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Meet The Guy Who Just Went A Year Without Showering (And Isn't Stopping)

Rob Greenfield made friends, found romance, and had the adventure of a lifetime, all without a single shower.

Posted on April 30, 2014, at 5:58 p.m. ET

San Diego resident Rob Greenfield just reached his goal of going a year without showering. And, surprisingly, he says it wasn't that hard.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

The founder of an environmentally friendly marketing company, Greenfield started his project with a bike ride across America.

Greenfield set a few rules for himself on his ride, meant to promote sustainability and eco-friendly living: He could only harvest water from natural sources like rivers and rain, or from wasted sources like leaky faucets. He also had to keep track of exactly how much he used, hoping to show just how little he needed to get by.

Over his 100-day bike trip, Greenfield was able to use less than two gallons of water a day, or eight Nalgene bottles.
Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

Over his 100-day bike trip, Greenfield was able to use less than two gallons of water a day, or eight Nalgene bottles.

After making it through the 100-day bike ride without a shower, Greenfield decided to try to go six months. Once that passed, he figured he might as well go a full year.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

Greenfield bathed daily in places like this.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

Or sometimes this.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

All he used was organic soap, toothpaste, and essential oils.

"Nobody thought that I smelled at all," he wrote on his blog. "And I surprised myself at how clean I was, just like everyone else."
Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

"Nobody thought that I smelled at all," he wrote on his blog. "And I surprised myself at how clean I was, just like everyone else."

Greenfield says he had no lack of friends, and sometimes they'd even join him.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

He even had a few romances, which he says were the times he felt the most challenged.

"The hardest part were the times when a beautiful gal wanted to me to get in the shower with her and I had to say no," he told BuzzFeed. "A few times I almost got in and then remembered I was aiming for a year without showers."

Brent Martin

He said it was also difficult when the temperature dropped in San Diego, and he didn't feel like having to go to the Pacific Ocean for a dip. But he still did it.

Brent Martin

"I realized that water doesn’t have to come from a shower head to get me clean," he wrote.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

In Brooklyn, for example, he found a bath in a leaky fire hydrant.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

For people who don't live near bodies of water but want to be more eco-friendly, Greenfield recommends trying to be conscious of water usage, taking shorter or fewer showers, and turning off your faucet.

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

The world traveler told BuzzFeed his biggest takeaway from the project has been abolishing stereotypes.

"A short time ago I would have thought it crazy to forgo conventional showers," he said. "Turns out it's not really a big deal at all. We have a tendency to make instant character judgments based on clothing, style, race, sexual preference, political affiliation, and even bathing habits, and most of the time we're just absolutely wrong."

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

So is he done showering forever? He's not sure, but it sounds like he's not ready to throw in the towel (pun intended) just yet.

"Maybe I never will again or maybe I'll shower tomorrow," he said. "All I know is that I feel really darn good right now and I'm having a positive impact on our society."

Brent Martin / Via robgreenfield.tv

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