Say bye bye to Laundry Detergent!

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 America each year. There are 115 million households in America, 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!

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Rob Greenfield 27th Year

In My 27th Year I…

This is a story of my 27th year on earth. Everything here took place between August 28th, 2013 and August 27th, 2014 and are in chronological order. I must say I’m a little blown away by what I managed to accomplish in just one year. The cool thing is that I’m no more special than anybody else. I’m no more capable than anyone else. Not that long ago I was a binge drinking college student spending many of my nights around the keg and my days at the library flirting with the girls. So if I can follow my truest of dreams and desires so can you. For me it was simply a matter of choice and then getting off my butt and doing it.

Here’s the happenings of my 27th year… (You can click on each photo to see more of that part of the story).

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Food Waste Fiasco

Food Waste Fiascos

Every time I open a dumpster there’s food in it. Time after time I am finding grocery stores dumpsters filled to the brim with perfectly good food. I’m not going to stand for that anymore!

Right now I am cycling across America eating solely from dumpsters and hosting Food Waste Fiascos in major cities in an effort to drastically reduce food waste in America. 1 in 7 American’s don’t have the food they need yet we throw away enough food to feed every hungry American five times over! My solution is real simple. Grocery stores need to stop dumping and start donating! It truly is a no brainer. Stores that donate are protected from lawsuits by the Good Samaritan Food Act They get write offs, which means it’s profitable to donate, they spend less on dumpster fees, and most importantly they are doing what is right for their community! Thousands of stores are already donating to non-profits and food banks across America but it is a very small fraction of what could be done. The most common excuse for not donating is that they fear liability but according to a University of Arkansas study not a single lawsuit has ever been made against a grocery store that has donated food to a food rescue program. So these stores are either highly misinformed or just plain don’t care about people and the planet. However I know humans with hearts run these stores and we can get them to change for the better! It’s up to us to hold them accountable to treat the environment and our hungry Americans with the respect they deserve.

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This is My Public Will

I’m 27 years old now and it’s August 24th 2014. At this point I don’t plan on being dead for quite some time. I write this only to be prepared for the possibility, and to make the information available so that it can be used upon my death. I’d like to live into my 80’s, but I’ve found life to be quite unpredictable. I’ve learned that I can rarely know for certain where I will be, even in twenty-four hours.

As much as I’d like to live on this earth in the manner that I am accustomed to for another half dozen decades, I’m also ok with dying because I’ve learned to look at the greater picture. There are seven billion people on this planet and I am just one. Beyond that there are millions of other species totaling up to an uncountable number of lives, each going about their own meaning. To think that I matter that greatly where my life is a necessity for this earth, well, I think that would be somewhat absurd. However, I do think that every move I make and every word I speak does matter. I believe everything that every creature or being does, does matter, and I believe that we all matter equally. But death is as much of a part of life as birth and I accept that. I know many people have not accepted that and when I die I know there will be some people that wish I was still here. They will be more than all right though, especially if they understand where I’m coming from by reading this will.

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News Anchors Drink Dumpster Juice with Rob Greenfield

Dumpster Diving Blows Up Wisconsin Media

It’s been a huge week in raising awareness about food waste. I created a little media frenzy and my activism was picked up in La Crosse, Madison ran with it, and it blew up in Milwaukee. 14 stories were done between news, newspapers, and radio, and their stories were syndicated by other news outlets around the Midwest as well. There is no doubt that a big impact was made in the Wisconsin region with this campaign.

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Rob Greenfield Amazing Dumpster Waste

This food is from where?!

My friend Dane and I are on a mission to show how much food we waste in America, and we know that we’ve got to come up with some creative ways to get America’s attention. So we decided to make a huge public display of what we uncovered in the dumpsters of Madison, Wisconsin. In a matter of 48 hours of casual dumpster diving we managed to collect thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good food that you see here. Looking at this photo myself, it’s still hard even for me to believe that every bit of this food came from dumpsters.

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Rob WKOW

Donating Every Last Dollar to End Food Waste

Over the last three days I’ve been Dumpster Diving Across Wisconsin to raise awareness about our massive food waste issue here in the United States. Previous to this adventure I’ve been Dumpster Diving Across America for a year and a half so I expected this week to be a pretty standard for me. I also expected my home state of Wisconsin to do a good job of not wasting food.

But I’ve been completely blown away by what I’ve found in the supermarket dumpsters. Every dumpster I have opened has been FULL of perfectly good food. In a front page La Crosse Tribune story I did a few days ago, I confidently said, “If there’s a dumpster, there’s food in itand so far I have proved that to be right time and time again. In just three days of biking across Wisconsin living purely on dumpster food, I have found tens of thousands of dollars worth of food. All of this at a time when 1 in 7 Americans is food insecure. This waste of food is also a huge waste of water, fossil fuels, energy, and landfill space and is a root cause to many of the world’s most pressing issues.

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Does This Stuff Belong in a Dumpster?

Dane and I are bike riding, dumpster diving, Wisconsin brothers with a simple mission- to show America how much perfectly good food is wasted and how Americans can be a part of the solution in their own homes and at the market. On August 9th we hopped on our bicycles at bank of the Mississippi River on a journey to cycle across the state of Wisconsin (250 miles over 7 days) eating nothing but food we find in dumpsters, ie the trash, rubbish bins, waste buckets, or as we’ve come to call them, treasure chests. We had a slight bit of worry that we may go hungry but our first dumpster proved otherwise:

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Dumpster Diving Across Wisconsin

Dumpster Diving Across Wisconsin!

Americas Dumpsters are full of perfectly good food, and my childhood friend Dane Gottschall and I are out to show this by bicycling across Wisconsin fueled 100% by food we find in dumpsters.

This might sound crazy, but what’s even more nuts is that we throw away $165 billion worth of food each year in America. This is slightly more than we spend on our entire public education system from kindergarten through university. All of this while 1 in 7 Americans are food insecure.
We’re going to show you that there is so much food in Wisconsin’s dumpsters that we can cycle clear across the state powered by these supermarket treasure chests. Through this adventure we promise to inform you on America’s food waste problem in an entertaining and inspirational manner while giving simple tips on how you can be a part of the solution.

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Goodfluence Tour – Month 1 in Review

I am happy, healthy, and free.

This is how I often feel when I’m riding my bike, especially on cross country trips like this. The Goodfluence Tour is an adventure in simple living, serving others, and in general just being a good influence on the world around me.

I’ve been planting wild flowers across the nation and I’m helping people to start their own gardens and grow food. Check out the freestyle gardening page to learn more and get involved. I’m also inspiring people of all ages to live happier and healthier by teaching them how to live more sustainably and wrote this lead-by-example guide to help you too. 

This blog is a recap of all my Facebook posts from the first month of the journey. Some of it is journals of the adventure itself while other entries reflect my perspectives and thoughts inspired by life on the bike. From my home in San Diego to Far East Texas. I’ve loved every minute of it and I hope you’ll gain something from this experience as well. 

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