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.

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

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. Then click here to support Highton's efforts.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."