Sunday, September 12, 2010

Story of Stuff - Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard in The Story of Stuff is an exploration of materials and consumption in the modern consumer product cycle.

It begins by detailing the cycles that material goes through in order to make a consumer product and then what happens to that material during a product's lifetime.
The discrete stages listed were: Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption and finally Disposal - altogether called the materials economy.
Annie goes on to detail how materials are sourced and how it affects peoples in the world - that we pay a price for our consumption of products and therefore material.
She uses the example of a 4.99 radio she bought, but she realises that this small price cannot possibly encompass the full cost of the radio itself incorporating material, labour, environmental effects, social effects and so on.

Watching the video however, I found Annie to have a really quite annoying tone and always seems to take a worst case scenario as an example. She seems on a bit of a scare campaign, saying dramatic statements rather than real-life examples, like saying that every industrially-produced material contains toxins, which I cannot think to be true. Sometimes things she says to be bad are not as simple as she makes them out to be.

She does provide an interesting look at a lot of aspects of the modern consumer industry, and how things are set-up to keep the consumer cycle going, particularly planned and perceived obsolescence.

Overall an interesting look at aspects of modern manufacturing cycles and consumerism in general, with a lot of points to take out of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment