Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) December 08, 2009 -- Mark Boyle, at age 30, celebrated the end of a year-long effort by hosting a Freegan Festival at Hamilton House, in Stokes Croft, Bristol, where he cooked a free three-course meal for the public.
For the past year Boyle has lived as a 'freeconomist', with a self-sufficient lifestyle, in a caravan in Timsbury, near Bath. He produces all his own food and recycles junk that people have discarded.
Boyle uses his bike to go anywhere, his phone only receives incoming calls, he has a solar-powered shower and cleans his teeth with toothpaste he has made from washed-up cuttlefish bones. He either produces or forages for his food and collects his clothes from bins or from the Freecycle website.
Irish-born Boyle, was an economics graduate and former businessman. He now blogs online with details of his life, using a solar-powered laptop on wi-fi time he receives in return for carrying out odd jobs on a near-by farm.
Boyle states, "It's been the happiest year of my life, and I will continue indefinitely, so I do not see any reason to return to a money-orientated world. It has been really liberating. It does have challenges but I do not have the stresses of bank accounts, bills, traffic jams and long hours in a job I don't enjoy". His priority is to re-use things that people throw away.
Boyle, a vegetarian, is promoting the Freeconomy movement through his blog and Freeskilling events to instruct people how to live with less.
The most difficult part of having no money, Boyle revealed, was not being able to socialize with his friends. "I have missed that aspect. Instead of going to the pub I make camp fires, play music or go for walks".
Boyle had to quit his attempt to try to walk 12000km in a cash-free peace pilgrimage from Bristol to India, relying entirely on people's goodwill and generosity. In France he gave up after a month of facing extreme difficulties.
If everybody, however, became a free economist, what would happen to the real economy? Mark has had a generous offer if he is prepared to write a book about his 'freeeconomy'.
For those genuinely living with very limited cash, take a look at the tribal people of the tropical islands of the South Pacific, such as Vanuatu and see how it really works. No blogging there.
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