On December 9th, I googled “near zero waste” to see if my blog would come up. It was 7th on the list, but more importantly, I discovered a guy who lives off-grid in a tiny house in San Diego and creates near zero waste. Before I knew it, he had joined the Zero Waste Bloggers Network and I was reading his book Dude Making a Difference. Now here I am, a week later, writing my first book review…
Rob Greenfield. This dude is extreme.
He bathes in puddles, drinks from fire hydrants, eats (perfectly good) food from dumpsters that would have otherwise been wasted, and even rides naked on his trek from San Francisco to Vermont on a bamboo bicycle. He won’t turn on a light switch, flush a toilet, or walk through automatic doors. He’ll only buy local, organic, and unpackaged food. His actions are intended to raise awareness of overconsumption and wasteful habits in the United States. His mission is to encourage sustainability, minimalism, and all-around human goodness, while drawing attention to One Percent for the Planet.
In Dude Making a Difference, Rob documents his 104-day adventure in journal-entry format. He sets ambitious goals and describes how he (mostly) follows them with an entertaining, informative, and inspiring voice. His book is full of statistics, stories, and ideas that will keep you turning the page (or scrolling down).
I can’t say I relate to bike riding (when I moved to the mountains, I parked my beach cruiser behind the house and never rode it again), but Rob shares my desire for open-road adventure and my love of America’s beauty and diversity. I was already passionate about Near-O Waste, but after reading Dude Making a Difference, I am further inspired to live more sustainably and simply.
I don’t think I’ll give up showering or driving my car just yet, but I’ll turn the under-the-cabinet lights off when I’m not working in the kitchen, pay serious attention to each drop of water I use, and get the solar generator out of the camping shed to charge my cell phone. I will use less electricity, buy even less packaging, and think carefully about the environmental impact of every choice I make.
Dude Making a Difference will change the way you think about working, money, and material possessions. It will inspire you to be mindful, positive, and productive. It will motivate you to make personal changes that will improve your life and the future of our planet.
You only get one life. “Live simply,” he says, “and you will live free.”