The Story of Stuff

Please allow me to share this informative yet visual story about stuff. This was presented during my course at Stanford University’s Sustainable Product Development class through NovoEd. The idea is to share and inform the consumers (basically, the public; us) on how we contribute to all problems we identify and blame towards the big corporations (the producers) and the government (the legislators), when it fact we also have ourselves to blame. Are we being hypocrites about this issue? I think not – we just need to be informed and be aware of the things going on behind our backs.

I was really awakened and appalled by the video, with an overview of production, and the environmental consequences of our actions, adding to it the negative social impact of production in other societies. The process of extraction up to the disposal of products leads to trashing our environment and our society, which is a dead end course.

I think that this must be immediately addressed, with tons of trash and toxic wastes being produced as I type this commentary – not to mention thousands of lives affected by these. I understand the purpose – improving lives and also to improve economy – but it doesn’t in the long run. The effect of consumerism is now creeping up on us, and people are living up to the pressures of buying new things to cope up with societal norms. Did they ever bring up the voiceless animals who were harmed and lost homes just to pave way for product creation?

How do we address this? Below points are a good start:

  1. Stricter regulations by the government.
  2. Corporations must include in their CSRs the act of sustainable product development
  3. Why not just create materials from non-toxic and biodegradable substances?
  4. Correct planning to avoid over-production of goods and avoid wastage of resources
  5. Responsible consumerism. Let’s all be conscious of the negative effects of our acts