TODAY’S LOCAL TO KNOW: Rob Greenfield, 32, is an adventurer and activist who puts his mantra where his mouth is. Literally.
He’s on a mission to protect the earth and encourage everyone to lead more eco-friendly lifestyles. Until 2011, Greenfield lived a fairly traditional American life. After college he took a trip around the world during which,he says, he “woke up” to the real effects of overconsumption and pollution. Since then, he’s taught others how to live more consciously through attention-grabbing tactics. He’s walked around New York City for a month wearing pounds of trash, cycled across the United States three times on a bamboo bicycle and dove into thousands of dumpsters to raise awareness about food waste.
WHAT HE’S DOING: Rob’s latest challenge is to only eat foods he’s grown himself or locally foraged. He lives in a 100-square-foot tiny home in a friend’s backyard in Audubon Park, where a garden filled with greens is his main source of sustenance. He also fishes near the coast and finds wild yams and sweet potatoes nearby. He’s about one-third of the way through the challenge and will finish right before Thanksgiving. He wants his efforts to inspire people to start growing at least some of their diet and favoring local items over items imported from afar.
FUN FACT: In 2014, Greenfield flew one-way to Panama with no money or phone. From there, he made his way to San Diego across 7 borders and 4,000 miles completely dependent on the generosity of others. It took him 37 days to complete the trip.
QUOTABLE: “One of my greatest goals in life is to die with almost nothing,” Greenfield said. “So if I can keep this up for hopefully the next decades that I’m alive, then I will die a successful, fulfilled, happy human.”
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: Greenfield is runs a project called Gardens of the People, where he and volunteers build 10 gardens for income-restricted people interested in growing their own food. They’ve finished two so far. If you or someone you know would like to participate, email Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org