Authors: Cassandre de Froidmont

During their journal presentation on measuring the SDGs, Tina and Marcelo mentioned that Rob Greenfield was coming to Geneva to give a talk at the International School of Geneva and that it would surely be worth going to. And so I did.

Rob Greenfield is an American adventurer, environmental activist, and entrepreneur. He has made it his life’s purpose to inspire a healthy way of living in order to preserve our planet. During his talk, Rob introduced the 4 main attention-grabbing tactic that he used to raise awareness on waste and make a difference.

His first project was to collect perfectly good food that has been thrown away by supermarkets, to then bring it to green areas where anyone could come pick up the food (see image 1).



Image 1. Retrieved from Rob’s page (http://robgreenfield.tv).

His second project was to cycle across the US without leaving a negative impact on the environment (see image 2). In order to do this, all his purchases, which were mainly food, were local and without packaging. When this wasn’t possible he “dumpster dived” into dumpsters from supermarkets. There he always found a ridiculous amount of untouched food that was perfectly eatable. And his rule was that if he did produce trash he would have to carry it until the end of his trip.



Image 2. Retrieved from Rob’s page.

Coming back from his cycling trip, Rob realized that it was much harder to limit one’s waste while living in an apartment. He therefore decided to move to a 5m2 house (see image 3). There he grew his own comestible plants and used mini solar panels for his energy consumption.



Image 3. Retrieved from Rob’s page.

And finally his last project consisted in carrying the trash he produced for a period of one month (see image 4). During this period he shopped as the average American by looking into people’s carts in supermarkets. The aim of this was to raise awareness on the amount of trash each individual produces.



Image 4. Retrieved from Rob’s page.

I really enjoyed Rob’s talk; it was inspiring and motivated me to reduce my impact on the planet. Not because he made me feel guilty about my way of living but because he has such a positive attitude and genuine faith that everyone can contribute to making the world a better place in their own way. I believe that in order to make people care more about sustainability, whether on an environmental, economic or social level, more people must share their experiences and struggles of changing their habits to more sustainable ones. In addition to this, more people are needed to push others to be the change they want to see in the world.