We’re All Just One Person!

Next time you hear someone say “What can I do? I’m just one person!”—tell them about 8-year old Cole Rasenberger, who took on a fast-food giant and succeeded in getting them to use recycled paper in a large part of their packaging. Cole is now eleven, but in second grade he turned a school assignment into a campaign to help save his beloved southern coastal forest region from the damaging practices brought by the paper industry.  Cole’s teacher gave an assignment for her class to write a government official and try to change something – encouraging them with the lesson that “everyone has a voice – you can speak with it.”

Because Cole valued the forest near his home as a peaceful place to think, and an important habitat for several endangered species, he started a postcard campaign to inform McDonald’s of the forest’s value, and request that they change some of their packaging to post-consumer recycled material, in order to conserve a rich ecological environment. He told them changing “just a little bit” of their packaging would “save a lot of trees.”  With the help of a few friends, he had his classmates sign 2,000 postcards and sent them to the McDonald’s.  The response?  They changed all their bags to 100% post-consumer recycled paper! Now he shares his experience with others who might want to try making a positive difference—“don’t be scared because you can always try” and even if the response is not what you’d like, it’s usually positive.

You can find this inspirational story and others by listening to Story of Stuff’s new podcast series called “The Good Stuff.” Go to http://www.storyofstuff.org/category/podcasts/ where you can listen and subscribe, so emails will be sent to you when there is a new podcast available.

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