The Story of Stuff

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.

  1. Extraction: In this section, the video emphasizes on the depletion of natural resources which will act as the raw material for stuff.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Disposal: During this phase, toxic substances, that were added in production, when burned releases super toxins thereby adding to the woes.

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