Tiny House Movement

The Story Of Stuff

I wanted to share with all of you a video I first saw many years ago when it first came out in 2007.

It really spoke to me back then and re-watching the video really made it clear to me why we have decided to live the “tiny life”.

This was one of our goals to when we decided to build/live in a tiny house. Living simpler would be the ultimate dream for us and this video really outlines why it’s so important.

Annie Leonard takes us through the linear system that includes our excessive consumption and the consequences of all our “stuff”. It really opens your eyes to where the “stuff” we buy comes from and where it goes after we throw it out. Her observation about planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence is both ridiculous to fathom and infuriating. No wonder why we we have all the junk and garbage going to the landfills!

storyofstuff

Annie Leonard also has a series of other videos she has created since the original Story of Stuff. You can view them on her YouTube Channel or on The Story of Stuff Website.

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One thought on “The Story Of Stuff

  1. This started okay, but escalated into bias and sweeping generalizations rather quickly. It sort of recovered after the 10 minute mark somewhat, but again it falls to biases and sweeping generalizations in a wavy pattern for the rest of it.

    I’m not saying contemporary policy decisions and 3rd world exploitation is right.
    But for starters I don’t agree with the resource consumption vision fully, it uses biological resources such as fish and wood that can be over exploited as examples, but at the same time it lumps in the mineral resources into this, which is patently false, mining footprints are, compared to forest ops, quite small, and given the enormous mass of the planet we might as well argue for solar energy depleting the sun as we would for mineral mining depleting the earth. Regarding pollution, this is again policy decisions, the western world went through periods of extreme and unhealthy pollution in the past, realizing it’s obviously really fucking terrible to live in a city covered in grey smog, we cleared those issues with policy and some small innovations. The east will do the same as they have also realized that rampant exploitation will choke and kill their population, by 2025, bejing will have air quality comparable to contemporary western standards, decades later they might even be in a lead when it comes to air quality as their investment into nuclear power, which in terms of land footprint and air quality degradation is as close to zero you can come for any form of energy.

    As I don’t feel like typing up a 3 page essay right now, I’ll try to do a brief summary of the rest.

    The hate against consumption is partially also mislead, while sure there’s a huge amount of waste, everything is still pointing towards cheaper and more efficient, a 2mm thin organic LED monitor will not only be cheaper than a chunky CRT computer monitor of the late 90’s, it will also be less waste, less production costs, less production waste, more energy efficient and god knows what else that’s environmentally sound and otherwise good metrics, if we can print them like papers(which is predicted) in a few years, the suddenly everyone on earth can have one, which is something we could’ve never done with the clunky CRT monitors of ye olde times. While sure, iphones and whatnot that are intended as short lived luxury products aren’t very awe inspiring, but several other technologies are vastly improving not just your user experience on facebook, it’s also doing a really fucking good job towards allowing everyone else on the earth to enjoy a smartphone too without having to reduce earth to a smoldering wasteland of industrial waste. The rapid product cycle of today, while at a first glance may appear a disgusting waste, is in the end a boon to us as we’re not stuck with primitive technology for ten years at a time with a population of 7 billion all wanting a piece of it, we’re instead going through a rapid progression stage where crude technology is refined into something that’s cheap to produce, efficient to use and in the end almost certainly more sustainable than the first iteration of said product.

    Is everything good and pretty? No, of course not, but there will not anytime soon be an era of mankind where we all can stroll happily on rose petals while singing praise to peace and prosperity. Instead, we do the best we can in our greater environment. We’re no longer using lead paint and cadmium, we’re no longer at immediate risk of global nuclear war, we’re more aware of ecologic collapse, we’re more aware of toxic materials. Our computers are smaller and less resource intensive. We can communicate across the world, across cultures in the blink of an eye. We can save people from what 50 years ago was certain death, what 20 years ago was certain death, what 10 years ago was a very likely death.

    Don’t try to halt progress and tear down society over an idealized vision. Push for improvement where it’s needed, but don’t expect to ever get rid of all the grit in the corners of humanity.

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