Climate hero of the week
Climate hero of the week: Meet the guy wearing a month’s worth of trash
Another week, another hero.
In this week’s Climate Hero of the Week, we here at OutwardOn would like to ask all of you to stop for a moment and join us in applauding, Rob Greenfield, or as he as he has been known lately on the streets of New York, Trash Man.
In an effort to promote awareness of just how much waste the average American produces, Rob, age thirty, has committed himself to literally wearing every piece of trash he creates for the next thirty days. His self-challenge began on September 19, and his garbage bag lined jumpsuit has already swelled to the point where it is getting difficult for him to pass through subway turnstiles.
But why Rob? Why make a suit of garbage that you have to walk around in? Why not just pass out a flyer asking people to recycle?
“The whole idea is that garbage is out of sight, out of mind. We put it in the garbage can. The garbage truck comes and picks it up weekly, and we never really have to think about it ever again. The problem is that people don’t see their responsibility for that. They don’t think they’re part of that.”
Well you are certainly making people a part of it. Everywhere Rob goes he is the subject of people whipping out their smartphones to share the sight.
“Everywhere I go, people are laughing and smiling, and everybody’s stopping to take pictures . . . [T]he challenge is communicating [the message]. But as far as people’s reactions go, they’ve been great. They don’t always know exactly what I’m doing, but they know that I’m trying to make a statement about trash.”
Rob is approaching the end of his experiment, but it is only getting harder every day.
“I know the statistic is out there that the average American creates nearly four-and-a-half pounds of trash per day. So I knew that it would quickly become a lot of trash. But the thing was, I just thought at the beginning that it would be one or two little garbage bags hanging around my neck. I didn’t realize how quickly it would add up just doing normal things. I’m already having a hard time fitting through doors, and just getting home last night was a bit of a challenge. So I know it’s going to get a lot harder.”
If anyone can do it though, it is certainly Rob. He is no stranger to performing big stunts in order to raise awareness. His suit of trash is just the latest in a series of environmental efforts such as:
- The time he rode a bicycle of bamboo across America, Cause: Sustainability
- Lived off a leaky fire hydrant for five days, Cause: Water Waste
- Only bathed in natural water sources for year, Cause: Water Waste
- Bicycled across America, again, this time only eating out of dumpsters, Cause: Food Waste
- Got a vasectomy when he was 25, Cause: Doesn’t Want Women Subjected to the Hormones of Birth Control
While we may not be 100% sure about whether that last one was a good idea, Rob Greenfield has certainly demonstrated himself to be a passionate demonstrator for the good of the environment, and he earns our title of Climate Hero of the Week.