By eating from dumpsters during his cycling tour across America, activist Rob Greenfield is hoping to draw attention to, and find solutions for, food waste.
Last summer, Greenfield cycled 4,700 miles across the US on a bamboo bicycle during his Off the Grid Across America bike tour, and he’s also gone a year without showering, pedaled across Iowa with no bike seat for his Stand Up for Sustainability tour, and biked from NYC to Boston using only water from leaky faucets (Drip by Drip tour) to highlight water conservation, so he’s no stranger to putting it all on the line for what he believes in.
Greenfield is now cycling across America on a bamboo bicycle during his Goodfluence tour, seeking to inspire Americans to help boost the sustainability movement, starting with their own lives. And along the way, he’s also finding that dumpsters, which most of us associate with being virtually untouchable, can be a viable source of food, not only for himself, but also for many others, and he’s drawing attention to what he calls Food Waste Fiascos.
According to Greenfield’s website, “1 in 7 Americans don’t have the food they need yet we are throwing away enough food to feed every hungry American five times over!”, but by changing the policies of grocery stores, drugstores, and other food-wasting businesses, this trend can be reversed by those businesses choosing to donate the food instead of trashing it.
He’s also enlisting your help to document and call out wasteful businesses using the powerful media tool that most of us have in our pockets – our smartphones:
“I‘m calling for a citizen patrol to call out wasteful grocery stores! Simply go to dumpsters with your smart phone and take a picture or video if you find a shameful amount of waste. Upload the media and tweet, Facebook, or gram it at the wasteful company with #WastefulUSA. Let them know we are not ok with them wasting precious food. Food is life and life is too good to be thrown into a dumpster!” – Rob Greenfield
The Goodfluence Tour, which Greenfield has undertaken in what he considers to be the most sustainable manner, is equal parts action and inspiration, as he’s not just eating solely out of dumpsters, but he’s also promoting what he calls Freestyle Gardens, where food is “simple, free, and growing everywhere.”
With their Freestyle Gardens concept, Greenfield and Michael Scalli aim to create 5 or more community gardens, plant millions of wildflowers, “freestyle” plant thousands of fruit and veggie seeds, and fund community gardens and sustainability projects, “making food free, the way it used to be.”
Greenfield is currently making his way across the midwest, and will be hosting Food Waste Fiascos in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City this month, so if you’d like to participate, or find out more about the mission and purpose of his tour, comment on this page or email him via his website. You can also follow along with the initiative through Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.