Sunday, November 24, 2013

Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff Project

Hi All,

Please watch Annie Leonard's very short but excellent The Story of Stuff (in particular if you are NOT familiar with it) as well as the sequels The Story of Change and The Story of Solutions - and think about all three videos.


The Story of Stuff Project (webpage):

Info Videos:

The Story of Stuff:

The Story of Change:

The Story of Solutions:

If you find them informative, please check out Annie Leonard's Story of Stuff Project website, which includes links to several more videos that are also highly enlightening, among them:

The Story of Bottled Water:

The Story of Cosmetics:

The Story of Electronics:

Feel free to comment on any of these videos - or share your own thoughts about the topic(s) raised.

Thank you!



  1. There are so many things going to waste, and it would be really helpful to the environment if we could just recycle and reuse most of out products. Many times, people's cellphones, computers, and other technological devices break down or get replaced. Even when just a small part of the device is malfunctioning, people tend to throw away the whole device. If only people could fix their devices instead of just throwing it out, the resources in our world would not deplete as quickly and there would be less waste created in the world. In other words, it would help make the planet more sustainable. There is a new idea that people can just start buying parts of a phone and take them out if it breaks. This could be the solution to the huge amounts of wastes produced in the world. This phone is called Phonebloks. If only all devices such as computers, televisions, game consoles, and much more were all produced with this concept, the world would be a much better and efficient place.

    1. Hi Dillion, that is a great idea, thanks for sharing! I should really look into how Phonebloks works. I've always been frustrated with buying new electronics because one little part of it breaks. I've always been especially frustrated with phones, because I can't seem to use the same phone for over a year because they eventually break on me.

    2. Wow, excellent suggestion, Dillon! Please tell your friends about it!

  2. First of all, thanks for sharing this video! I found it to be very informative, most of all, very effective. I think the whole video was organized very strategically and that is why I found it out to be very persuasive and influential. The concept of planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence was new and very interesting to me. I have always wondered why electronics tend to “break” or why clothes “go out of fashion”, and these concepts kind of answered my questions! And it’s definitely something I need to thinking about since “Black Friday” shopping is coming up very soon. Also, the presentation about generating waste was very informative as well. It’s quite relevant to me because I take out the garbage in my house, and I take out the garbage, every day. I always questioned how we manage to generate so much garbage all the time, and now it makes sense.

    1. Yes, the Black Friday shopping is an excellent example of the shopping craziness! I heard that people sometimes even get killed: crushed by the crowd racing to the special deals!

  3. Dillion, I have seen the PhoneBloks video too and it’s a wonderful idea that could save SO much electronic waste. But the problem there is that most people purchase these products with an image in mind – how they look and what it feels like. Most people don’t even know the specifications of their current phones or what it can do but they buy it because it makes them feel satisfied with power. But with that said, I am someone who’s getting tired of the smartphones out there and am thinking about going back to my block phone. It’s a great idea and thanks for sharing!

    I have watched “the Story of Stuff” in one of my high school classes and it was really interesting to have all of our economic structure broken down into diagrams. What I got out of this series is that, in general we can never be satisfied. We expect too much and keep demanding more. This is apparent in the non-stop consumer demands and the constant new advances of trying to make each and everything better. This to me sounds like an addiction. An addiction of trying to make the World more “functional” when we don’t see the destruction that has been caused on this pursuit. Honestly, it repulses me when people have more than they need especially in terms of clothes and electronics. I know of people that would go out and buy the new phone that’s just released when theirs still functional. It’s disheartening to see that our values have become so materialist and that we associate happiness with objects.

  4. The "Story of Stuff" is something that I feel like we are all somewhat aware of to some degree We all know that we are a world of consumption. We all love to consume, but that is what society has mostly showed us. Majority of society rarely do something as much as we consume, whether we consume food, or materials. And the most powerful people in the our society is the media. We are all victims of succumbing to the temptations that the media presents to us. And I do not think that that is a surprise to us. For example, when Leonard mentions the "fat and skinny heels" I felt like that was a an example that probably the most people could relate to. Fashion is one of the most talked about topics in society today. And like technology, Fashion is ALWAYS changing that sometimes it truly is difficult to keep up with. It changes every season, not just every year. People in the fashion industry tells us what is "socially acceptable" in our society and we listen to them. And so therefore, we have a bunch of clothes from last year that are so clearly outdated (according to the magazines, blogs, etc) sitting in our closets. And the funny thing is, sometimes they tell us that the things that they said were outdated from two years ago are IN AGAIN! And then a lot of the time, instead of pulling that out of our closets and wearing that again, we go out and buy new versions of that "vintage" clothing that everyone had two years ago. I find it silly, so my opinion is…instead of following the advice of what the fashion industry tells us, why don't we just create a style of our own. Pick clothes of your own liking, and shop smart. Buy things that you feel that you would wear for a really long time, and that you would truly feel that you would make a lot of use out of it. If you don't want it anymore, "recycle". Recycling is really for all materials! Not just paper. I feel like this could be applied to many other materials in the world, that I feel are abused and not used wisely, which increases the severity of these issues discussed in "The Story of Stuff".