The Indisposable Podcast
About this podcast
Celebrating solutions to plastic pollution - because throw-away is so yesterday.
About this podcast
Celebrating solutions to plastic pollution - because throw-away is so yesterday.
The Indisposable Podcast
An indisposable future for your baby
Check out our first episode featuring babies (you will hear them playing in the background!) as we discuss one solution to the challenge of sustainable, affordable, practical diapers. EarthDiaper.org a California-based nonprofit offering compostable diapers to families in need, was founded to address this problem on a local scale. We speak with public health nurse turned nonprofit founder Lily Broberg Strong as well as the director and two young mothers from the women’s shelter that EarthDiaper serves with its closed loop compostable diaper service. Prepare to be inspired by these amazing women making an indisposable future a reality every day in their local community. Resources: EarthDiaper.org JMJ Home EarthBaby.com Dyper.com HumanManure Handbook NurtureDiaper.com Zbest Composting
The Reuse Revolution is (A)live: A conversation with rCup’s Michael Martin and Keiko Niccolini
Back in the pre-pandemic days, some of our listeners may have attended a concert or an event where r.Cup provided their reusable cup service to replace single-use cups. And one of the special things that they did was work with some of the world’s biggest artists, like U2, Jack Johnson, and the Rolling Stones to engage their audiences around reuse. BUT r.Cup is about a lot more than just reusable cups. Like UPSTREAM, they’re working to build and support the reuse movement to disrupt single-use across the board, and this year they’re expanding into reusable to-go ware for take-out and delivery with their new initiative r.Ware. Resources: (include links to resources mentioned in episode as appropriate) www.rcup.com www.rware.com www.rturn.com UPSTREAM's Reuse Business Directory
Uplifting reuse heroes: the story of UPSTREAM
What did Americans do before we had public waste management? What did UPSTREAM do before the plastic pollution movement began? What were the big turning points that got us to this dawn of Reuse we find ourselves entering in 2021? What’s the world we’ll live in after plastic pollution is gone? From 1800s horse poop to today’s innovative reuse companies, paddle along through this conversation with UPSTREAM CEO Matt Prindiville and Indisposable Podcast co-host Brooking Gatewood as they tell the tale of UPSTREAM. Resources: UPSTREAM’s Learning Hub Skip the Stuff Campaign Recent Research on The Awesome Potential of Reuse Job Creation Adventures in activism: The story of 5 Gyres Once upon a beautiful disruption (a conversation with the Dancing Foxes)
2021 Plastics Policy Roundup
This episode features a “power hour” with three experts working across the political spectrum from federal to state to local policy. Listen to Yinka Bode-George from the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, Judith Enck from Beyond Plastics, and UPSTREAM’s own Miriam Gordon to learn what 2021 holds for plastics policy under the new Biden administration. You’ll learn about what types of plastics and packaging-related bills are being introduced, including the federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act. You’ll also get some good old fashioned policy wonkery about extended producer responsibility for packaging and deposit-return systems for beverage containers. And how reuse policy is moving forward at the city and state level – even during the pandemic. You can also check out the video of this episode on our YouTube Channel. Helpful resources to dig in more: National Caucus of Environmental Legislators Beyond Plastics UPSTREAM’s Reuse Learning Hub Reuse Acceleration Policies More information on the National Reuse Network and the Government Reuse Forum Covid Safety Resources BFFPPA summary Plastic-Free President Federal Stimulus & Other Funding Report Course (open to all): Beyond Plastic Pollution with Judith Enck A Story of Plastic Virtual Film Screening & Panel Discussion
Disrupting Disposable Food Service
Samantha Sommer built a project called Rethink Disposable that helped several hundred food service providers in the San Francisco Bay Area make the shift from single-use to reuse. From mom & pop restaurants, to chains, to institutional dining and college and corporate campuses – Sam helped prove that every single business has saved money once they made the shift to using reusable foodware. Since joining UPSTREAM as Director of Business of Innovation last year, Sam has been hard at work promoting the benefits of reuse in food service and engaging communities and businesses in co-creating the new reuse economy (even during a pandemic!). Through proven models she’s developed, she’s able to show businesses how shifting to reuse can save money and help remove barriers to creating a sustainable reuse service infrastructure. Resources: Reuse Business Directory Reuse vs Single-use: Economics A Design Sprint With Business Innovators
The United States of Plastic
The New Year is a time for accountability and making commitments for healthier behavior in the year ahead, right? Well, then no better place to start the year than looking at the US’s new ranking as the #1 plastic polluter in the world. Not exactly a cause for celebration, but where there is culpability there is also opportunity for accountability. Listen in to hear UPSTREAM CEO Matt Prindiville talk with world-renowned scientists Jenna Jambeck, PhD and Kara Lavender Law, PhD about their latest findings – and what we can do about it. Resources mentioned in this episode: The United States’ contribution of plastic waste to land and ocean Video of this episode.
An Indisposable Holiday Season
Many of us will be engaging in gift exchanges this December. Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day or New Year’s, ‘tis the season for buying stuff. But we can still participate in the spirit of the holidays without all the waste! This episode – featuring Kate Nelson (Plastic-Free Mermaid) and Plaine Products CEO Lindsey McCoy – explores all sorts of ideas, from reuse gift sets to recycled wrapping paper. Listen in and share with your friends for great tips on how to give more love and less waste this holiday. And remember to use discount code “UPSTREAM” when shopping from Plaine Products for 20% off your order (which also gives a 10% donation to UPSTREAM)! Resource Links: www.plaineproducts.com for starter gift sets to inspire loved-ones to try use, and don’t forget coupon code UPSTREAM for 20% off! Iquitplastics.com for more tips and resources from Kate Nelson and to buy her new book I Quit Plastic: and you can too. Also listen to our first episode with Kate, Plastic-free mermaids, if you haven’t yet. Simplytheholidays.org for tips on supporting reuse while still celebrating Plastic Pollution Coalition’s Thoughtful Gift Guide has some more great ideas Loopstore.com: the guests featured on our last episode and now the world’s fastest growing reuse marketplace!
From worm poop to Loop: Tom Szaky's journey into the reuse movement
Join UPSTREAM CEO Matt Prindiville as he interviews Tom Szaky, a self-described eco-capitalist, who launched Terracycle from his dorm room at Princeton in 2003. Terracycle works with brands to collect and repurpose their hard-to-recycle waste and operates in over 20 countries, engaging more than 80 million people. Fifteen years later, Tom leveraged his relationships with name brands to create Loop Store as a platform for companies to sell their products in reusable packaging. And they just expanded their platform to serve fast food in reusable packaging with McDonald’s, Burger King and Tim Hortons. Resources: This is what Burger King's new reusable packaging looks like (CNN Business) How We’re Partnering with Loop to Innovate Packaging and Reduce Waste (McDonald’s) Tim Hortons Announces Reusable, Returnable Coffee Cups (Treehugger) Sustaining Positivity in a Pandemic (Indisposable Podcast episode #23)
The Plastic Shift - Learning from Young Solutioneers
Ayleen Farnood and Madhav Malhotra are two high school students in Toronto, Canada, who were concerned by the plastic pollution crisis and curious to learn how to help. Their shared interest sparked a deep learning journey, which gave birth to the Plastic Shift an organization already getting a lot of public attention. The pair has conducted extensive interviews and research to learn from experts and synthesize their discoveries into resources which include a podcast, blogs, and a stellar website: theplasticshift.com. In this episode we discuss some of their more interesting discoveries, including the promise of impact investing, extended producer responsibility, circular economy, and how to keep the work fun. Resources mentioned in this episode: ‘Regenerative’ economy: the lesser-known part of the circular economy https://theplasticshift.com/
Holding Big Business Accountable
Related Links: Waste and Opportunity 2020: Searching for Corporate Leadership Listen now & subscribe to The Indisposable Podcast to stay updated on more solutions-focused inspirations!
Racial Justice & Environmentalism: Together & Inseparable
This episode features our livestream originally aired September 24, 2020 hosted by UPSTREAM Board member Letise LaFeir. Environmental justice leaders Mustafa Santiago Ali and Miriam Torres join us for a frank discussion about race, the environmental movement, and intersectionality. Get ready for an incredibly rich and educational discussion, and be sure to share this one widely.
Students Can Be Teachers, Too (especially in climate action)
Sithara Menon and Valerie Nguyen started organizing as soon as they got into college, and have each seen significant success – from historic California climate legislation to the recent UC-wide ban on single-use plastics. In this episode, we talk with these young leaders about this epic win, what’s next for students working to #breakfreefromplastic, and what they’re learning about digital organizing in these times of COVID-19.
Sustaining Small Business during COVID
Small businesses have been struggling amidst the constraints of COVID-19, but Vanessa Pope’s story of Mudlab is one of resilience, resourcefulness, and the power of community-based business. In this episode, we learn how this visionary Oakland resident has built a hub for reuse community with creative partnerships, serving locals a lot more than just coffee. We also hear Vanessa’s take on how reuse can save businesses money and help weather difficult times. Vanessa Pope is an educator by trade, an associate with ReThink Disposable, and the cofounder of MudLab, a community resource center, event space and zero-waste grocery store in North Oakland.
Myth-busting with Public Health Experts: The Safety of Single-use
With COVID-19 came opportunistic marketing for the plastics industry, resulting in people all over the world using more single-use stuff under the misguided notion that it is “safer.” This summer, over 115 health experts from around the world signed onto an evidence-based statement to validate the truth behind safe sustainability: Reusables are safe during a virus outbreak. In this episode, we speak with some of the organizers and signatories of this Health Expert Statement about why it’s so important to dispel the myths and misconceptions – for personal and public health, the planet, and for environmental justice. Featuring UPSTREAM’s own Miriam Gordon, Michele Okoh of Duke University, Dr. Anthony Panzera of American University, and Michelle Nowlin from Duke as well.
This episode features winners from UPSTREAM’s recent Plastic Free July contest, where we passed the mic to our listeners to highlight your stories of how you are building a #betterwaythanthrowaway. Our featured winners are Maladen Gayuek, Cofounder and CEO of PlasticScore, an app that rates restaurants on their single-use plastic usage; Jess Blasko, who is developing a COVID-friendly Refill Station in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Ryan Cope, who amplifies stories of sustainability successes through her work with Seven in the Ocean.
Adventures in Activism: the Story of 5 Gyres
From rafting down the Mississippi to a fishing line ring proposal on a sail to the trash gyres in the middle of the ocean, Marcus Erickson’s life is an ongoing adventure story. Also a PhD scientist and activist and co-founder of 5 Gyres, Marcus’s adventures these days are all about doing good through research and activism to address plastic pollution. In this episode we dive deep with Marcus to hear about some of his many historic expeditions, his perspective on the growth of the plastic pollution movement over the last decade, and how 5 Gyres is supporting the next generation of world-changers. Listen now & subscribe to The Indisposable Podcast to stay updated on more solutions-focused inspirations!
From White Environmentalism to Anti-Racism
Many environmental organizations are trying to figure out how to become anti-racist in a space with a longstanding history of both intentional and unintentional racism and exclusion. Many white leaders in our movement are simultaneously grappling with a personal history of ignorance and inaction on the problem of racism in America. In this candid co-interview, Brooking and UPSTREAM’s Executive Director, Matt Prindivile talk about their personal and professional learning journeys, their shared work to shift culture and practice at UPSTREAM, and the crucial role of racial justice in the #breakfreefromplastic movement.
The Safety and Future of Reuse
Listen to in an interactive and hopeful conversation about the safety and future of reuse in America with epidemiologist Dr. Ben Locwin and entrepreneurs Tom Szaky and Lindsey Hoell. We discuss how reuse solutions and systems can help: - save businesses money - get people back to work - protect public health - stop plastic pollution & reduce waste
Step Inside with Letise LaFeir
Like millions around the world right now, at UPSTREAM we’ve been talking a lot about racial justice in America. We’ve been holding in our hearts the countless Black Americans who’ve effectively been treated as disposable in our society and justice system. We’ve been meeting as a team to look at how we can do more and better to support change. And we’ve been looking at how our work building a reuse economy intersects with the work of environmental and racial justice, and with Black Lives Matter in particular. We decided to explore these important questions with a very special guest with a crucial perspective, Letise LaFeir. A member of UPSTREAM’s board, Letise is an incredibly accomplished scientist and policy professional who has spent her career in ocean conservation, as well as a mother of two. Listen in to learn more about her personal story and the connections to address both racism and environmental destruction.
Once Upon a Beautiful Disruption
What’s a beautiful disruption? A culture hack? A story war? How do big events like pandemics change the stories we tell about our world? And how can we help shape that change toward the more beautiful world we want to live in? Join Dancing Fox co-founders Brian Fitzgerald and Tommy Crawford for this deep dive into the wondrous world of re-shaping social norms. Must-hear episode for all artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and influencers (hint: that’s you!). This one’s a bit longer because we can’t get enough of these two. Stay tuned for more better-world stories in times of change, and check them out at https://www.dancing-fox.com/