In the spirit of Minsumerism, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite internet videos: The Story of Stuff, by writer and activist Annie Leonard. It’s a brilliant, 20-minute, stick-figure documentary about the life cycle of material goods.
The video explores the environmental and social issues of our current model of consumption, and calls on us to create a more sustainable economy.
While walking us through the five steps of extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal, Annie provides many thought-provoking statistics, such as:
- 80% of the planet’s original forests are gone.
- 40% of waterways in the United States have become undrinkable.
- People in the United States are targeted with more than 3,000 advertisements a day.
- People in the United States makes 4.5 pounds of garbage a day.
If you’re not a minimalist already, you may very well become one after watching this!
Want to learn more? Annie has recently released a book version of The Story of Stuff, with more details of the materials economy — including her travels to factories and dumps around the world, to see exactly how the stuff we buy is made and disposed of.
And if that’s not enough, two new videos have been added to the site: The Story of Bottled Water, and The Story of Cap & Trade. I’m looking forward to The Story of Electronics, which is coming in May.
So what inspires your minimalism? Is it a concern for the environment or human rights, or simply a desire for clean closets and a spacious home?