The Scavengers' Manifesto Author:Kristan Lawson, Anneli Rufus An exciting new movement is afoot that brings together environmentalists, anti-consumerists, do-it-yourself-ers,bargain-hunters, and treasure-seekers of all stripes.You can see it in the enormous popularity of websites like freecycle.org, freegan.info, freeswapper.org, and freesharing.org: millions of Americans are breaking free from the want-ge... more »t-discard cycle by which we are currently producing approximately 245 million tons of waste every day (that's 4.5 pounds per person, per day!).In The Scavengers' Manifesto, Anneli Rufus and Kristan Lawson invite readers to discover one of the most gratifying (and inexpensive) ways there is to go green. Whether it's refurbishing a discarded wooden door into a dining-room table; finding a bicycle on freecycle.org; or giving a neighbor who just had a baby that cute never-used teddy bear your child didn't bond with, in this book Rufus and Lawson chart the history of scavenging and the world-changing environmental and spiritual implications of "Scavenomics," and offer readers a framework for adopting scavenging as a philosophy and a way of life.« less
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If I had to sum up the idea behind this book in a sentence, it is that our society needs to change from one in which we feel a desire to have something and immediately go out and buy it, to one in which we have a need and fill it (if at all possible) without a trip to a retail store; this often involves waiting until something comes along by accident. But ah, the delight of finding something useful or desirable by the sidewalk in the course of taking a walk, or at an estate sale, or even when visiting a dumpster!
This is one of those books that--presumably for the sake of extending their length--irritatingly repeat a lot in a formulaic manner. There are pages and pages of argument in favor of scavenging and even animals that scavenge that I could have done without. That said, on the whole, I found it very interesting and helpful. It turns out that the authors' definition of "scavenger" is very broad, encompassing even people who clip coupons and/or buy things at yard sales--in fact, anyone who refuses to buy things at full retail price. The personal experiences of the authors, who are husband and wife and both born scavengers, are fun to read and inspiring. The suggestions of ways to acquire what we need are helpful, as are the Web listings.
I liked this book so much that I intended to keep it for reference and inspiration, but then decided to let others benefit from it, too, so as soon as it chooses to come out of hiding, I will post it.