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Dude Making a Difference (PDF)
Bamboo Bikes, Dumpster Dives and Other Extreme Adventures Across America
You want to do something for the planet, but what? Change a light bulb, install a low-flow faucet, eat organic? How about ride 4,700 miles across America on a bamboo bicycle, using only water from natural sources, avoiding fossil fuels almost completely, supplying your few electrical needs with solar power and creating nearly zero waste?
Sound crazy? Maybe. But not if you're Rob Greenfield. Then it sounds like a pretty amazing way to bring your message to as many people as possible, and to have a great time doing it. Dude Making a Difference is Rob's first-person account of his incredible adventure in radical sustainability. Join him as he pedals from coast to coast in 3-½ months while:
- Creating only 2 pounds of trash
- Using just 160 gallons of water
- Eating 284 pounds of food from grocery store dumpsters.
This one-of-a-kind travelogue will inspire you to reexamine your relationship with the earth's resources. Rob's captivating stories of life on the low-impact road are rounded out by practical guides to help you reduce your personal ecological footprint and plan your own larger-than-life adventures. Author's proceeds from the sale of Dude Making a Difference will be donated to 1% for the Planet.
Rob Greenfield is an adventurer and environmental activist whose creative campaigns educate while they inspire. Whether he's surviving on water collected from leaky faucets or dining from a dumpster to illustrate America's Food Waste Fiasco, Rob's mission is to wake people up to their surroundings and help them to understand the local and global impact of their daily actions. He's crossed the US twice on a bamboo bicycle, gone a year without showering, and when not out adventuring, he lives in a 50 square foot tiny home in San Diego, all in the name of instigating positive social change.
"Part Henry David Thoreau and part Robinson Crusoe, Rob Greenfield — a former marketing man who suffered his own Don Draper moment a few years ago and chucked it all for an eco-mindful lifestyle — is truly a dude making a difference. His journey across America is by turns hilarious, gripping, and eye-opening. A must read for anyone interested in living an environmentally conscientious life."
Mike Sager, writer at large, Esquire.
"I love many things about Dude Making a Difference, but what I love most of all is that it's not about a guy gifted with super-human strength, sublime skill or mind-blowing intellect; instead, it's about an ordinary guy doing extraordinary things. Greenfield is a man with a huge heart, incredible integrity and an infectious spirit for adventure — things we've all got the potential for. The fact he writes about his story so beautifully makes it very easy for the rest of us to be inspired by it."
Mark Boyle, author, Drinking Molotov Cocktails with Gandhi and The Moneyless Man
"Rob Greenfield is my cousin. Well, not really, but that's just a technicality. When it comes to humanistic values and commitment to making the world better for all of us, Rob is definitely family. Cousin Rob not only has an incredible imagination but also the joy, energy and generous spirit to turn that imagination into magical experiences of environmental sustainability. It makes one proud to be a Greenfield. Cousin Rob, you rock."
Jerry Greenfield, co-founder, Ben & Jerry's
"Rob Greenfield reminds us that humanity's urgent need to live more in harmony with nature shouldn't be about doom and gloom: he shows us it's about living a rich, rewarding and ultimately more beautiful existence — without creating garbage, pollution, or consumer demands that cannot be satisfied. Rob glows with the simplicity and sincerity of his message and has inspired so many to take small steps to a more sustainable lifestyle."
Tristram Stuart, author, Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal, and founder, Feedback
"Dude Making a Difference is a thought-provoking meditation on what it means to be both part of and apart from our natural world. Rob's writing strikingly captures a snapshot of America today – a moment in time where our country tiptoes on the precipice of great environmental deterioration. Through this story Rob offers a humble example of the divine art of living simply to impact echoing positive change on our planet."
Marion Haberman, Development Producer, Discovery Networks International
"Rob is an amazing guy. This is his story of how to live a life based on your principles — and have fun in the process. If you don't have an opportunity to meet Rob in person, this book is the next best thing."
Ben Cohen, co-founder, Ben & Jerry's
"The stories in Dude Making a Difference are an inspiration to anyone who aspires to create positive impact in the world — even if that means breaking convention. It's a refreshing, eye-opening reminder that life is about more than things and paychecks; that we can, in fact, use less while accomplishing more; and that all it takes to make a difference is to have a little motivation and a lot of gumption. This is truly a worthwhile read."
Liz Core, writer, Grist.org
"Rob Greenfield told me during an interview one time, "I don't think it's really possible to do something that's going to make serious change in the world without a fair number of people thinking that you're insane". Rob is the best kind of insane, and he is one of the most amazing characters I've ever met. I rarely get the pleasure of interviewing someone who is real, sincere, and absolutely out of his mind at the same time. More importantly, Rob has also been one of the few people to actually teach me something about… how badly we are screwing up the planet. I wish I had the discipline and the positive attitude he has towards everything. Dude Making a Difference is a testament to the insanity that all of us should follow. It's a great story, from the Earth's best friend."
Joe Little, reporter, KGTV 10News, San Diego
"When Rob set out on this ride destined for 1% for the Planet headquarters, we had no idea how epic and examined a trip it was. Through his trash talk, resourcefulness, stick-to-it-iveness and hopeful romanticism, he is inspired in every sense of the word. The world is a better place because of Rob."
Barbara Friedsam, Director of Brand and Marketing, 1% for the Planet
"With intelligence, humor, and heart, Rob Greenfield takes readers on a journey across America that redefines what it means to be self-sufficient. By uncovering a valuable food resource in what most Americans throw away, he exposes our misconceptions about poverty and hunger being irreversible social problems. His determination to show Americans how little one needs to be healthy and happy fuels his journey, and will delight and inspire even the most skeptical reader. Greenfield is more than just a "Dude Making a Difference" — he's an energetic and caring steward of the Earth."
Barrington Irving, National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and founder, Experience Aviation, Inc. and The Flying Classroom
"Rob's book is one part cycling travelogue, one part exploration of the greener (and not so green) side of America, and one part educational experience about how to lessen your environmental impact, one small step at a time. His story is also a great window into what can happen when we make a commitment to make conscious and low-impact choices about how and where we get our food, water, and energy, and it has the potential to inspire positive changes, both large and small, in the lives of many."
Derek Markham, environment and sustainability writer
"We can all learn from Rob's low-impact lifestyle and be inspired that, even while traveling across America by bike, he was able to stay true to his values. Rob is making the world a better place and empowering others to do the same. He shows that leading a more sustainable existence is not only doable, but incredibly rewarding."
Claire Cummings, waste specialist, Bon Appétit Management Company
Communities that Sustain
Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation
Simplicity for People and the Planet
Bamboo Bikes, Dumpster Dives and Other Extreme Adventures Across America
Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home