ellen page
by Ali Berman
Categories: Causes, Environment.
Photo: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Actress Ellen Page has been asking herself some big questions since starring in the eco-thriller “The East”. Mostly dealing with how one can live ethically in a world so filled with corruption.

Turns out, the actress, who studied permaculture, design and eco village development at Lost Valley in Oregon, met a lot of people who lived the freegan lifestyle, and questions whether or not that’s the route she should take.

Page said in an interview, “Every morning when I wake up and open my eyes I am unwillingly oppressing a lot of people and the environment to live in the privilege that I have — that we all have living in this area of the world. Not that everyone in this area of the world experiences that. And that’s a hard thing. I think that is something a lot of people are dealing with right now and it is hard to know if running away to the woods and becoming a freegan is the best choice, or do we stay in the infrastructure we’ve inherited and do our best to create positive change? I don’t necessarily know the answer. Maybe I’m just being a selfish jerk.”

What is a freegan? According to this site, “Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.”

It’s true that, even without being a movie star, most Americans live a life that is destructive to the planet. Whether it’s our eating habits, our desire to shop, our love affair with cars or any of the hundreds (probably thousands) of other ways our lifestyles hurt the planet, the average person is prone to doing much more damage than good. While you’re not likely to find me dumpster diving anytime soon, there are certainly many ways to incorporate freeganism into daily life. Perhaps Page will find a balance between more traditional life and reducing her impact through freeganism.

Do you practice any sort of freeganism?

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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  • Kevin

    What did we call freegans before that term existed? Oh yeah. Parasites.

    • disqus_2uHS1b9BUl

      Because?