The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Is Conscious Consumerism Just a Huge Farce? August 5, 2010

Filed under: activism — Alden @ 7:37 pm
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This thickly accented speaker, Slavoj Zizek, makes a long, convoluted argument that buying Toms, buying Fair Trade Coffee, buying organic is really just hypocrisy. We are “helping with the one hand what we ruined with the left hand.” In short, whenever we buy something that donates to a cause, we are still supporting the economic structures which gave rise to poverty, bad working conditions, and ecological degradation.

My response is two-fold: Yes, I agree that you can’t buy your way out of the mess we are in. Going out and shopping all the time for organic, fair-trade clothing that you don’t need is not the answer to poverty, environmental degradation, and disease. But if you need shoes, why not buy from Toms? If you must get a new, clean t-shirt, why not make it organic?

Anyway, take a look, and tell me what you think:


A good hippie video: Investing in a Better World November 15, 2009

Filed under: Cool sites — Alden @ 10:27 pm
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Thought you would enjoy this inspiring Ted Talk. (Ted Talk is awesome, by the way. Hit it up when you’re bored.) Anyway, this video attempts to answer the question, “What good can come out of the recession?”


GROSS! This is what I call Dirty Hippie August 5, 2009

Filed under: going too far — Alden @ 8:35 pm
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Picture 3

So on Green Team’s blog, there’s a post about possible rancid peanut butter in the fridge. In passing they mentioned something called Freegan. I clicked on it, and it brought me to a snazzy website. At first I was like, cool:

Treading lightly on the Earth – Our high impact, produce & consume society puts a very intense strain on the Earth and her resources. Rainforests are clear-cut to provide more land for food production. Food production also consumes vast quantities of fresh water, one of our fastest-depleting resources.

Ok, fair enough.Then I saw their strategies which include:

  • Dumpster diving
  • Not having a job (They claim that all jobs are terrible.)
  • Going into restaurants and asking them for half-eaten food
  • Running scams or shoplifting
  • Infrequently taking showers, and
  • Squatting in abandoned buildings.

Sounds like Freegan is being homeless, all dressed up like conscientiousness. Seriously? First of all, gross. Can you just imagine living like that? After you’re done dumpster diving, you wander into a restaurant and ask a bewildered waiter to give you some half eaten grossness, then go home to the abandoned building. Oh, and either not take a shower or share it with someone, probably another gross freegan.

Also, do these wierdos realize that if everyone started doing what they did, well, there wouldn’t be any dumpsters to dive in, or restaurant scraps, or buildings to squat in, for that matter. It’s completely ridiculous. Look, I understand the premise, but if you don’t pay for stuff, then it won’t get made, or grown, or shipped, or created.

Lindsey, who sits across from me at work, informed me that not all Freegans are this extreme. Some people just don’t pay so much attention to expiration dates. Ok, that’s cool. And this article also takes a more sympathetic view. But for the rest of you Freegans out there:

Go out with friends for drinks! Get a job you love! Buy a ticket to Europe! Make a home for your family! Live life!