Essay about The Story of Stuff Review

1027 Words Jul 17th, 2014 5 Pages
“The Story of Stuff” is a short video created by The Story of Stuff project in 2007. In the video, writers Annie Leonard and Jonah Sachs describe the process of turning natural resources into consumer goods, then into waste. The writers describe a seemingly linear five-step process: extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. Leonard and Sachs describe a carefully-scripted culture of unsustainable consumption and waste. The extraction phase of “The Story of Stuff” refers to the removal of natural resources such as timber, natural gas, coal, oil, and water. The writers emphasize the unsustainability of this phase, especially in the United States. The video states that the United States holds 5% of the world’s …show more content…
The final phase of the cycle is disposal. Remember the toxic chemicals that were introduced in the production phase? They have to go somewhere. If our waste is burned those chemicals are released into the air. Breathing this contaminated air is an example of “externalizing costs” mentioned above in the distribution phase. If it cannot be burned it is often buried or simply stored in landfills. The waste leaks into the groundwater and contaminates water sources. Those water sources are then ingested by humans and animals. We are contaminating ourselves with our own waste. Leonard and Sachs point out that this system is completely unsustainable. Corporations view the system as linear. In the video the authors suggest that the system should be revised and viewed as circular. It is plain to see that without some sort of change to the cycle, a breakdown is inevitable. Any one of the five stages could shut down. The world could completely run out of natural resources. The labor pool could dry up due to low wages and no access to healthcare. The low wages will contribute to the breakdown of the consumption phase. With no money to buy stuff, no one can buy stuff. If no one is buying new stuff, they are keeping and possibly repurposing their old stuff, leading to less waste. This video makes several important points. In the first few minutes, Leonard states that she feels that the government should be “by the people, for

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