I wrote this for myself, but thought I might as well make it public because I could see it being helpful for some people. This is how I live when I am functioning at peak happiness, health, and freedom. These are the basic elements to way of living. It could seem rigorous but most of it is simply my way of being so it takes little perceived work. I write it down though to keep a constant reminder of how I want my days, weeks, and months to look. I find that when things are on paper and physically in front of me, they are much more real. It’s not an all inclusive list though, as some things that come completely natural to me are not included such as an abundance of adventure and travel.
Merren Tait, is simply incredible. She went a year without plastic and afterwards a few of my friends told me I should interview her, so I did. By the end of my interview with her I had already fallen in love with her mind. She is simply brilliant and sees the world in a way most people never will. It’s obvious to me how intelligent she is and how well thought out all of her actions are. That is greatly admirable to me. Dedication like she’s shown changes you forever, and I can certainly relate to her experience, especially from Off the Grid Across the USA. This interview with Merren is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to reduce their impact on the environment and live a life full of happiness, health, and freedom.
I’m absolutely no big shot in the entertainment world but I do have a few things in the making. This summer I took a pause halfway through my bicycle ride across the United States to film my first TV show. It was a grueling survival experience in the Louisiana swamps for Discovery Channels newest survival show, Tethered. I was dropped in waste deep swamp water by an airboat to await the arrival of a stranger who’d accompany me for the next 10 days of survival. A half an hour later, another airboat cruised up and a fancy looking guy named Kevin blundered towards me. I thought I had been set up; this guy was just too clumsy and clueless to really be my partner. But within two minutes of saying hello we were tethered together by a six-foot rope and sent on our way to fend for ourselves. We had just the clothes on our backs, a water purifier, machete, and a dozen matches. I can honestly say it was the most miserable experience of my free adult life but it made for an excellent experience.
You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.
-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in the United States. That’s more than the budgets for the United States national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.
-About 50 million of our 317 million Americans are food insecure yet we produce enough food to feed over 500 million Americans.
-To create just the amount of food that ends up in the landfills we waste enough water to meet the domestic water needs of every American citizen.
Even with these mind-blowing statistics you probably still need to see it to believe it. That is where I come in.
This weekend I arrived in New York City from my second bike ride across the United States living on food from grocery store dumpsters. On my first ride dumpster diving across the USA, about 70% of my diet came from dumpsters, totaling up to about 280 pounds of food over 4,700 miles of cycling.
As I write this I am traveling the USA without a penny in my pocket. I left my home in San Diego on June 2nd with $2,000 cash and on August 12th I took a leap of faith in humanity and gave the last $421 I had with me to a non-profit. I made the goal that day of finishing my ride to New York City moneyless just to prove to myself and others that it is possible. Today I arrived in New York City on my bicycle, still without a penny in my pocket. People have tried to give me money but I have easily refused it.
This experience is about much more than just not spending money. It’s about showing that you and I can be contributing members to society whether we have money or not. It’s about showing that there are much more rewarding ways to live than just throwing money at every situation. It’s about living a life that is truly beneficial to the earth, my community, and myself. It’s about being more involved in our communities and treating each other with respect. And it’s also about teaching you how to live with less money so that you can follow your dreams and live independently of corrupted systems that don’t serve your best interests.
Rob Greenfield is on a mission to reduce food waste in the United States and feed people in need! We produce enough food in the United States to feed twice our population yet 1 in 7 Americans is food insecure, including millions of children. This can’t go on! To put an end to the waste Rob is cycling across the United States eating solely food from dumpsters. In doing so he is demonstrating how much perfectly good food is being dumped in every city across the United States and bringing much needed attention to this serious issue. To even further demonstrate how much food is going to waste he’s hosting Food Waste Fiascos across the United States where he displays massive amounts of perfectly good food he finds in dumpsters nearby for the public to see. These fiascos have been blowing the socks off of the people who pass by.
I just received a notice to vacate from my landlord. They have given me 60 days. We’ve had a great relationship for the last 3.5 years and I’ve always paid rent on time. I was a pretty easy tenant for them and pretty ideal in my mind. The reason that they’re sending me on my way is that I rent the apartment from them and sublet out the bedrooms for short-term stays. I provide furnished rooms in a furnished home for people to stay at a great price and that allows me to live rent-free in my little 36 square foot closet room. I have done that for three years, knowing that it was against the term of my lease, but also assuming my landlords probably knew since a simple Craigslist or Airbnb search by them would have found my ads. Plus all the different people staying at my house all the time was a pretty dead give away.
I’m willing to bet that you’ve never thought about laundry detergent caps. I hadn’t either, until I found all of these in the basement of one suburban American home. I was pretty blown away, so I decided to get to the bottom of it. I found that the average American family uses 13 bottles of detergent per year. The pile that you see here has about 250 caps in it, so it took about 20 years for one average family to generate it.
Thinking a little deeper, I wondered how many caps are used in the United States each year. There are 115 million households in the United States, which means that’s nearly 1.5 billion caps! End to end, one year’s worth of America’s caps could line the equator nearly three times! That’s just the caps though. Imagine how much space all of the bottles would take up!