How to be a Modern Seattle Hippie

Seattle may be a liberal utopia with great food and culture, but it is an expensive place to live. Whether here for school or work, upon moving here you might encounter what I like to call Modern Seattle Hippies. Depending on what part of the city you live in, you will probably encounter the Hippie more often than the stereotypical rainy-hipster. These Hippies are politically woke, cautious of their environmental impact and know how to live life on a budget (which goes hand-in-hand with helping out the environment). Here are some of the ways you can spot (or become) a Modern Seattle Hippie yourself:

1.Ride your bike everywhere

No matter what weather, your trusty ol’ bike can get you there. If your destination is too far away, then taking the bus is your next best option (and slapping your bike onto the bus’s bike rack).

2. Grow your own food or support local agricultural as much as you can

A small garden you care for on your terrace or backyard, or maybe even a complex year-round set up on your dining room table, every Hippie knows that home-grown food is the best tasting and is cost efficient if done right. Or volunteer for a local farm and receive “free” food from their workshare programs. If you have the money to spare, then farmers markets are the places to shop from.

3. Being vegan or vegetarian

Both dining options (or lifestyles) are friendly to the planet and surprisingly to your wallet as well. As long as you know how to cook or are willing to get creative in the kitchen, it won’t be as boring as most people perceive the diets to be. Animal products (especially meat) are pricier than non-animal products. And then there are the Hippies that “do it for the animals”.

4. Reuse old containers and have all of your brought-from-home lunches be in mason jars

Reuse, reduce and recycle, right? Mason jars are airtight and have just the right aesthetic.

5. Dumpster Diving

You read that right. Now it’s actually not as disgusting nor as dangerous as it implies (sometimes). Most food-suppliers waste perfectly edible food because it’s regulation to throw out certain products by certain dates. I recommend watching this video here and doing some research first before you go for the plunge. If done correctly and safely, you can easily save yourself a lot of money that you would normally otherwise spend on food.

6. Thrift store and second-hand everything (that you can)

Garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, local free-and-for-sale pages on Facebook, etc. is the way to go. As I’ve been saying before, it’s way cheaper than buying new stuff all the time and you help out the environment by not giving into materialism. The only downside to second-handing everything is that it takes time and patience to dig for treasure in piles of what seem like junk. You don’t always find a steal and becoming a star-second-hand-shopper is a skill that requires work.

7. Supporting as many local businesses as possible

Whether it’s the small café not far from your home, that bookstore your friend owns, etc., shopping small and shopping local is the way to go. Also the food is way better too.

Keep in mind that the Modern Seattle Hippie is not to be mistaken for a “freegan”. Even though Hippies know how to live cheaply and practice some freegan practices, no one can get away with being a freegan in Seattle and still live a comfortable-enough life. Most Hippies live in shared houses and/or are lucky enough to find some place where the rent is very cheap. Most Hippies are students and/or have some sort of job. The Hippie lifestyle just allows them to make their contribution to the environment, reject consumerism when they can, and of course, save money where money can be saved.