The Story of Stuff Review

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Submitted By biscuitevil
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“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 population but uses 30% of the world’s natural resources and creates over 30% of the world’s waste. This is a staggering statistic. Four percent of the United States’ forests remain. FOUR PERCENT. How much longer will it be before trees are things read about in storybooks (digitally printed of course, as there are no more natural resources to harvest.) The production phase is described as the addition of toxic chemicals to natural resources in order to produce the “stuff” we want. Please note the use of the word “want,” not “need.” The authors note that over 100,000 synthetic chemicals are commercially available today and are regularly used in production. Of those 100,000 synthetic chemicals, very few have been tested in a significant way to measure the long-term health effects of exposure. Also, these chemicals routinely interact with naturally occurring chemicals which, again, has not been tested to measure health effects. When these chemicals are combined with natural resources there are waste by-products that are released into the air, water, or stored in landfills, further restricting the ability of the planet to create new natural…...

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