Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Annie Leonard and The Story of Stuff

Leonard has expanded on her film in a new book this year of the same title: The Story of Stuff

Why is there so much garbage, and where does it go? Rampant consumer culture is the root cause of today’s environmental crises. Leonard believes that we must calculate the full ecological and social cost of our “stuff.” She takes us through the extraction of natural resources and the production, distribution, consumption, and disposal of various products. In her book, Leonard calls for strict environmental laws, an end to over consumption, zero waste, and a new social paradigm based on quality of life, not quantity of stuff. I have recently ordered this book for the New Trier Library.


How might we "fix" our relationship with stuff? Can we?

Is this really a question of justice?

What are externalized costs? Better example?

Is consumption really the center of our American identity?

Would economic growth grind to a halt if we stopped consuming? OR

How can we still generate jobs while consuming less?

Is consumption a part of American identity? Is this really competition at its heart?

Apple Ads: "It's Here!" as if its the arrival of a Savior. Impossible to keep abreast of the pace of technological change. Even the homeless own an iphone. Our economy relies on buying more than we can afford. If you don't have the latest gadgets, you have not contributed to society.

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