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Paperback The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better Book

ISBN: 1451610297

ISBN13: 9781451610291

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better

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Book Overview

A classic exposé in company with An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring, The Story of Stuff expands on the celebrated documentary exploring the threat of overconsumption on the environment, economy, and our health. Leonard examines the “stuff” we use everyday, offering a galvanizing critique and steps for a changed planet.The Story of Stuff was received with widespread enthusiasm in hardcover, by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Tavis Smiley to George...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Informative and thought provoking

Teaches you what goes into making all of our stuff and its true cost. Everyone should give this book a read, it will change the way you shop and your view of "stuff".

Thought Provoking

This is a thought provoking book dealing with the environmental and social impact of our purchases. To be honest, I never even thought of how my purchasing a certain brand of clothing might have a negative affect on the people who made them. This book made me think about it! The book is not only a well-written thesis, but is full of personal stories that bring this topic home. ~Reviewed by [...].

You need to know this story!

Annie Leonard and Ariane Conrad bring essential details to light about our stuff! In this important book I finally caught on to the concept of "real cost." While it is nuts how much stuff people buy that they can't afford the really crazy thing is that we pay nowhere near the real cost of almost anything that we buy. We don't pay to treat the poisoned children in the developing world that have no clean water because of the techniques used in materials extraction, we don't pay for a living wage for the oppressed peoples that manufacture our goods and we certainly don't pay for our goods to be "disposed of" in any kind of a way that would keep more pain and suffering and damage being done. This isn't a political screed (and don't believe anyone that tells you that it is) -- this is the story of how our very real stuff interacts with millions of people and the environments of nations all over the world. Point being that it is not a story about governments or ideologies. It is about people and materials and how we can make things better. The book is very well written and has the 'flow' that Annie has when she speaks on her film (which is very good -- google it if you haven't seen it yet) and goes into all the details. It also has a lot of really good stories from Annie's travels all over the world gathering the information that she has put in this book. Honestly, I think that this is an essential book -- buy it and read it, then make the changes that you'll know you should.

Patient: Know thy self

I heard Al Gore on the evening news once describe the climate change trend as the "Earth has a fever." In her book, The Story of Stuff, I found that Annie Leonard explains -- with sobering, and yet hopeful clarity -- why our planet is overheating from, in part, massive over-consumption by a relatively small part of Earth's human population. Without diminishing the appropriate emphasis on "how are we going to get out of this mess and not just survive, but thrive," the author illuminates the materials cycle, from extraction all the way to the dump. Clive Cussler or Robert Ludlum, it's not, but it kept me interested enough with anecdotes and a sense of humor rarely present in most tomes about how we're screwing ourselves and the 3rd Rock. I was happily surprised, and even energized, by her inclusion of a basic roadmap of sorts for reversing the over-consumption cycle -- one of our species most damaging trends. Here in the U.S., we are at the vanguard of a trajectory that threatens to make us consumers of the world, instead of citizens of the world. WIth more and more power and rights being ascribed to irresponsibly bottom-line-only-focused corporations (witness the recent Supreme Court Citizens United decision), I found the Story of Stuff entirely refreshing with its practically presented idea that I can take charge of my behavior, and increase the quality of my life by shifting how I consume. This is a handbook for crafting a better way of living with ourselves, families, and the Earth. The Story of Stuff would make a great curriculum for K-College students. Beyond the classroom, I hope everyone gets this book and then we can begin to make this important transition together!

We are what we buy

Annie Leonard's book tells us so much about our world and about, as it says on the cover, the environmental and social impacts of "our obsession with stuff." But it also tells us about who we are and what we think is important. Not preachy or judgmental, Annie creates a new way to think about the choices we make in our own lives and how they connect to everyone and everything. It's really a book about community and how to create one, and how to make choices --both personal and political --that can lead to a healthier, safer and more sustainable world for all of us. Loved the mix of personal stories and analysis and the detailed footnotes and citations. You can read the whole book, or just dip into individual chapters. It's well written and tells a great story. A great read that will make you see the world differently -- and open up many opportunities to make change. My only criticism is that the pages are very dense --would have loved more graphics and white space -- and I don't like the feel of the paper (100% post consumer recycled of course) but I know the author wanted to walk her talk by insisting on the highest possible green standards for publishing. This book picks up where the video leaves off with lots of discussion of solutions and what we can each do to create a more sustainable life for ourselves and the planet. One more thing: this book is not anti-stuff or anti-profit. The message is that life is about more than stuff or profits --that we should honor and appreciate everything we have (Who made those shoes? Where? How did they end up in my closet? Who raised the beef in my hamburger and how? How did it end up on my grill?). And of course businesses need to make money, as do we all. It's just not the only thing that life is about.

Really fun to read

This absolutely changed how I walk through my day! Now I am looking at things I might want to buy and thinking "who paid for this?" I hope someday that products come with tags that show pictures of the places they are made and names of people who made them. I'm really grateful to Annie Leonard for making me think about stuff, time, my life and what I value!
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