In a sign of the times Freegans (groups of people devoted to minimising waste, maximising recycling, and eliminating debt) are gaining a wider acceptance in the Australian community.

The group first gained notoriety for their espousal of ‘dumpster diving’ – that is, going through garage cans for refuse that could be eaten, traded, or fixed and sold for a profit.

But what was first rejected as scavenging has slowly gained acceptance, as hard times and questioning of the debt-culture begins to take hold.

Melbourne boasts 240 people who use social media to share information. They talk about where food is freely available, organise expeditions, and offer the excess of their own bounty (should they be lucky enough).

Another less controversial Facebook page discusses Edible weeds and other useful survival information. This is an open forum where experts are able to post pictures and discuss the nutritional value of ‘food’ literally at their/ our feet.

Other information sites include Eat that Weed or Hello Little Weed (if you’re in Melbourne) or Weedy Connection (for Sydney-siders).

Those involved with the counter-culture feel they are returning to the roots of life: foraging, scavenging, hunting. They take only what is discarded or freely given and believe they are performing an important service in reducing waste and minimising the ridiculous $1.6 trillion of Australian household debty by not contributing to it.

While some have been forced into examining the options provided by freeganism many have chosen them. And those who have chosen this way of life are embracing the freedom, thrill, and icommunity it provides.

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