2007_08_arts_freegan.jpgFreegans have been around for a while now, most recently The Times caught them dumpster diving in the NYU area just as school let out. A freegan goldmine! Now a blogger for Newsweek is getting knee deep in rubbish for a month in order to fully understand these "waste reclaimers".

Raina Kelley is keeping a blog of her fairweather freeganism, and on her first day (Wednesday) she pondered, "Why would a eBay-loving, omnivorous, cigarette-smoking shopaholic do something like that?" She then quickly explains, "Firstly: I'm trying to examine the phenomena of the Freegans from the inside out in order to explain it to Newsweek readers and I have no problems playing the martyr for dramatic effect."

Kelley exposes her non-green side in this introductory post as well, stating, "These environmentalists are not going away. They are going to nag us, scare us and tell us we're not cool until we change our gas-guzzling ways." By day two, however, she seems to be learning, "if we don't give a damn about Earth, it'll kill us, all of us, every single mammal, just like it did the dinosaurs." Baby steps.

Meanwhile, she's not making any friends in Park Slope. On the Brooklynian message board one resident states:

I take a bit of exception to this sentence:

"But, I don't want Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio or any of the snotty people in my very green and very self-righteous neighborhood (if you Google “Park Slope, Brooklyn” and “judgmental,” you'll get more than 40,000 hits) to tell me that's it's going to be easy."

Sure, this board is evidence that folks in our neighborhood are firm in their convictions, but overall, we all get along okay. Is it fair to characterize us as snotty? Granted, there are a few among us that qualify for that name, but overall I think it's fairly harmonious here and the differences are respected. So is our reputation well earned, fellow Brooklynites?

Will the Park Slopers let this freegan rummage through their trash? Will Kelley make it through a month of eating cherry pit sandwiches? Is she really sticking to the rules of freeganism? Only time will tell...