Latest Posts

It Takes Plastic Balls to Fix the California Drought?

Sure, I’ll admit it: there are a lot of funny jokes that can be made about “shade balls.” But California’s historic drought is no laughing matter. California is in the midst of its worst drought in 1,200 years. Our state has less than a year of water left in its...

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Life After a Clutter-Free Mailbox

You’ve used Catalog Choice to reduce junk mail, and your mailbox couldn’t be happier. Now it’s time to tackle the rest of your Stuff! These 4 principles will help you move from basic decluttering to a total transformation of your relationship with your belongings:           1. How Stuff...

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Move Over Microbeads.
Here Comes the Loofah.

I think about microbeads a lot. Like really a lot. Here at The Story of Stuff Project, we honed in on those tiny plastic mega-polluters as a kind of Stuff the world can do without. We made a movie about them, and we created lots of different ways for citizens...

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They’re Taking On One of the Biggest – and Least Known – Waste Streams. Meet Uproot.

In Vancouver, Canada, Kevin Kimoto is getting to the root of our waste problems. Wood waste makes up a staggering 22% of Vancouver’s total refuse. That’s almost 99,000 tons of wood getting thrown out every year – most of which is still perfectly usable. This is due in no small...

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When Hard Times Strike, Give the Kindest Gift of All

On December 4, 2013, I went in for a routine test and the radiologist told me on the spot that it was cancer (bit of a shock). It was hard to absorb the news, it was hard to decide how to tell people, and it was hard to wait for...

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Buy a Plastic Eiffel Tower? Or Sip Wine at the Champ de Mars?

Growing up, my parents carefully budgeted our money. We made things and bought needed items, but we didn’t travel much. My parents didn’t consider it a necessity. But as I look back, some of the best memories I have are of the different places I did go–-like when I was...

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It’s Not Evian. It’s Free Delicious French Tap Water!

We love tap water and reusable bottles. So when a French Story of Stuff fan launched his own Better Bottle Project, we cheered. Alexis de Tarade lives in Annecy, France, an hour’s drive from the Evian bottling facility on the shores of Lake Geneva. Annecy has its own beautiful lake and...

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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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Abandoned Couches on Campus? Not Since These Students Took Action!

Alex Freid was stunned to see the huge number of still-valuable items that his fellow classmates were throwing away at the end of each school year. University of New Hampshire trash totals each May jumped from its usual 25 tons to more than 100 tons during the end of year...

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HOORAY! Connecticut Passes Strong Microbeads Law

On July 1, 2015, the state of Connecticut passed groundbreaking legislation that requires the cosmetic industry to phase out the use of plastic microbeads from their products in Connecticut within three years. “Plastic microbeads are showing up in fish in our food chain. They absorb toxins and pose a risk...

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This Town Taxed Its Bad Habit to Fund School Gardens

They love their sugary drinks. They really do. But they love their groundbreaking school garden program even more. Last year, Berkeley, CA voted to tax soda. In the first month, the program raised $116,000, which went toward expanding The Edible Schoolyard Program. The soda tax fights diabetes and obesity from...

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Planting Trees and Growing Solutions

  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...

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I’ll Show You #MyBag if You Show Me Yours

Californians came together out of a shared concern for how the the 13 billion single-use plastic bags littered each year harm its landmark oceans, lakes and rivers.  Together, the people of the Golden State passed landmark legislation to outlaw them. And they celebrated victory when, in September of 2014, their...

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Power to the People: Seattle Stands Up for Fair Elections

During the last U.S. presidential election, I was glued to the TV. I worriedly watched each state’s tally come in. It was the first presidential election since Citizens United and the most expensive in history with both candidates combined spending nearly $2 billion. At a time when the internet gives...

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The Dirty Business of Microbeads

The fight against microbeads has taken the nation by storm. The media reports over and over again that Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are ‘voluntarily phasing out plastic microbeads:’ but in private these companies are fighting us every step of the way. We’re in a situation where natural...

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