This guy’s outfit is totally trash-y!
Environmental activist Rob Greenfield is collecting every single piece of garbage he generates in a month ― from his morning coffee cup to his grocery bag ― and wearing it.
By walking down the street donning huge bags of trash, Greenfield’s goal is to get people to open their eyes to how much waste a person generates in daily life and how it harms the environment.
“My main focus is trying to educate and inspire people to make less trash,” Greenfield told The Huffington Post. “Some people have zero idea. For them, once they toss something, it’s totally out of sight, out of mind. They don’t get the serious environmental problems it causes.”
On Monday, Greenfield, pictured below, was on day eight of the 30-day journey.
The average American generated around 4.4 pounds of trash per day in 2013, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While some of the trash gets recycled or composted, most of it goes to landfills, where it decomposes, releasing greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Greenfield, who is a contributor to Outspeak ― which has a publishing partnership with the Huffington Post ― is hoping to make more people aware of the problem of everyday waste, and ideally get some to change their ways.
“It’s not about going zero waste tomorrow,” Greenfield said. “It might just be that tomorrow you decide not to use plastic cups anymore, and carry your own reusable cup. That could be around 300 fewer cups tossed in a year... If all of us do small things, it adds up to a bigger change.”
Greenfield is partnering with filmmakers from Living On One film studio to document his project, called Trash Me. They will be posting videos of his progress on Facebook and YouTube through mid-October.
Greenfield wasn’t always this environmentally conscious. Five years ago, aged 25, he was a self-described “typical” guy working in advertising sales.
“I lived in a three-bedroom apartment, had a nice car that I shined every Sunday. I was very materialistic,” Greenfield said. “Then I started reading up on these issues, watching Netflix documentaries. I started making little changes ― and here I am.”
Now Greenfield is a full-time environmental activist, living an almost zero-waste life. His previous projects have included going a year without showering to save water, and only having 111 possessions to live more sustainably.
“To exist for me costs about a couple hundred dollars a month,” Greenfield said. “For food, I often get it from grocery store dumpsters, which raises awareness about food waste. And for shelter, I’m mostly traveling for projects, so I stay with whichever project I’m helping out with.”
This month’s project will mark a departure from Greenfield’s usual waste-free lifestyle, as he will have to consume and toss garbage as a typical person would.
On the upside, the trash he’ll generate won’t go to a landfill, as he plans on keeping his garbage-filled suit for future public speaking appearances.
“My goal in life is to do things that get people to think about how their actions affect the world,” Greenfield said. “I would love people to transform their lives, to live out the things they believe in and are sharing on Facebook ― and not just share it, but actually do it.”
To learn more about the project, check out Greenfield’s website.