From Drunk Dude to Dude Making a Difference

Not that long ago, my main priorities included binge drinking every weekend, looking good, and macking on pretty much every good looking girl I saw. I also wanted to be rich and to own lots of really impressive things. I was pretty tuned into that life and didn’t really think too much about how my actions affected the environment, people around the world, and the animals that we share the earth with. I was pretty selfish and if I did think about my actions I certainly didn’t do much about it. I did recycle, shut off the lights and water, and eat healthier than the average person I knew and I thought that was doing pretty good. But the list of negative environmental impacts was far greater than my positive impacts (which was nearly nonexistent). I owned two cars, shopped at Walmart for my food and my cheap crap, drank the cheapest beer I could find, took home my share of plastic bags, wasted plenty of water, ate too much meat, needed the newest gadgets always, and the list could go on and on. Not that any of these things are inherently bad but they definitely were not deeply serving myself or the earth.

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The Food Waste Fiasco

The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See it to Believe it

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.

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How to Travel the USA For Free (without mooching)

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.

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Rob Greenfield going without a home

My landlord is kicking me out and I’m excited to go home free!

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.

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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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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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Caring for our Earth

Caring for our earth is not a hippy thing, it’s a human thing.

The idea that it is a “hippy” thing to outwardly care for our earth is far outdated. We live in a time when people from all walks of life are waking up to the destruction that our simple everyday actions are causing. No matter who you are or where you are, you can adapt little changes to start treating our planet, people, and animals with respect.

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Rob Greenfield

Why I Went a Year Without Showering

I recently wrote a story called Lessons Learned from a Year without Showering that was picked up by The Huffington Post. If you haven’t read it the link is there, but basically I went a year without taking a conventional shower and instead just went for a swim when I found a lake, river, or ocean. The story created quite a splash, but why, oh why, would I do something so silly?

One word can sum it all up: freedom.

Freedom from ourselves, freedom from social norms, freedom from money, and freedom from systems that don’t serve our best interest. My activism goes much deeper than the simple act of bathing and it seems most people got the message but here it is again, loud and clear.

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Year without Showering

Lessons Learned from a Year without Showering

*Update 04/20/2015- Today is my 2 year no-shower anniversary! Enjoy the story I wrote a year ago today:

As of today it has been one year since my last shower. Yes, I know that sounds crazy and a year ago I would have agreed with you. I was a regular showering guy for the first 26 years of my life. Well, maybe not every single day, but just about.

So how does a regular showering guy end up going 365 days and counting without taking a shower? It started with a long bike ride across the United States to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living. I set a bunch of rules for myself to follow to lead by example. The rule for water was that I could only harvest it from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and rain or from wasted sources such as leaky faucets. And I kept track of exactly how much I used too, with an aim of showing just how little we need to get by.

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