How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health - and a Vision for Change
We have a problem with Stuff. With just 5 percent of the world's population, were consuming 30 percent of the world's resources and creating 30 percent of the worlds waste. If everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets!
This alarming fact drove Annie Leonard to create the Internet film sensation The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed over 10 million times by people around the world. In her sweeping, groundbreaking book of the same name, Leonard tracks the life of the Stuff we use every day where our cotton T-shirts, laptop computers, and aluminum cans come from, how they are produced, distributed, and consumed, and where they go when we throw them out. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, The Story of Stuffis a landmark book that will change the way people think and the way they live.
Leonard's message is startlingly clear: we have too much Stuff, and too much of it is toxic. Outlining the five stages of our consumption-driven economy from extraction through production, distribution, consumption, and disposal, she vividly illuminates its frightening repercussions. Visiting garbage dumps and factories around the world, Leonard reveals the true story behind our possessions why it's cheaper to replace a broken TV than to fix it; how the promotion of "perceived obsolescence" encourages us to toss out everything from shoes to cell phones while they're still in perfect shape; and how factory workers in Haiti, mine workers in Congo, and everyone who lives and works within this system pay for our cheap goods with their health, safety, and quality of life. Meanwhile we, as consumers, are compromising our health and well-being, whether it's through neurotoxins in our pillows or lead leaching into our kids food from their lunch boxes and all this Stuff isn't even making us happier!
©2010 Annie Leonard (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
Annie Leonard does a wonderful job of laying out the truth of many environmental and social issues and how they are all tied together. She does a wonderful job of laying out facts without loading them down with technical jargon and without a the major guilt trip. It has motivated me to make significant changes in my lifestyle and to encourage friends and family to do the same, for themselves and the planet!
I had to read this book for my Eng 101 class, with six papers to write and only three weeks to read this book i didn't have the time (or energy), so when i found this site with this audio-book i jumped at the chance.
The narrator is a little corny but she does a good job of reading. The only major down side of this Audio-book is its not separated in to chapters, so you have to remember the time you left off and continue from there. Other then that totally worth a good listening
If I had paid more attention to Ashesh's review I might have saved myself some money - I have to agree word for word with that assessment:
"I really wanted to like this audiobook, but unfortunately the author/narrator made it impossible. Ms. Leonard is clearly passionate about the topic, and the information is quite interesting, but her delivery is just "off", and hence made it impossible to complete. I'm sad to say that I'm going to stop listening to it halfway through"
In my case I also felt that the sample misleads one to believe the book would be similar to Jame Burke's "Connections" - a fascinating history of the sometimes odd links that lead to the things we see and use today.
It might be fascinating if you love listening to a bunch of statistics, but I don't. A pity because her topic is vitally important for our future.
I really wanted to like this audiobook, but unfortunately the author/narrator made it impossible. Ms. Leonard is clearly passionate about the topic, and the information is quite interesting, but her delivery is just "off", and hence made it impossible to complete. I'm sad to say that I'm going to stop listening to it halfway through...
This book will make you question almost everything about the way you live if you are a "first world" resident. Everyone should have to read it. And I don't say that often about books. No one but Annie Leonard herself could have narrated this book with so much passion. It's contagious and I can't wait to get started.
Reading The Story of Stuff made me feel like I was living in another world. I do not educate myself to the harmful tradgic events surround me. I carelessly live my life unaware of the damage I could be causing my mind or body. Change is difficult but I am seriously working on some issues.
The whole book was an adventure in awareness, growth and society.
No one character comes to mind. All references were worthwhile.
Yes! I may not have wanted to listen to this book but it was one that I needed to listen too.
How do we educate other about the abuses going on in our society and in third world countries.
What a great book! Whether you are already an environmental activist, or if you are completely new to the concept, this story will draw you in. Annie Leonard dives into the issues that we like to ignore about our own consumer culture, while making a convincing argument to re-consider the way that we treat our 'stuff', and challenges us to understand the implications of our choices as a consumer. Most importantly, she urges us to consider how we can collectively make a change in the system. It is a story that everyone needs to hear, or can act as a reminder to those of us who may get caught up in the North American way of life - our possessions influence our health, our way of life, and cause social injustices that none of us should find acceptable. She does a wonderful job of conveying the message through her performance in this audiobook, and makes references to sources that will discuss these issues more in-depth. I suggest this book to everyone!
I read the previous reviews and thought to myself "surely there is enough good information in this book to outweigh whatever narration issues there might be." And I was wrong. I am happy that the author is passionate about her subject but her overemphasis of every other word makes her sound like a cheerleader on speed, and distracts from her message in a significant way. It's like trying to listen to a book written in CAPSLOCK. Perhaps I will read the book in physical form, because I had to stop listening to the audiobook about halfway through. Heed the reviewers and don't get this as an audiobook.
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