Did you know that if everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain, the chain would reach around the Earth’s equator 776 times!? In our inaugural podcast, Annie speaks with Rose Timmer, a community activist from one of the United States’ poorest cities who successfully banned plastic bags. Way to go, Rose!
In this podcast, Annie also has a conversation with one of the environmental community’s favorite entrepreneurs, Andy Keller, founder of Chico Bags. Hear about what inspired Andy to start his company, why the plastic bag industry sued him and why making money and making a difference aren’t always mutually exclusive.
We hear it every day from people who are concerned about what’s happening to the environment: “What can I do? I’m just one person!” What if you were just one 8-year-old boy? Cole Rasenberger didn’t let that stop him from taking on one of the world’s largest fast-food chains over its packaging. In this episode of The Good Stuff, Annie learns how Cole rallied other kids at his school to join him in challenging KFC. And Danna Smith of the Dogwood Alliance tells us about the threat to Southern coastal forests from wasteful fast-food packaging.
Know someone who says they’re too busy to reduce their waste? Or says it’s too hard? A very busy wife, mother and entrepreneur near Philly shares how she did it!
Earlier this year, Annie spent a day with Karla Trotman in her home near Philadelphia for a taping of ABC’s The Revolution. Like many busy women, Karla has her hands full with kids, work and managing her home. In our third installment of The Good Stuff you’ll hear about what steps Karla took to reduce her family’s waste and increased their savings!
That’s the manifesto of the growing movement to make our Stuff repairable rather than disposable. And some people are going beyond repairing their Stuff to making their own. In this episode, Annie talks to a couple of high-tech entrepreneurs about the importance of the fourth R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and Repair.
Being a citizen is about acting on our responsibility to stand up for the planet and other people.
Being a citizen isn’t about where you were born or whether you have the right papers – it’s acting on our responsibility to stand up for the planet and other people. In Part 1 of a special podcast, Annie talks to leading changemakers about citizenship – “the freedom to participate in power.” Next month, Part 2: how citizens can make change.
Episode 6: “Don’t Just ‘Be The Change’ – Make The Change”
Being a changemaker is about intention AND action. In Part 2 of our special podcast accompanying The Story of Change, Annie talks with leading changemakers about how they do it. Hint: Start close to home, sharpen your citizen skills, and then take on the world.
From corner bakeries to one of Spain’s largest companies, worker-owned co-ops around the world are providing an alternative model to business as usual. Annie talked with worker-owners of the Evergreen Cooperatives, which are transforming an economically distressed neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio – and changing lives at the same time.
Episode 8: “Annie on Climate Change and Looking Back at Five Years of SOS”
Our latest podcast turns the tables – or rather the microphone – on Annie as she’s interviewed by Jearlyn Steele of WCCO-AM in Minneapolis. Given the recent shift in public discourse, Annie and Jearlyn talk about what must be done to combat climate change. Annie also reflects on the first five years of The Story of Stuff Project.
If you laid all the Crayola plastic markers made each year end to end, they’d circle the earth three times – and they’re not recyclable. Some California kids are campaigning to change that – and in the process, learning how to flex their citizen muscles.
Protecting our health from toxic pollution is too important a job to be left to scientists, government regulators or even professional environmental activists. Annie looks at two communities, half a world apart, where citizens showed that people on the front lines of pollution have the power to fight back against being poisoned.
Episode 11: “Girl Scout Cookies, Orangutans and Palm Oil”
In 2007, two kids in Michigan set out to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award by raising awareness about the endangered orangutan. They learned that the orangutans’ habitat is being destroyed to plant oil palm plantations. After making the shocking discovery that palm oil was an ingredient in Girl Scout cookies, they launched a campaign to make Girl Scout cookies rainforest-safe.
If it’s on the store shelf, it’s been tested and found safe, right? Guess again. Bev Thorpe of Clean Production Action talks about the hidden chemical dangers in everyday products and how ‘green chemistry’—designing materials and products without harmful chemicals—promises to transform the relationship between us and our Stuff.
When a thermometer factory in New York closed because of increasing U.S. regulation of mercury, the operation was moved lock, stock and barrel to India, where enforcement of environmental laws is lax. Now a subsidiary of Unilever – the company behind everyday brands like Vaseline, Dove Soap and Lipton Tea – which operated the factory in India, is trying to walk away from a deadly legacy.
Meet Alex Freid and Amira Odeh. These two young people saw something amiss in how their communities related to Stuff and decided to do something about it. From eliminating waste during dorm move-out season to putting a stop to bottled water sales, here are two great examples of what it looks like to take action for “better” instead of “more.”
In the context of climate change, it’s all about moving towards a clean energy economy that is kid safe and climate safe. For Episode 15 of The Good Stuff, Annie sits down with Lisa Hoyos, co-founder of Climate Parents, to discuss how parents can approach the tough topic of climate change with their kids and gear up to take action.
In a world where too many of us are weighed down by ever-increasing piles, drawers, and closets full of Stuff, sharing provides a deceptively simple solution. In this episode, Annie interviews Adam Werbach, founder of yerdle, about the sharing economy. Just imagine how radically different it would be if when you needed something, you could first turn to our community instead of turning to the marketplace?
Want to share more Stuff, but don’t know where to start? In Episode 17 of The Good Stuff, Annie sits down with sharing champion and legal rebel Janelle Orsi. Their conversation reminds us all what’s so great about sharing – whether it’s new friends, a smaller environmental footprint, or supporting a just economy – and just how easy it is to do.
Stiv was in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from land, when he decided to quit his job to devote himself to putting a stop to plastic pollution. In Episode 18 of The Good Stuff, Annie sits down with Stiv Wilson from 5 Gyres and takes a close look at plastic pollution in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. Annie wraps this episode with a call from Story of Stuff staffer Allison Cook — from the middle of the North Atlantic! Allison joined Stiv on a research expedition to witness the firsthand impacts of our throw-away culture.