timelessly vogue.

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