Stuff and nonsense

Ever wonder what happens to all the stuff we throw away? A new book titled The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health—and a Vision for Change written by Annie Leonard (named one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2008). Leonard recounts her investigations into this question and the disturbing revelations she uncovered about our consumer society. The book follows the 2007 release of Leonard’s viral web video The Story of Stuff that has since been viewed over 10 million times by people all over the world. Like the video, the book focuses on the problems that exist along our linear cycle of goods production and consumption. From extraction to production to distribution, consumption and disposal, readers are enlightened about the extreme cost to our natural resources. Leonard makes the case that “if everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets.” The biggest feature of the story, however, is an account of all the social injustices and damage done to the health of the people that live and work in this system. As the director of the Story of Stuff Project, Leonard hopes to share even more of the story with release of the book. Alongside all of the startling disclosures, the author intertwines personal stories like her “adventures sneaking into illegal factories and busting toxic waste dumps, the signs of hope she’s seen popping up everywhere, and all the ways to get involved and do things differently.”