I’ve dived into over 2,000 dumpsters in over 25 states across the USA. By now I’ve pulled out tens of thousands of dollars worth of perfectly good food. Most of it I’ve given away but I’ve also lived solely off food from grocery store dumpsters for months at a time. My mission is to raise awareness about food waste and to reduce food waste and hunger in the USA. I don’t see dumpster diving as THE solution to food waste or hunger but at the same time I figure if the foods going to waste right now, why not eat it? Dumpster diving is not a global solution but for thousands of people it is an individual solution to reduce their environmental impact and feed themselves. So for those of you out there interested in saving a ton of money on food, reducing your environmental impact, or sharing a huge bounty of food with your friends and people in need I’m here to help with that. After 3 years of dumpster diving here are my top 10 tips to dumpster diving success.
I’m excited to announce that I’m cycling across the USA for the 3rd time. But what I’m really excited to announce is that YOU ARE INVITED. The first thing that might come to mind is “I couldn’t possibly keep up.” Well, great news for you, my partner, Cheryl Davies, is the co-host of this ride and she’s never rode more than 30 miles in a day. If she can do it, so can you!
My aim in life is to be a genuine leader in order to affect massive positive change in the USA and around the world. I am 29 as I write this and I know that this won’t happen overnight. I am dedicating myself to a lifetime of work in the service of humanity, the earth, and the creatures that we share our home planet with. In order to truly lead by example I feel that it is important to make personal commitments and I am making them public so that I have no choice but to stick to them. It’s very easy to say you’re going to do something and then go back on it. By making my commitments clear and in print I am helping to make sure that I will stick to them in possible times of temptation or despair. These vows also intend to show an example of how we can dedicate ourselves to something far greater than ourselves and live a life that is truly in alignment with the beliefs that the world should be a more sustainable and just place.
I vow to…
When people talk about sustainable businesses the truth is that these businesses are far from sustainable. Most, if not all, of the major companies that have sustainability directors are as far from sustainable as it gets. They may be decreasing their environmental impact a little bit here and a little bit there but they just will never be sustainable. In this article I present to you businesses that are truly sustainable. These are businesses that will truly make your community and the world a better place. There is no green washing here and if these businesses are done correctly there will be no green washing in any of them. The idea of this blog isn’t just to inspire people to start sustainable businesses though. It’s really about helping people to figure out how they can support a sustainable life. None of these businesses are about getting rich. They are about finding a way to do something that you love and support your needs while living a life that is beneficial to the earth, your community, and yourself rather than destructive to the earth and the life on it. These business ideas, with a few exceptions, are designed to decrease consumption rather than increase it. For example selling organic cotton t-shirts is sort of great but the truth is there are already enough t-shirts on earth and we don’t need any more. These business ideas go a few steps further than a business idea like that.
Many of you may be wondering what my financial situation is. I get asked about my relationship with money a lot, which makes sense since most of us feel that we need enough money to be able to really pursue our passions. I believe that I am living proof that that is just not true.
One year ago, I shared a story titled “This woman is dumpster diving her way through her PhD” She was living completely off food from dumpsters while earning her PhD and also started up a food rescue program to donate food to people in need.
She struck me as a really noteworthy person doing wonderful things for her community and the earth. We’ve stayed in touch during that time and I’ve seen her continuing her path of simplifying her life and dedicating more of her time to others and the betterment of society. Today I am happy to bring to you a guest blog written by Liselotte on what she has been up to for the last year!
Check out this farm! They are completely off the grid, grow about 70% of their own food, send absolutely no trash off their land, and they grow over 200 edible and useful plants on their farm! Plus, they have chickens for eggs and meat, pigs and goats. They practice permaculture principles and are truly working with the land, rather than against it. You can walk around this farm for hours, always coming upon new naturally growing things to eat, or make healing teas from.
On September 13th, 2015, I embarked on one of my wildest adventures yet. I left my house with the clothes on my body and a medium sized backpack with very basic gear knowing I wouldn’t be home for at least two and a half months. I had some food in my bag and $40 in my pocket as well but those would only serve me for the next 18 hours.
I was headed to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, a city and a country that I had never stepped foot in before. I had somewhat of a plan, to travel from Brazil to Panama but I didn’t know how I was going to manage it. That’s over 7,000 miles clear across the continent of South America through the vastly diverse countries of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and ultimately Panama. I sort of knew what awaited me but to be honest I really just wanted to get lost along the way. Scorching jungles, freezing mountains, blazing deserts, some of the harshest places on Earth sat between myself and my destination. I had 72 days to do all of this and enjoy it.
At the age of 29, I now own fewer possessions than I’ve ever owned in my entire life. After years of downsizing I have achieved one of my long-sought-after goals of being able to fit everything I own into a backpack that fits comfortably on my back. It has been a long road of transition making continual progress little by little.
When I was a child I was an avid reader. I read 100’s of books. Looking back now I still vividly remember the Little House books, Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson, and The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. These adventures played a big part in shaping my life and probably in part turned me into the adventurer and explorer that I am today. There is little doubt in my mind that reading is one of the most beneficial ways that I spent my time as a child.