The Story of Stuff

I don’t often post videos on my blog that are 20 minutes long.

Let’s face it, in today’s fast-paced society, most people are skipping ahead or closing a YouTube video after the first 60 seconds.

This video that my brother posted on Facebook, however, held my attention to the very end.

Do yourself a favor, skip the 22-minute sitcom you were going to watch on Hulu during your lunch break or later tonight and watch this instead.

The illustrations and explanations make it easy to understand, plus, you’ll be able to throw around economic terms like “planned obsolescence” or “externalized costs” at your next party.

Here are a few of the statistics they shared in the video that I found most disturbing:

  • Over the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s natural resources base have been consumed.
  • In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left.
  • Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable
  • In the U.S., industry admits to releasing over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals a year.
  • The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago.
  • Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage a day. That is twice what we each made thirty years ago.
  • For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb.

Here’s the question I’ve been pondering since watching this video, How do we raise children in this consumeristic society without them jumping on the consumer hamster wheel themselves?

About the Author Brad Ruggles

I love my family more than anything but I still struggle to keep my passions and priorities in order. I’m passionate about the Church, its influence on culture, and making it better.