The Story Of Stuff
Consumerism has sadly turned into the way we show our social status to the world. Having the latest gadgets, cars, fashion and accessories has replaced old-fashion values to produce our standing in society. Incredible, when you think about it. And, the most shocking part corporations actually benefit from this shift in society; they help spread and design our consumerism to benefit the big guys. Reports starting in the 1950s and continuing up to the modern day openly talk about both planned obsolescence, when companies design things to break within a certain time frame, forcing us to buy a new one; and perceived obsolescence, where companies change the appearance and design of new products, so although the old one still functions perfectly well, we begin to feel embarrassed and ashamed of our items thereby forcing us to buy new ones. It makes sense for a company: make people want to buy a new product, clothing item, car, etc. even if they do not “need” it. From a business plan model, this strategy is perfect. From a look at our earth and our society, this strategy seems to be getting us in trouble!
So what can be done? In my opinion, awareness is the first step to change. This documentary brought up many issues that I was aware of, but hadn’t quite made the connection to yet. Now that I know a little more about them, I feel like I can go about changes in my daily life to help the cause. And, luckily for the more unaware of us, there is a growing concern for such issues as environmentalism, conservation, and efforts to reduce consumption that has increased the number of people both willing to do something about it and actually doing something about it, at each stage in the process. And if we keep in mind the old school way of thinking, the rubbishly linear process, and replace it with a newer, more sustainable way of thinking, we might start getting somewhere to save our planet.
Check out Annie and her research at www.storyofstuff.com