The Story of Stuff

13 Dec

I have just watched an internet film called ‘The Story of Stuff’. It’s interesting that I came across it today because I was only thinking this morning as I was eating my breakfast, how much ‘stuff’ we have in our flat. Although most of it is pretty much useless except on an aesthetic level, loads of energy and resources must have gone into making them.

On the film Annie Leonard suggests that global corporations have created the current mindset of constantly needing new things, stemming out of the late 50’s when the economy needed to be boosted. She claims that the manufacturers even make the products to

(a) break as quickly as possible without the consumer loosing faith in the company,

(b) to become obsolete as quickly as possible to keep up with technology advancement or
(c) to be replaced as quickly as possible due to changing fashions and trends…because of course, we are only worth the value of the possessions we own(!).

Apparently 99% of products bought in North America are trashed within six months. I simply cannot believe that. I really hope that it is not the same in our household, although our record probably isn’t great either.

It’s simply a matter of changing your mind set I suppose, which is difficult when you have pretty much the whole of society around you telling you that you ‘need’ this or that to make life worth living, or to be seen as anyone important.

The film suggested that the corporations have demanded that our ‘spiritual satisfaction come from consumption’ – no wonder that people are so miserable in today’s society, and that we have the lowest amount of leisure time of any generation since feudal society.

Research has shown that the top two leisure activities are now watching TV and shopping…hmm what a meaningful life we must lead.

We don’t buy much stuff except food because we can’t afford it at the moment, but I really hope that once we are earning more we don’t just go back to buying stuff for the sake of it. Why not check out another way of living…That reminds me, we really need to get some energy saving lightbulbs!

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2 Responses to “The Story of Stuff”

  1. Keith December 19, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    If it’s stuff you need to get rid of … when are you returning the wedding presents?

  2. psa37 December 20, 2007 at 9:14 am #

    I didn’t say I wanted to get rid of them! But we definatley don’t want anything more!

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