The Story of Stuff, a 20 minute video on the hazards of human consumption, is a big hit in American classrooms. The creator of the video is Annie Leonard, a former Greenpeace employee. Her video has a profound influence in altering the buying habits of the next generation.
Annie’s video explores the 5 processes involved in creation and consumption of stuff.
- Extraction: In this section, the video emphasizes on the depletion of natural resources which will act as the raw material for stuff.
- Production: Here, the natural resources are mixed in toxic substances to produce stuff. The toxics eventually build up in the food chain affecting even the breast milk.
- Distribution: The stuff is cheap and sold quickly because of externalizing the costs. Since the real costs are not captured, we aren’t really paying for the stuff we buy!
- Consumption: 99% of the stuff is trashed within 6 months! This section highlights Victor Lebow’s call for consumerism and two of the effective strategies used – planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence. The effective strategy is also bring down the happiness quotient in every day life.
- Disposal: During this phase, toxic substances, that were added in production, when burned releases super toxins thereby adding to the woes.