Latest Posts

How to Find Your Purpose

It’s a new year, and a clean slate for making positive change happen in yourself and in your community. But how should you get started? With so many issues that need our attention, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. The good news is that making big change...

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Heirloom Registry: Honor the Story of Your Stuff

On a recent morning, we arrived at our desks to witness a full-on brouhaha in progress. Our Facebook share of a blog entitled “Let Go of Sentimental Items with a Victory Lap” sparked a flurry of comments from our community. Community member Philomena wrote, “Disagree entirely! Sentimental stuff is what...

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YOU Stopped 3 Trillion Plastic Microbeads…

…from entering our watersheds ever year.  Yes, YOU did this.  High five! With President Barack Obama signing The Microbead-Free Waters Act just moments ago, The Story of Stuff Community has successfully all but eliminated macro pollutants from products for sale in the personal care industry.  After three years of solid...

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In Michigan, They’re Putting the Soul in Solar.

The people of Highland Park, Michigan have a problem with Stuff, but it isn’t what you might think. Whereas some communities have a problem with buying too much Stuff, the community of Highland Park is missing out on some of the most basic Stuff others may take for granted. A...

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Planting Trees and Growing Solutions. It’s Memory Trees.

Speaking of important Stuff, what about trees? Trees play a hugely important role in our lives. They create oxygen for us to breathe, they produce food, and they’ve helped provide shelter for humans and animals since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, our take-make-waste economy has left many inner city neighborhoods tree-starved....

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A Win for Bottled-Water-Free U.S. National Parks

On December 16, 2015 the text of the latest U.S. omnibus spending bill was released, and we all got an early Christmas present. Let’s back up and tell the story from the beginning. In 2012, The National Park Service Director took a courageous stand for sustainability by banning the selling...

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Hang Up Your Phone. And Connect.

If we can leave shoes and coats at the door, why not phones? She grew up in San Francisco using her ingenuity and creativity to make ends meet. “Scrappy” – that’s Yvonne Israel O’Hare. As a little girl who got in trouble and was sent to her room, Yvonne recalls...

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Polyester Gown? Pass! Celebrate Graduation in Eco-Fashion

Remember your graduation gown? What color was it? Maroon? Gold? No matter if it was the most beautiful shade of your favorite color, it was still a boxy, ill-fitting, shiny polyester garment that you never wore again after the graduation ceremony. What did you do with it afterward? It doesn’t...

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Our Trash Trawl Discovery: Plastic, Inspiration and Hope

By Douglas Weissburger, Story of Stuff Community Member In September, I went out on the Chesapeake Bay with my 15-year-old daughter, Lillian, for a “trash trawl.” The way it works is that researchers gather water samples for lab evaluation to better understand the trash problem in the Bay, particularly as it relates to plastic in our watersheds. We were invited...

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Torrential Rainstorm Sends Plastic Pollution into the Ocean

This past September, a record-breaking storm dumped 2.39 inches of rain on Los Angeles, CA, making it the wettest day of the year in Southern California. A September downpour like this usually results in a phenomenon called the “first flush,” where accumulated debris in flood control channels and storm drains rushes into the sea. Imagine hundreds of square miles of...

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Just Say NO to Holiday Catalog Gimmees

  As quickly as Halloween candy and costumes were stocked on store shelves, they are gone. In their place, red and white and twinkle-lights appear. The holidays are coming, and with them, the peak shopping season of the year. For the Story of Stuff Community, the holiday season is a time for us to reflect, to feel awe and gratitude...

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Styrofoam Bans are Sweeping Across the Nation

Something amazing is happening around the country: cities and town are starting to ban Styrofoam. Throwaway polystyrene coffee cups, soup bowls, plates, and trays have gotten the boot. So have those foamy clamshell-style cartons fast food comes in. Even packing peanuts are going the way of the dodo. Here’s a list of cities that have completely or partially banned Styrofoam, compiled by...

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She Lives a Zero Waste Life in NYC. If She Can Do It, So Can You.

One day, environmental studies major Lauren Singer looked into her refrigerator, saw a sea of plastic – from yogurt tubs to bottled beverages. She realized that she was not living any of the principles she was learning about in her college classes. Then and there, she decided to change her lifestyle. Now she lives a zero waste life in New York City. What does zero...

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Take a stand. Share your photo. Stop Nestlé.

At the World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right — declaring open hunting season on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them. For Nestlé, this means billions of dollars in profits. As Nestlé pumps out fresh water at high volume, water tables lower and local wells...

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He Decided to Use His Life to Create a Safer Chemical Environment

In 1985, Ken Geiser visited Bhopal, India, one year after the horrific explosion that is widely considered to be the worst industrial accident in history. The Bhopal incident was caused by a leak of over 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas from a local pesticide plant. Four thousand people were killed in the initial explosion, and scores of others were exposed...

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