Ditched flat, job and credit cards to live off other people’s waste
When Katharine Hibbert, 28, walked away from her flat, job, belongings and credit cards, she wanted to see whether it was possible to live on what our wasteful society throws away.
Katharine wrote a book about her experiences, and will be speaking at a free public event organised by Friends of the Earth Scotland in Augustine’s Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, at 13.30.
She learned to get by on less than £1 a day as a squatter and a scavenger, but more importantly she discovered that depending on friends and strangers rather than cash made life far happier and more satisfying.
Katharine said: “When I walked away from my old life, I don’t think I really believed it would be possible to get by with virtually no money. But it is, and it’s a sign of how wasteful we are that tens of thousands of people in the UK manage to live that way.”
Juliet Swann, Head of Campaigns at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “In our society, where we are constantly told that spending will make us happy and that without growth the economy will implode, Katharine’s book is a vivid wake up call to us all. We must all think more carefully about what we buy and what we throw away.
“Scots throw away enough waste to fill Murrayfield Stadium every day, production and disposal of which costs money and carbon. We simply must find ways to change our habits of over consumption and reduce this level of waste. As Katharine discovered, it could infact improve our quality of life.”
Katharine added: “When I became a squatter and a scavenger, I learned to find the food, houses and other belongings that go spare every day. More importantly, I learned to be satisfied with what came my way and to depend on friends and strangers rather than money in my pocket.
“Of course I was sometimes cold, scared, lonely and hungry, but while living for free I learned to be happier, calmer and more content.”
Katharine is currently setting up a social enterprise in London to bring empty buildings back into use.
For media enquiries or requests for interviews with Katharine, please contact:
Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719
Notes to Editors
Low Carbon Living – free public event in Augustine’s Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh Date: 29 May 2010 – 13:30
Friends of the Earth Scotland exists to help people in Scotland look after the planet for everyone’s future. We think globally and act locally in Scotland, delivering solutions to climate change by enabling and empowering people to take both individual and collective action. We offer help to people with the big things in life – helping to sustain a healthy society and environment. We believe that all of our children’s futures will be better because of what we do.