Latest Posts

Unpacking Big Water’s Plastic Bag of Tricks

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” chants Septa Unella, a character in HBO’s Game of Thrones, as she follows a bewildered production assistant through a supermarket. When the assistant reaches the hit TV show’s set, grasping his newly purchased cases of sparkling water, the reason for his “shame” is revealed. In the new...

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We’re Back In Court Challenging Nestlé’s Water Grab

November 17, 2016 The Story of Stuff Project, Courage Campaign Institute, and Center for Biological Diversity appealed a US District Court decision that allows Nestlé to continue drawing an estimated 36 million gallons of water out of California’s San Bernardino National Forest every year. Nestlé has been taking water for bottling from Strawberry Creek in the national forest based on...

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‘Tis the Season for Cheap Plastic Toys?

As more wreaths adorn front doors and more coats and rain boots adorn our neighbors, it’s clear that the holidays are approaching, and with them, the peak shopping season of the year. Despite the growing popularity of decluttering and minimalism, and despite the growing consciousness about the impact of our Stuff...

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After the Election: We Keep Pushing Forward

The Story of Stuff Project is a global Community of more than a million people from many countries, cultures, and backgrounds. While we generally don’t talk partisan politics, we feel it’s important to acknowledge the results of the U.S. Presidential election on Tuesday and offer some thoughts about the job...

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Let’s Break Free From Plastic

About 15 years ago I was on a remote beach in Oregon, surfing. Accessing this beach requires about a two-mile hike through primeval, old growth forest. Once I arrived, I emerged onto a vast and open spit of sand colonized by sea lions, crabs and birds. The view was serene...

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Look Out 2017: Microfibers Movie is Coming!

In the fall of 2016, we wrote to Story of Stuff members and asked you to support the production of an animated Story of Stuff Project video on plastic microfibers—the tiny bits of plastic released when clothing made from synthetic fabrics are washed. We were humbled and grateful at the...

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In Times of Crisis: Natural Disasters and Bottled Water’s Savior/Polluter Complex

Bottled water may provide necessary relief in the wake of a crisis like the devastating Louisiana floods or Hurricane Hermine, but the industry itself poses serious long term threats to the environment and public access to water that shouldn’t be ignored. In mid August 2016, a 200 mile swath of...

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Ixhuatan: The Local Kids Kept Leaving to Get Their Education. So They Went Local.

It was the fires that inspired Alberto. When he was young, Alberto walked all over his island community in Ixhuatan, Oaxaca Mexico, and he kept seeing fires. Finally he asked what caused them. Unregulated hunters from other towns would hunt armadillo and deer, or they would scare the iguanas into...

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For Our Land And Our Children

Steve Loe, a now-retired U.S. Forest Service Wildlife biologist for over 25 years, was working on a giant tunnel project near Strawberry Creek in 2014 when he first discovered its dire condition. As part of the project, he evaluated the health of Strawberry Creek to assess potential effects of the...

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She Was Just One Person…Until She Joined Up with Her Neighbors to Take on Nestlé

With the soothing voice of a teacher and the gentle smile of a neighbor, one would not have imagined that Aurora del Val would have stepped forward to become one of the many community leaders in Hood River County’s community fight against Nestlé’s plans to bottle millions of gallons of...

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Decision in San Bernardino:
A Turning Point.

September 21, 2016 This morning, a federal judge in southern California denied our request to turn off the spigot on Nestlé’s water bottling operation in the San Bernardino National Forest, ruling for the U.S. Forest Service in a lawsuit we filed last October. The court’s decision flies in the face...

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Save Our Parks, Rivers and Oceans. Fight Plastic Pollution. Ban the Bag.

Bag bans are sweeping the nation and the world. Bangladesh and Ireland were two of the first countries to ban single-use plastic bags all the way back in 2002. Ireland started with a region, while Bangladesh instituted a country-wide ban. Several years later, San Francisco (not surprisingly) was the first...

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Coworking, Cooperating, and Coming Together: The “New Better Off” Life Looks Pretty Darn Good

The American Dream of our parents’ generation left us broke, unhappy, and bereft of planetary resources. What’s so inspiring is that the new “better off” is cheaper, lighter on the planet, and a whole lot more fun. Courtney Martin, columnist for On Being, co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and...

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What is Nestlé Waters Hiding?

Nestlé Waters—the world’s largest water bottler—regularly touts the work its ‘natural resource managers’ do to ensure the health of the ecosystems where it gets its water. About its Arrowhead brand’s operations in the drought-impacted San Bernardino National Forest—where we’ve sued to stop the company’s removal of water—Nestlé says: “Our team...

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In Just One Summer Vacation from College, These Young Women Transformed a Town

Not many people in the world can claim to have single-handedly created a recycling program for an entire community before starting their second year of college, but that is exactly what Moni Ayoub and Anđela Rončević have done. “It has been a dream of mine,” Ayoub said. “And now it’s...

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