The Bottle Battle of Concord

OnEarth Magazine, January 2016, By

The 85-year-old star of this environmental documentary reminds us that it’s never too late to revolt against plastic waste.

"Every once in a while, an event comes along that triggers a revolution. For Jean Hill of Concord, Massachusetts, that moment came when she saw photographs of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and learned that each year Americans purchase more than 50 billion bottles of water while recycling only about a third of them. That’s when this tenacious octogenarian says she fired 'the second shot heard round the world' by organizing an effort to ban single-serving plastic water containers from her historic town.

'Bottled water is the poster child for unsustainability,' explains Jill Appel, a fellow Concord resident who helped Hill lead the bottled water ban. 'Even when you can make a small change, that small change can help.'

Hill and Appel’s battle for a cleaner, greener Concord is the subject of Divide in Concord, a feature-length film directed by Kris Kaczor. ..."

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Divide in Concord: documentary review & interview with filmmaker Kris Kaczor

Whole Terrain, November 6, 2015, by Cherice Bock

"When Concord, MA resident and octogenarian Jean Hill learned from her grandson, Mack, about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the contribution that plastic water bottles were making to the problem, she decided she needed to do something about it. She took a petition to her city meeting in 2010 with the proposal to ban bottled water in Concord, but it was rejected due to imprecision of language, although most residents present seemed to support the idea. In 2011, Jean returned with a sturdier version, but lost by seven votes.

Divide in Concord picks up the story near the end of 2011, when Hill and a small but determined group of Concord activists were developing a more coordinated grassroots campaign to attempt passage at the April 2012 town meeting. Director Kris Kaczor read about their work and watched a short film about their efforts made by the New York Times, and he knew this was the next film he needed to make. He had been feeling a 'personal hunch' that his next project would focus on water, so he contacted Hill and she was happy to allow Kaczor and his crew to film their efforts. ...

We spoke with Kris Kaczor recently about the making of this film, and share his thoughts and reflections here. ..."

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Concord's Jean Hill and Jill Appel honored by EPA

The Concord Journal, April 27, 2015

"Jean Hill and Jill Appel, whose activism led to Concord becoming the first town in the nation to ban single-serve water bottles, were among 11 Massachusetts residents recognized yesterday by the EPA at the 2015 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony.

The environmental leaders were among 27 recipients across New England honored for helping to improve New England’s environment. ..."

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Introducing Bullfrog Communities

Welcome to
Bullfrog Communities

We aim to energize change, and to help local activists broaden their reach.

  • We provide powerful films and all the support materials you need to create an effective community event.

  • We will send out strategic petitions, asking you to sign and send them on to your network, using the power of this medium on behalf of the people and the earth. These will be either national in scope — asking you to join an uproar of opinion, or very local — asking you to add your voice to attain a specific victory, which may provide a watershed — changing the mindset of the people empowered in a community, of multinational corporations' assumptions as to what they can get away with, and of politicians who notice the change in the wind.

  • We will provide a forum for sharing ideas that work and news that can inform action on an issue. We ask for your discussion, suggestions, feedback, and reports of successes in your community.

Please join. Let's see what we can accomplish together.

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