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5 Eco-Friendly Crimes to Try Today

3. Taking Fruit
Ever wonder why you can’t just can’t reach up and pluck the apple from the communal tree? Have at it, because you can! At least in California, where the law stating that any fruit that grows on, or over, public land is community property, even if the trunk is rooted in a private yard. This has given birth to the Fallen Fruit movement. In Los Angeles, people plot the public lands to access the free fruit, complete with joint jam-making sessions and more. Just don’t go picking from your neighbor’s tree, unless you’re trying to pick a fight. (See Neighborhood Fruit for information about legal fruit harvesting.)

4. Nudism
Would the earth do better without synthetic fibers containing polyester, elastane, or Lycra? I’m going to go with yes on this one, despite my love of the Spanx after certain carb-filled meals. Nylon, for instance, takes thirty to forty years to decompose. So wouldn’t it be better if we could just all run free in the breeze?

Maybe so, but the law is ambiguous. There are no federal laws that ban or allow nudism. However, nudism has never been guaranteed by the Constitution as a “freedom of expression.” With no federal precedent, it’s up to the states and local municipalities to decide if it is legal to let loose your clothes on the street. And, well, most of the time, you’re going to find yourself in handcuffs for indecent exposure if you shed your synthetic skin. So—maybe not, Adam and Eve.

5. Public Urination
Really, guys? Yes, we are talking to the men out there who like to save more water than the next. (Though kudos to the women who attempt it.) Michael Edwards of Green Lifestyle Magazine points out that you can pee in the shower to save water. According to Edwards, “We bet there are plenty of guys who won’t admit it, but do it every morning. If you’re one of those guys, urinate with a clean eco conscience!” And others point out that you can pee in a cup or bottle and dispose of it outside. Some people even use urine as a fertilizer.

But is it legal? According to the experts, public urination laws are primarily governed by state and local laws, and these vary by jurisdiction. You could get charged with indecent exposure or indecency.

So do we suggest guerilla gardening in the nude? No (let’s leave the nudity to PETA). But do we suggest you pluck a piece of stray fruit in a communal space? It’s up to your green conscious to decide.

Read more: Conservation, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Lawns & Gardens, News & Issues, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, ,

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+ add your own
8:53AM PDT on Mar 28, 2015

thank you for this interesting post

12:31PM PDT on Oct 28, 2011

There are lots of things I'm not good at, but I am a fairly assiduous recycler - although I try to avoid buying too much in the first place. But the people who live in the same shared house as me seem to worry less, or maybe just are more confused about what our council will and won't take. So I tend to sort through their rubbish a bit, and take their discarded clothes to the charity shop etc.

5:41PM PST on Dec 24, 2010


8:09PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

i pick through trash at work -- recycle the plastic bags and bottles, cans, etc. occasionally will do the same on our block, but get the strangest looks...

8:34PM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

Public urination is not for me, however, I did recently replace my toilets with the newer low-flow type.

6:34PM PDT on Jul 19, 2010

Enjoyed reading this thing I am concerned about here is San Diego...we have come across fruit on trees that is hanging over public land...or acutally on public land...however, we are not so sure sometimes, what they have been sprayed with. So please keep that in mind.

8:59AM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

Hehe, good article!

9:32PM PDT on Jun 29, 2010

Public urination? Probably not for me. However I do believe in not flushing the toilet if you only urinated.

1:21PM PDT on Jun 28, 2010

I say, garden guerrilla-like and recycle other peoples' garbage whenever you can, just as long as you don't step on anyone else's toes. If you do plant tomatoes or beans or whatever, don't be surprised if others harvest for you :-). As to harvesting fruit on public land, make sure you leave some for the birds and squirrels and then, go for it!

10:11PM PDT on Jun 26, 2010

I'd love to steal my neighbors garbage and recycle it for them. I think that by not recycling at least SOME of their waste, they are being totally selfish and irresponsible. -- I think for all those beer bottles going to landfill, it makes me want to puke. If they'd switch to beer in aluminum cans, and least the junk collectors would pick them up and cash them in at the recycling center. In my town, we have to pay $5 for a recycling bin, we need two -- I wonder if I secretly left a recycling bin in their yard, would they use it? Probably not. Too much work.

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