My last Nothing New for a Year blog came out on February 12th and was the journal of my first month of buying nothing new for an entire year. Here it is September 1st, and 6 months have passed without a new blog. I was planning on doing a monthly blog about this experience, but that completely got away from me. It’s safe to say I have been overly busy for a good portion of this year.
I am going to catch you up to date in a series of two blogs. This one will include February through May, including three weeks in Florida, six weeks in Costa Rica, and a seven-week speaking tour in Europe. The next blog will document my bicycle ride across the United States. A lot happened in both, so I could easily have split this up into more blogs, but I’ll go with that for the sake of finally catching up.
The Green Riders are a group of everyday people who came together for a common purpose, to make the world a greener and more sustainable place!
On May 29th 2017, approximately 30 people met in Central Park of New York City to embark on a cross country ride together to Seattle, Washington.
6 years ago I began walking a new path. I left behind my destructive life of partying, chasing women, material possessions, and millionaire dreams and turned it all in for a more happy, healthy, and environmentally friendly life. I’ve made 100’s of positive changes over the last years to get to where I am today and the journey continues.
I’m so excited to share my new TEDx talk, Be the Change in a Messed up World, with you. I’m certain that most of you will get some real inspiration to become the change that you wish to see in the world. And get some good laughs and smiles in too!
In 2009 Rob Greenfield was a loud, drunk, environmental nuisance focused on partying, women, money, and nice possessions. But then reality hit in 2011 and he woke up to the fact that all of his daily actions were causing environmental and social destruction around the world. Since then he’s worked diligently to transform his life to be of benefit and service to the earth, humanity, and all creatures. His extreme activism and adventures have reached millions around the globe through his TV show on Discovery Channel, his book, Dude Making a Difference, and international media including The New York Times, BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera and more. He believes that all of us can leave the world a better place through simple positive changes in our daily lives. In todays environment it’s easy to feel helpless and hopeless but Rob believes there’s never been a better time to be the change for a more sustainable and just world and he’s here to inspire you to join the movement.
Join Rob on his European Tour in Ireland, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France! The tour kicks off April 2nd in Ireland and finishes May 20th with Rob is giving a TEDX in Paris titled “How to Be the Change in a Messed Up World.” Rob will be giving 21 talks throughout Europe aimed to educate and inspire everyone to truly be the change they wish to see in the difficult times that we live in.
There are many limiting ideas floating around out there about growing your own food. Many think you need a lot of money to do it. Some think it’s too time consuming. Some think they don’t have enough space. Others feel that they just don’t have a green enough thumb. All of these ideas are totally understandable but the reality is that if we really truly want to, we can all grow some food. Sure, we can’t all have a fruitful acre of farm land but we can all have at least one little windowsill herb garden, one balcony tomato plant, some planters on our porch, a plot in a community garden, a small garden on someone else’s unused land, or something of that sort. With some initiative we can all grow some food!
My first month of buying nothing new for a year was a success! I had a few challenging moments but made it out of the month having bought nothing new. This is largely a personal challenge for myself to see if I can make it a year without having to buy (or be given) anything new but it is also a means to inspire others to be more resourceful and find ways to meet their needs that do not involve going out and buying anything new. This is beneficial in many ways but my two personal favorites are the reduction of environmental impact and the reduction of money needed to live. It’s easy to just run out to the store or go online and buy anything we need because we live in a society that has made shopping very convenient, seemingly mentally rewarding, and almost seemingly necessary to just be a “normal” member of society. But the problem is that all of this stuff causes real environmental destruction and is the source to many of the most pressing and depressing environmental and social issues of our time. Simply not buying new stuff is one way to live a drastically more environmentally and socially conscious and responsible life. The Story of Stuff does an incredible job of showing how the cost of our cheap stuff is externalized to the natural environment and other people.
This summer I was traveling through New Orleans and stopped into this little cafe. It’s the red building in this photo.
I always seek out places that have environmentally friendly practices but it’s not always easy. From the outside I didn’t expect them to be doing anything particularly green but after talking to the owner for a bit I was amazed to learn that they actually don’t even have a garbage can. In order for a business to have no garbage can a lot of environmentally friendly practices have got to be going on. They have to be doing something really different from most places in the USA. Their story inspired me and is one that more people should know about so I asked the owner to write a guest blog to share his experience with working towards going zero waste. I hope this will help and inspire more restaurants, cafes, and businesses in general to reduce their trash and maybe even one day have no trash can! Here’s Tommy’s guest blog!
PERIPLO: Spanish word for “journey with a purpose”. My name is Renee, and in the months to come I will make up one-third of the film crew making such a journey through Central America.