the story of stuff

James sent me this remarkable little documentary about the massive consumption of our modern world. It's called "The Story Of Stuff", and it's excellent.

The piece is about 20 minutes long. I highly recommend bookmarking it and saving it for a time when you can watch the whole thing.

As I watched The Story of Stuff, I was reminded of something I wrote while we were in Peru. (Scroll down, it's towards the end.)

I've never been an enormous consumer compared to the average North American, but being leftist and an activist, I've always known people who consume far less than I do. I have a kind of reverse-materialism envy. So many people envy other people's stuff. I envy the people I know who live with less.

Our travels in Peru, and reading people like Jared Diamond and others, has helped me strive to consume less and recycle and re-use more. But like so many people, I also feel helpless, and worried, and I want to do more.

Watch The Story of Stuff.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I hadn't come across it. I could have used it in my class this semester - "Get me a Kleenex: I've got affluenza!" But, I can still use it in Social Problems. It's a great, short, understandable way of conveying a lot. Thanks, again!

laura k said...

You're welcome! (And thanks again to James.)

I emailed the link to a lot of people who (I believe) don't read this blog and who aren't necessarily politically minded or well informed.

I was really surprised by the response! Many people replied to say thank you and say they had never looked at things this way before. It's clearly a great educational tool.