Freeganism in Singapore – Creative Campus: Learning with Latitude

Freeganism in Singapore

Freeganism is a practice and ideology of limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources, particularly through recovering wasted goods like food. The word "freegan" is a portmanteau of the words "free" and "vegan".

Recently, Channel New Asia (CNA) published a story about 38-year-old Mr Daniel Tay, a self-proclaimed freegan who goes through the trash of others to find items he can eat or use, as a way of life. Reactions from readers ranged from admiration to sheer disgust. 

One might assume participants of the freeganism movement do so for economical reasons. However, some participants do it to make a statement against excessive consumerism and unnecessary food wastage. Others do it for fun. 

This festive season, adopt the freegan's love for sharing. Go through the items you are about to throw away and consider donating those that are still usable to a charity organisation. Every bit counts.

Questions to Consider

1. What does Daniel mean when he says he hopes that in future, "dumpster diving is either normal or obsolete"?
2. Would you become a dumpster diver in Singapore? Why?
3. What can you do as a Singaporean to reduce food wastage?


QUESTION: Should Singaporeans adopt freeganism? 

Yes; if all Singaporeans adopt freeganism, there will be less food wastage. Also, there would be less pollution in the seas, as less plastic would be wasted or discarded. People can also benefit by getting items for free, and not spend more money on purchasing them. By getting things for free, not only do people save the food that are still edible, but people may also be more willing to share with others .
Freegans may also find expensive, valuable items that can still be used -- after all, one man's poison is another man's meat! In the video, Daniel found a working coffeemaker and a telescope during his dumpster dives.

~ Vanessa Teoh, Primary 5

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