How do you show support for causes you’re invested in?
Most people do it by donating, or perhaps by spreading awareness through social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Only a brave few show their support by actually doing something. Those are the people who truly make a difference.
Take Rob Greenfield, for example. The environmental activist has been involved with the food-waste issue for well over a year now, but his work is just starting to really catch on in the mainstream.
On June 2, he started out on a cross-country cycling mission with just $2,000 in cash, and halfway through his trip, he decided to only eat food he found in dumpsters behind conveniences and grocery stores.
It may sound gross, but consider this: Nearly $165 billion in food waste is trashed in the US each year — that’s about half of everything we produce as a country —and about 40 percent of perfectly edible food is wasted (for instance, grocery stores chuck items that don’t look good enough).
Still, nearly 50 million Americans are classified as “food insecure,” meaning they’re not getting as much food as they should to sustain themselves and their families on a regular basis.
Greenfield’s goal is to physically show people just how much food goes to waste. So, on his stops, he’ll hook up with a friend with a car, dumpster dive and lay his findings out in a local park.
He’ll call in various media outlets and display the spread he’s acquired, so people can see how serious the food waste problem is.
During his road trip, he’s been offering suggestions: If you see edible food in your grocery store’s dumpster, take a photo and Tweet it with the hashtag #DonateNotDump, or talk to the managers and tell them about the Good Samaritan Food Act, which protects them from getting sued if they donate food to a nonprofit.
Feedback has been incredibly positive, as people genuinely don’t realize how much food is wasted. He hopes to spread the word more and educate as many people as possible to lessen the food-waste epidemic.