Sunday, December 30, 2007
The Story of Stuff
I just watched a 20-minute online video called The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard. It's part-animated (by the same people who created The Meatrix) and presented by Annie Leonard (an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues). The video describes the journey of the stuff we buy, from the extraction of materials to the incineration of garbage. But it puts the people in the picture all the way through, asking "How are people affected by this process?" Not only the people in the developing world whose natural resources the affluent West is pillaging, but also we Westerners. Does this process make us happier or are we enslaved by it as well?
And finally, it presents alternatives to the work/watch TV/shop treadmill, which allow us to have more fun as well be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. It's a great example of the new wave of environmental activism. It's positive, not gloomy. It's entertaining, but fact-based. It makes smart use of the Internet and viral marketing (no-one asked me to write this piece, I just liked the video so much I wanted to share it with you).
I tried to watch it last week but when I realised it was 20 minutes long I just didn't have the time right then. So I saved it to my favourites folder, and one leisurely Sunday morning I got myself a cup of coffee and settled down to watch it. I recommend you do the same. Save the link and watch it when you've got 20 minutes to kill. It's just as entertaining as "I'm Strictly a Celebrity's Big Brother, Joseph" but far more worthwhile.
Go to: The Story of Stuff
(Cartoon below by Climate Cartoons. Click on the panel to view the whole strip.)