Last spring Greenfield set out from San Francisco on a bamboo bike to trek 4,700 miles to the 1% FTP headquarters in Waitsfield, Vermont. Though that feat alone is extraordinary, it was not his main goal. Along the way, Greenfield sought to raise awareness about how much food, water, and energy we waste by showing how few resources he needed to cycle across the country.
During the trip, Greenfield never turned on a faucet or a light switch. By using only electricity generated from renewable energy sources, eating local, organic, unpackaged food, washing and drinking from natural sources like streams and rainwater, and regularly blogging about his experiences, he generated a large following.
“I crossed America without turning on a faucet on the grid, without taking a shower, without washing my clothes in a washing machine … and without washing my hands in a sink,” Greenfield said when he arrived in Vermont. He crossed the entire US on only 160 gallons. But there’s more… “There was a good month and a half where I only ate out of dumpsters,” Greenfield said, pointing out he only got sick once, though he believed it was due to exhaustion.
On the afternoon of August 1st, Greenfield arrived in the Mad River Valley, flanked by members of the 1% team joining him for the final miles of his journey. “At the finish line I was greeted by my 1% for the Planet family and they welcomed me to Vermont like mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters. I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful end to the adventure, and today my family grew by a few dozen people.”
This excerpt from Greenfield’s blog provides a snapshot of this journey: “To escape from the heat I laid in this swift river for close to an hour while my solar panels charged up my laptop and my dead cell phone. A garden hose had been tied to a branch overhanging the river and I held on to it and let the river flow over my body. I just couldn’t get enough of the cool water and it did wonders for me…”
And check out his story about a photo op gone awry when the police arrive.