Smruti Aravind

149. Seeking Real Solutions to Plastic Pollution with Smruti Aravind of The Story of Stuff

In this episode, Emma and Mary sit down to talk to Smruti Aravind, who oversees fundraising, donor communications, and grants at the Story of Stuff Project. Smruti brings over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, with an emphasis on digital storytelling and network-building to drive systemic change. Prior to joining the Story of Stuff, she led communications at Faith in Action East Bay, a federation of the largest faith-based organizing network in the U.S. Smruti shares about her work and her perspective on creating meaningful social impact, as well as the campaign work that Story of Stuff is doing in order to create policy change. She introduces the Bottle Bill project as well as the Reuse Revolution, and why burning plastic is not the solution that you may believe it to be. Smruti also touches on what other countries are doing to deal with their waste, the impact on The Global South, and how we can all flex our citizen muscles and advocate for plastic reduction laws to be codified.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Podtail, Youtube, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Discussed

  • Smruti's Work in the Nonprofit Sector
  • How the Story of Stuff Came to Be
  • Using the Power of Media to Influence Policy Change
  • Content Creation & Advocacy
  • The Story of Microbeads & The Story of Plastic
  • Founder Annie Leonard's Inspiration for the Documentary
  • Increasing BIPOC Voices in the Search of a Solution
  • Systems Thinking for the General Public
  • The Break Free From Plastic Movement Treaty
  • How Millennials and Gender Z Approach Environmental Activism
  • Shifting From Individual Responsibility to Systemic Change
  • Real Solutions vs. False Solutions
  • The Great Pacific Plastic Patch 
  • Why Burning Plastic & Buying Plastic Clothes Doesn't Work
  • Stopping the Tap with Campaign Work: The Bottle Bill & The Reuse Revolution
  • What Other Countries Are Doing
  • The Impact of Waste on the Global South
  • Flexing Our Citizen Muscles
  • What Corporations are Able to Change
  • Moving to Florida & the Way that Different States Handle Plastic Waste
  • Cloth Diapers
  • Slow Living in a Big City
  • The Impact of the Individual

Episode Resources:

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Original music by John Kingsley. Editing and podcast production by Fast Forward Production.