Can there be a world without shopping? Some young people in Buenos Aires think so. They’ve brought the freegan movement to Latin America. They claim to live only on what others throw away- scavenging from bins, urban allotments, and swapping events.
Can you live just on what other people throw away? Ariel claims he does. This 34-year-old Argentine freegan finds most of his food in bins or asks shops and restaurants for fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste. He also takes food from urban trees like this avocado plant.
Ariel Bosio, Freegan said, "If we can have access to food, and feed ourselves without having to buy anything, then we can prevent food that’s perfectly edible from being thrown away. For me at least, it also prevents me from having to sell my time for money, and I can use it instead to help to build a fairer society, by encouraging people to eat more sustainable food for example."
To help other people avoid shopping, Ariel also organises ‘free fairs’ massive swaps held in Parks where people can bring things they don’t use and swap them for something they will.
Diego Hernan Belossi, Swapper said, "I’ve come here to check out the ’Gratiferia’, a fair where everything is free, and where the slogan is "Bring what you like, or nothing, and take what you want, or nothing. The aim is to make people aware that there’s an abundance of stuff in the world and we should be sharing it instead of buying it."
Guido shares that philosophy, he gives free classes on his allotment to teach people to grow their own food.
Guido Schiavo, Allotment Gardener said, "People are always talking about some kind of utopian change, but we don’t even need to organise a revolution or bring down the system, but change people’s consumer habits."
Guido created this allotment from wasteland in 2001, now he grow, medicinal plants alongside tomatoes, salad and squash. He hopes to share what he’s learnt with as many people as possible, so we all shop less.
Guido Schiavo said, "I think that if people come here, learn something and leave with new ideas, we’ve fulfilled our aim."
Freeganism might be a bit extreme for most people here in Buenos Aires,but the idea of more sustainable consumption is slowly taking root.