Nfld. & Labrador

Dumpster-diving and highway riding: Cyclist embarks on unusual cross-American trek

A St. John's cyclist will soon kick off a 6,000-kilometre trek across the U.S. — where he plans to Dumpster-dive for meals along the way.

St. John's cyclist Brad Wade joins environmental activist group for Dumpster-diving trip

Cyclist Brad Wade will soon depart New York City for a cross-country ride with an environmental group called Green Riders. (Paula Gale/CBC)

A St. John's cyclist will soon kick off a 6,000-kilometre trek across the United States — but he won't be stopping at restaurants along the way. Instead, Brad Wade will be Dumpster-diving for meals, to raise awareness about food waste. 

Wade, who will start his ride in New York City, is an avid cyclist. He's graduating this week from Memorial University with a degree in environmental earth science, with plans to become a primary teacher.

But before Wade starts the next chapter of his education, he wanted to help better understand the human connection to what he calls the current environmental crisis.

Brad Wade has some experience on long bike trips in Newfoundland but says he's never attempted anything like next week's 6,000-kilometre ride. (Instagram/@btwade2012)

It all started when Wade met Green Riders founder Rob Greenfield, a fellow cyclist and environmental activist.

Now, Wade will join the Green Riders on an upcoming trip across the United States, where the group will take part in environmental initiatives — and forage for food in unlocked grocery store garbage bins along the way.

"There's actually a lot of food that goes into Dumpsters that's perfectly fine," Wade told the St. John's Morning Show. "Many people across the States are actually aware of this and actually go into the dumpsters to find food,"

"If it's too disgusting to get into, you have to be aware of that. But if you go in and most of the stuff is packaged, you can just hop on in."

Comfortable being uncomfortable

In addition to making meals out of what's been thrown out, Wade and other members of the Green Riders will also stop to help plant community gardens and make rainwater catchment systems for those living in dry areas.

Wade said he will likely need to buy some of his own food if he hopes to maintain a balanced diet for the difficult ride across the continent. He also hopes to bring some Dumpster-diving skills back to Newfoundland.

"I want to be comfortable being uncomfortable, I guess," he said.

"Once I know the methods and actually do it hands-on by myself, then I'll be more comfortable with coming back here and trying it."

More information on the Green Riders can be found on the group's website.

With files from St. John's Morning Show