Believe it or not, I met Rob Greenfield on Twitter. I was so impressed with what he was doing that I decided to go meet him. I was going to be in San Diego where he is based and just stayed an afternoon longer to meet up and have Rob take me on my first Dumpster Dive. That’s right, hop in a giant garbage dumpster and pull out food to then eat.

My colleagues/friends who I was with in San Diego were worried. “You’re meeting up with a guy you met on Twitter to go jump in a garbage can and eat the food you find?” Well, when you put it like that…yes, yes I am. 

That’s the beauty of the “green” world. We all are in it for the greater good, no agenda. Very different from the entertainment world I was once immersed in. I met Rob and he is a great guy who practices what he preaches. He lived in a fairly large apartment that he airbnb’d at the time. He was in the process of switching his bedroom to the hallway closet. As a girl with clothes that I’ve held onto all my life (because they always come back in style), living in that same closet would not be possible, but I was totally into what he was doing.

We put his Go Pro on my selfie-stick and off we went in a car2go. Fantastic! I love these little Smart Cars and now you can use the app to locate a car2go and hop in. Off we went to the local grocery store. It was early afternoon, maybe 2pm or so. If the trash was being picked up it probably already took place.

We opened the dumpster and it had quite a bit of open food like leaf lettuce and random produce. Rob mentioned that it was not as full as some other dumpsters he’s seen with cases of food or pre-packaged sandwiches. I have since seen some of his finds and wow! It really is jaw-dropping. Rob is very comfortable jumping in with no shoes on. He took great joy in freaking me out being barefoot and picking up open food and taking bites of it. We loaded up what we could. We had enough to make a dumpster smoothie and the leaf lettuce for his compost at home.

Rob Greenfield and one of his Food Waste Fiascos (a collection of all the edible food he's found in dumpsters). (Photo Credit: Sean Aranda)

Rob Greenfield and one of his Food Waste Fiascos, a collection of all the edible food he’s found in dumpsters. (Photo Credit: Sean Aranda)

Rob has been in dumpsters across America, but it is not to promote eating out of a dumpster… although many do and they carry the name freegans, a word derived from “free” and “vegan.” Freeganism is the practice of reclaiming and eating food that has been discarded. The reason Rob does this is to raise awareness about how much food is really thrown away on a day-to-day basis in America: $165 billion annually, to be more exact. It’s crazy! There are so many rules, and I appreciate the protection it was supposed to serve, but we do not need to be wasting so much food when so many people need to eat. There really needs to be a sharing policy with how this all takes place.

So this is Rob’s mission: #DonateNotDump. It’s not about Dumpster Diving, it’s about not putting the food in the dumpster in the first place. Would it really be that hard for supermarkets across the country to set up a donation project with a few local shelters or non-profits? Why do we work alone when working together always brings better results? Kinda like the “green” world. Everyone is open to collaborating. We have moved into that way of life. The sharing community, the collaboration, like this one with Rob. I had so much fun I hope we can collaborate on something in the future.

In the meantime, I had my fist dumpster smoothie (with encased fruit like a banana – had to start off slow). I took a tour of Rob’s garden and his Bokashi composting. Since this video, Rob has moved out of his airbnb apartment and moved into something closer to that closet he once called his bedroom. It’s a tiny house, but not the tiny houses that you hear about on the market today. This takes it to another level. This is tiny squared. I will be in San Diego later this year, so maybe you’ll be seeing us pair up again. Maybe this time I can convince him to wear shoes.

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