‘The story of stuff’ film was an eye-opener and has inspired me to write up my first blog post about the real but not-so-acknowledged issue of the environmental and social impacts of consumerism.
As informed consumers we have a greater capacity to understand the importance of our actions and choices and are enabled in make better choices.
My takeaways from watching ‘The story of stuff’:
- People matter but the ‘materials’ economy devalues a person’s worth and there is no equality. If you don’t own or buy to contribute to the consumer world you are seen to not have or add any value.
- We have an excessive amount of ‘stuff’ and we are taking way more than we need – from Mother Nature and from those who were not born into a more privileged life. 99% of ‘stuff’ is trashed within 6 months of purchase! Corporations, advertising and the media are constantly telling us we’re unhappy with what we have and the solution is to shop.
- The film questions ‘are we really paying for the stuff we buy’? Our initial reaction of ‘Wow, that’s cheap!’ is rarely followed by ‘How are they able to sell it at such a cheap price?’ Realistically a $10 top would not cover the costs of fair and ethical production and operations (fabric, manufacturers, shipping, store rent, staff pay etc…) – so who pays? Factory workers sacrifice their health and human rights, children pay with their loss of education and future, Mother Nature pays with the destruction of the environment, the pollution of air and waterways. Is this fair?
This film not only makes me think twice about what I’m buying and if it’s actually necessary but how I can make changes, no matter how small, in my daily life to make a positive difference to society and the environment.
Research before you buy. Find out how and where products are made, if products are Fairtrade certified and read up on the brand's sustainability practices.
The power of word of mouth is vital in creating awareness on such important issues that affect us and future generations. Please share, one more informed consumer makes all the difference.
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