Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Story Of Stuff: A Review

The Story of Stuff: 1. Extraction, 2. Production, 3. Distribution

Annie Leonard, a former Greenpeace worker, is fascinated with material things, especially garbage.  She says when she looks at a cell phone, sweater, or paper cup “it's entire life cycle flashes before [her] eyes.”  It's an obsession that lead to a popular animated short and follow-up book called "The Story Of Stuff" [published in March, 2010].  And along the way, she's been accused of being un-American by followers of Glenn Beck and Fox News.
4. Consumption

"The Story Of Stuff” gets you to think about how material things come into your life and where they go after they are tossed.  We are asked to consider the hidden health, environmental and social impact of all the stuff we consume.  The book is a very understandable and entertaining read.  The tone is upbeat and ultimately hopeful, and it raises important concerns like resource depletion, toxic chemicals, worker safety and economic justice.  It also discusses the roles big business, governments and people play in over-consumption.  More stuff doesn't de facto produce greater happiness either.

5. Disposal
The author believes we can make products better without destroying our health or our planet, and corporations can be both profitable and socially responsible.  She asks us to be open to new ways of thinking.  

Although some of her crictics accuse her of misrepresenting scientific terms and data, the book is worthwhile a read.  It's good to take stock of what's working and what's not … to question the status quo and to change the way we do things in order to make life better on a global scale. 

There isn't a single solution to ecological problems, but her book correctly advocates sustainability and gets readers to focus on the big picture.

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1 comment:

  1. Great! I attend a course dealing with Sustainability, so this book might come handy.