+
Heroes

This guy thinks plastic water bottles should have graphic warning labels. He makes a great point.

Our water bottle addiction causes of lot of destruction. Maybe we need more reminding.

Shocking, graphic warning labels ... on plastic water bottles?!

Yep. That's right. I know, I know, it sounds a little extreme, but think about it — if packs of cigarettes can warn smokers about the dangers of tobacco, why shouldn't we do the same thing with water bottles?

That's where Trey Highton is coming from, anyway.


He's a doctoral student in California. And for a recent art assignment, he developed a project that would sound the alarm on water bottles and how they're basically wreaking havoc on Mother Earth.

Admittedly, Highton is not a huge fan of their awful, horrible, no-good impact. But with the recent drought, his project is starting to seem like a really good idea.

Just look at all these bottles:

Lots, and lots, and lots of plastic bottles in San Francisco. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Knowing how effective those cringeworthy anti-smoking campaigns can be, Highton decided to mock up some similar labels for water bottles.

And I have to say is wow. Gosh darn it, he just might be on to something!

They range from, the "ew, gross" variety of sushi made out of garbage...

Sushi? Delicious. Garbage-made sushi? NOPE. This is an example of the type of label Highton wants on water bottles in California. Image via Trey Highton.

...to the "whoa, gross, that is totally a dead bird" variety of a photo of a dead bird that swallowed a lot of plastic garbage.

Here is another example. If you couldn't tell, it doesn't bode well for birds when they ingest our pollution. The label above supports the eco-friendly Surfrider Foundation, of which Highton is a member. Image via Trey Highton.

These images might be tough to look at, but that's his point.

"Recycling is not a silver bullet," he explained to Upworthy. "We have to intrinsically change consumers' attitudes about plastic."

Highton launched a Change.org petition demanding legislators in his state "add graphic environmental warning labels to single-use plastic water bottles."

And so far, it has gotten lots of attention.

As of June 25, 2015, more than 9,400 people had signed — just about 600 signatures shy of his current goal.

"I've been stoked on the amount of support the petition has received thus far," Highton said. "The page is averaging about a thousand views a day over the last week, so it seems to be picking up momentum."

California's drought has probably helped in getting the word out on his campaign. After all, the state is freaking out right now about how little water it has. And with good reason.

"People can deny climate change and global warming all they want," Highton said.

"But anyone who drives up and down California and passes any of our lakes and reservoirs can clearly see the dire shape we're in."

A dramatic before and after comparison (taken in 2011 and 2014) shows Folsom Lake in northern California. Images by California Department of Water Resources via Reddit.

He's aware of the uphill battle he faces in making the campaign a reality, though.

"For me, 10,000 signatures is still just getting started," he said. "We have a long way to go in terms of outreach and support before stakeholders at the governmental level will take this initiative seriously."

You want those stakeholders to take it seriously, though, don't you? Of course you do. Thenclick here to support Highton's efforts.

via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

Keep ReadingShow less

Indie pop band Sub-Radio created a perfect introvert parody of Whitney Houston's hit song.

There are two kinds of people in this world—those who Google "nightlife" when they're exploring travel destinations and those with no desire to venture anywhere after 10:00 p.m.

Nothing against those folks who enjoy spending after-bedtime hours in crowded nightclubs, but "nightlife" just sounds like torture to me. Even during my somewhat wild college days, whenever I'd go out dancing late at night with my friends, the little voice in my head would say, "You know you'd rather be curled up on your couch in your jammies right now." And it was right. I would have.

While some introverts may genuinely look forward to a night on the town, I'd venture to guess most of us don't. By the end of the day, our social batteries are usually pretty tapped out, so a quiet evening with a movie or a book is almost always preferable to one that involves trying to make conversation over blaring music and strobe lights.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Magician changes his act so a visually impaired man can experience it for the first time

“I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

@magickevinli/TikTok

“There’s always a way to experience magic.”

Pro magician Kevin Li has dazzled audiences, celebrities and even heavy hitters in the industry like Penn and Teller with his impressive sleight of hand displays.

However, Li would tell you that one of his “most memorable” performances wasn’t for a sold out crowd, but for a single person who might normally miss out on his gifts.

A video posted to Li's TikTok shows Li offering up a magic trick to a man who is vision impaired. At first, the man politely declined, saying, “I’m blind, so the magic won’t work for me."

Without missing a beat, Li replied, “I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Alabama community loves deaf Waffle House cook who taught his co-workers to use sign language

Manager Michael Clements has "never seen" an employee like Pookie White.

via Google

The Waffle House in Hope Hull, Alabama.

Even though companies with workplaces that make accommodations for disabled workers are happier and more profitable, there is still a huge discrepancy in workforce participation between deaf people and those who can hear. According to Deaf People and Employment in the United States, 53% of deaf people are in the workforce as compared to 75.8% of those who can hear.

One of the biggest hurdles to deaf people entering the workforce is discriminatory hiring practices, intentional or not.

“There are often layers of discriminatory hiring practices that make [workplace participation] statistics still hold true today,” the study says. “Such practices can range from the discriminatory language on the job ad itself, to the application & hiring process, and can even impact the promotion of deaf employees.”

Keep ReadingShow less