Environmentalist Wears Trash to Open the Public’s Eyes

Environmentalist Wears Trash to Open the Public’s Eyes
Environmental Pollution

For the past several weeks, an environmentalist by the name of Rob Greenfield has been walking around New York City with 42 pounds of trash and counting strapped to his body. [1]

Normally, Greenfield is as friendly to the earth as he possibly can be. But for one month, he has committed to behaving like the average American and generating about 4.5 pounds of trash per day.

That means chowing down on fast food and soda, then stuffing the empty cups and packaging into see-through bags strapped to his body for about 7 hours a day. Says Greenfield:

“I’m fully embracing the American way of making trash.”

He thinks he’ll wind up accumulating about 100 pounds of trash, just 35 pounds short of his target, when his 30-day “Trash Me” project wraps on October 19. [2]

The experiment will be the subject of a documentary later on.

Why Wear trash?

Greenfield – who is also an adventurer – wants to open people’s eyes to the amount of trash they generate every day. Hence, the suit with 13 see-through pockets. He explains:

“A lot of people don’t realize how much waste they make as a person. What better way to show how much waste one person makes than to wear my trash that I make for a month?” [3]

Read: Our Oceans are Covered in Garbage Patches

And to be like the average American, Greenfield has to throw away 85% of the recyclable materials he encounters. All of those materials have started to drag him down, physically. [1]

He says:

“It’s starting to get heavy. I was out yesterday for 6-7 hours with it on, so still able to move around pretty effectively.” [3]

He goes on:

“The most difficult part is the bending of the knees because of the trash covering the knees and the elbows.” [1]

You’re probably wondering how bad Trash Me Rob stinks. Well, since he has to be around other people, he cleans every item before stashing it on his person.

Covered in garbage, Greenfield goes about his day just like anyone else would, by riding the subway, going into Starbucks, and buying fast food. He says:

“I wanted people to see what the trash is so that they can relate to it. They’ll see a cup of coffee and think, ‘Oh, I drink coffee,’ or a pizza box and think, ‘I eat pizza.'” [3]

In his personal life, Greenfield tries to lead a zero-waste lifestyle. He hopes his extra “baggage” will inspire people to be more conscientious about how they treat the planet.



He says that people who want to reduce the amount of waste they generate can start small by bringing a reusable water bottle with them, carrying reusable bags to the grocery store, purchasing a reusable coffee cup for their favorite coffee shop (or carrying one with them), and changing their shopping habits by making a point of buying more unpackaged foods.

Read: This is Why We Need to Stop Using Plastic

Earlier this year, Whole Foods, known for its environmentally friendly business model, got slammed by the public after a photo of peeled oranges in plastic containers on store shelves was posted to Twitter.

The person who tweeted the image said, sarcastically:

“If only nature would find a way to cover these oranges so we didn’t need to waste so much plastic on them.”

As you can imagine, the peeled oranges were pulled from shelves pretty fast.


[1] Fox 5 New York

[2] AFP

[3] USA Today