The Story of Stuff

Many of you have likely seen "The Story of Stuff," but if you haven't, I highly recommend it. Here's a taste:

Visit the website for the full story of stuff.

I was reminded of this video when talking to a classmate of mine who is studying the export of trash. Apparently, the UK is the leading exporter of trash to China.

As I reflected on this, I realized that it's because we don't pay the true cost of our items. So, when the TV or the fridge or the dishwasher goes bust, our response is not to repair, but to simply buy new. Much of the time, buying new just makes financial sense. In a world where we don't pay the real cost of new stuff, repairing old stuff is often more expensive.

So we buy new, and send our busted TVs, dishwashers, and mobile phones halfway around the world. Those of us in Europe and North America get a new TV, and those in China get to deal with our mess.

I encourage you all to watch Annie Leonard's movie, "The Story of Stuff." And, the next time you are in a store and you see a cheap CD player, I hope you remember her message. Just because something is priced inexpensively doesn't mean it didn't exact its toll on other people and the planet.