Wednesday, March 21, 2007


I came across an article at Alternet today about freeganism.

One Person's Dumpster Is Another's Diner

By Becca Tucker, AlterNet. Posted March 21, 2007.

A subculture of people make a statement by living off the waste of millions. For three days, a reporter gave it a dumpster-diving go in the "freegan" paradise of Manhattan. (click here to read on).

I thought that it would make for an interesting lesson. As the article is quite long and complex this would be best done by advanced students.

Lesson plan

1 Write the word freegan on the board and ask students to come up with a definition. make sure they understand that any definition is acceptable and there are no wrong answers.

E.g A freegan is a person who rides a bus without paying.


Freegan is a organic compound found in inactive volcanos.

2 Students share their answers with each other.

3 Now write the headline on the board (and explain what a dumpster/diner is)

"One Person's Dumpster Is Another's Diner"

4 Student then speculate on what the article is about and what a freegan might be.

5 Hand out the article and ask students to answer the following questions;

a What is a freegan?
b Why do some people do this? (support your answer with examples from the text).
c What is the writer's opinion of freeganism?
d Would you ever try freeganism? Why/why not?

6 Students first find the answers on their own and then get into groups of three/four to discuss their answers.

7 Elicit answers from the class.

8 Would freeganism ever become acceptable in Greece? Why/why not?

9 Ask students to watch this video on freegan eating and if it changes their mind.

10 Students post the video along with a response (in written or video form on their blog). Alternatively, they could post a response on the original YouTube video.

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