I am entering an era of my life of nearly complete non-ownership. I do already live minimally and with few material possessions. The little I have is for the sake of function rather than of prestige or emotional attachment yet I yearn to develop further. I yearn to dedicate myself more to the betterment of humanity. I yearn to be there for the children who are not being cared for, for the elders who’ve been forgotten, for my fellow human who feels a lack of place or purpose, for the species that have been displaced by my races superiority complex and lack of care.
I’m auctioning my tiny home and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to build tiny homes for the homeless.
January 29th is my one year anniversary of living off the grid in this tiny home. It has been an incredible experience but in my quest to live simply giving away my home is the next step. I will now travel my country and the world, lending my hands to bring strength and courage to those in need (more on this here). I will not have a physical home for the time being but by embracing the earth as my home, I believe that I will never be homeless. Lately I’ve become more aware of the vast wealth gap, where a small percentage of people hold so much money while others have so little. I am not rich in financial wealth but there are many people with less than I, living on the streets of the USA, and I know that they could use the comforts and security of a home much more than I.
There are over 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the USA. That is awesome! Well, sort of awesome actually. It seems to me that if we have that many nonprofits we shouldn’t have as many problems as we do. I really admire anyone who is going out of their way to make a difference. I honor anyone who is doing more than their share for humanity, animals, or the earth. Whether they form a nonprofit or are just a dude or chick making a difference matters none to me. It’s all about taking action! But it’s also about taking well planned and intelligent actions.
Just a little over two years ago I called my first news station and told them about my adventure, Off the Grid Across the USA. I wanted them to come report and help me spread the word. Sure enough, they showed up. Since then I have cycled across the United States (twice) on a bamboo bicycle, went a year without showering, and dove into over a thousand dumpsters across the United States, all to inspire positive social and environmental change. Dozens of news stations all over the country have helped me to inspire more people than I will ever know. Now I live off the grid in a fifty-square-foot tiny home in San Diego, and they’re covering that too!
It all started with a few ideas. If I can do it, so can you.
I met Liselotte through Facebook when she commented on one of my posts, saying she is “dumpster diving her way through her PhD.” I wanted to learn more, so I invited her to do a guest blog for my website. She is an intelligent and inspirational woman doing good for the Earth and the people around her. I just had to share her wonderful story, so here it is!
When I started my PhD in environmental psychology in October 2014, I had been dumpster diving for a while, but I wanted to take it to the next level. The goal was to save as much money as possible so that I would be able to buy a nice block of land after these three years, build a simple eco-home and live mostly self-sustainably after that.
Update 07/18/16: See my updated vows.
My mission is to create happiness, health, and freedom on the earth and I don’t really find it fair to make a financial profit off this. Happiness, health, and freedom should be free. Who am I to charge money for these things? Health and happiness should be pure. All too often when you add money into the mixture it mucks up the purity. Even if it doesn’t muck things up it’s hard to tell if a person’s motives are pure when they are making a financial profit from their actions, no matter how much good they are doing. I want my work to be pure and I want to hold myself accountable. The earth has seen its fair share of well-intentioned people lose their balance when they got their hands on loads of money. To keep myself on track and to set an example for what can be done I have set guidelines for myself and am making them transparent to all.
With some big announcements to come soon, I could easily begin coasting through life right now. This year I’m working on a documentary, publishing a book, and I’m also in talks with multiple networks about a TV show. Rather than coast though I am leading by example more than ever before. I’m not in this for the money or the fame. I’m in it to create a just world full of happiness, health, and equality for all. So I’ve vowed to donate 90% of my earnings to happiness, health, and freedom for all.
I’ve come to the realization that the flights I take are quite detrimental to the earth. I’ve made hundreds of changes in my life to live more earth friendly but I’m not giving up flying completely as of now. However starting today I’m taking some serious responsibility for the flights that I do take.
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.
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.