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“The Story of the Stuff” by Annie Leonard Essay

The Story of the Stuff which is made by Annie Leonard was very interesting and enlightening. It made me realize that no matter how small the stuffs we use in our everyday life, it should not be taken for granted because the economic system is in crisis and we can’t continue to run on a linear system since we live on a planet of limited resources. People become obsessed with consumerism, especially when it comes to new technologies. Things that we buy and then discard go through different phases: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. Corporations have become bigger than our government and the first limit to the system is exploitation of our natural resources. We are consuming products to the point where 1/3 of our natural resources are already used up with 30% of our waste being shipped to other areas of the world.

Due to these instances, almost all of our forest have already been cut down, and yet this corporations who still wants to cut them have no “corporate environmental responsibility”, what they want is always earning more profit. They should think that if all the resources in earth runs out, even money can’t revert the damage they have done to these non-renewable resources. Also they can’t already buy these resources from the over-exploited third world countries. Yet the government hasn’t done enough actions to address these problems. I find it appalling and irresponsible of our government. Maybe just maybe they are doing actions or made rules and regulations to minimize these occurrences but still it wouldn’t be enough since corporations can lend money to those corrupt officials whose minds are obsessed with money then poof, the corporations will continue its operations. It is not merely the fault of the corporations or the government, each individuals also contributed on consuming the limited resources the earth have.

In today’s time, consumers has become the new evil of the society, consumption has turned from necessity to excessiveness. Through planned and perceived obsolescence we have turned against everyone including ourselves. Consumerism led to tremendous increase in the variety of products. Each product life cycle from raw material extraction to its consumption has an effect on the ecosystem as a whole. For example, due to toxics like dioxins and furans, there is change in the atmosphere thus affecting both flora and fauna of our planet. To cater to this growing hunger, production house does not maintain any standards in the degradation of human, social and economic capital.

Rather than playing the role as a regulator, the governments are playing the role as a promoter. But there is a way forward, we and planet are complimentary not supplementary. We should start focusing on closed production loop, renewable energy, zero waste. Sustainable development is the way forward for sustainable life. We can’t just start fresh with a whole new system, however I believe we can take the current system and revamp it in a way that we become more responsible as consumers and citizens. We need to take back our government and unite to see the big picture. By unity we create equity, boost our local living economies and promote sustainability!


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