Blog Review: The Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff is both a website and blog under the direction of sustainability expert, Annie Leonard. The highlight of the site – and well worth the time investment – is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at our production and consumption patterns. As the title suggests, the video is about the life cycle of all the stuff we buy, where it comes from, and where it goes when ultimately disposed. The video, most importantly, also helps the viewer to make connections between key environmental and social issues and urges everyone to participate in creating a more sustainable and just world. Plus the video’s light hearted style makes what could be a dry subject, entertaining!
Annie Leonard is an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues, with more than 20 years of experience that has taken her around the world investigating the impact of consumerism on global economies and international health. Ms. Leonard did her undergraduate studies at Barnard College and graduate work at Cornell University, both in New York. She has traveled to over 30 countries, including Haiti, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and South Africa, in her related work promoting anti-pollution issues. Annie currently resides in California with her daughter.
Since the website’s December 2007 launch, more than 4 million persons have watched The Story of Stuff – making it perhaps the first “cult film” in the sustainable living movement. By and large, it has received high marks from many sustainability advocates. The site claims that it will, “Teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.” I enjoyed the Story of Stuff. I suspect for some viewers the strong advocacy theme might seem overdone (the piece is certainly based on fact andopinion), but the down loadable (PDF) script with footnotes does provide references for many of the cited facts.
What do you think of this video? Does the Story of Stuff apply to the Hudson Hills and Highlands? Consider visiting the site, watching the video — and then return here and leave a comment below.