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The Story of Stuff


I consider myself a fairly conscious, ‘green’ person. My car is a hybrid, I have the curly light-bulbs, I recycle everything I possibly can. You know the type – a normal person. When I viewed this video, I was so ashamed of myself. We already know Americans are incredible conspicuous consumers, but this video shows just how over the top we are. And it is frightening. After feeling ashamed, the next thing I felt was paranoid. Are we on the verge of science fiction? I mean really on the verge. Should I buy some land far from the city so I can grow my own vegetables and be self sufficient? Is the end of the world near? Quite possibly.

The first thing I did was stop eating beef and pork. The next thing I did was not buy that pair of shoes I really, really wanted; really, really needed. Of course I didn’t need them. I probably have fifteen pairs of shoes, at least, knocking around the house. (My daughter has me beat with fifty some pairs, so I felt a little bit better then.)

We definitely don’t need this incredibly attractive stuff. I love going to the dollar store and coming home with $27 (that is twenty-seven items, mind you) worth of stuff. Yup, the dreaded stuff. Plastic junk, made in China, probably filled with enough uranium to create a nuclear weapon.

So, I am not going to the dollar store to buy stuff, I am trying not to buy stuff I really don’t need, and I am trying to inspire the people around me. It is so frustrating to think I can completely change my lifestyle, and not have an impact, if everyone else doesn’t do the same.

Please follow the link and view this video. Be patient as it loads each chapter. Please try to buy less stuff. And tell everyone you know to stop buying stuff.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Marlow permalink
    September 27, 2008 9:22 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for the url. It’s a great message. I wish lots of people would listen and take note. One problem may be that it’s 20 minutes long. TV has knocked our collective attention span down so low, many would not hang in there. thanks again.

  2. September 27, 2008 9:49 pm

    Yes, twenty minutes…. sad that it is too long is right. Not enough action, either, like a video game that kids can sit in front of for hours.
    Oh well.
    It is an incredible message, and there really is so much we can do as individuals. It seems like it should be so easy…….

  3. Doug Leonard permalink
    March 12, 2009 9:21 pm

    Thanks for your post. I can relate. I hate stuff too, but I also crave it. When I have it, money burns a hole in my pocket. It wants the thrill of purchasing some stuff, especially books and music and new technology. It makes me feel like somebody. Material possessions were a problem before Thorsten Veblen. Where your treasure is, there is your heart also. Makes you want to do what St. Francis did–give everything away, discard even your clothing in a public square, don a big brown robe, tie it with a rope, live in a lean-to, and learn how to pray. Failing that, sustainable is my new watchword. I know everyone is saying it and I hate to follow the crowd. But, gee, it’s a great concept and the more who embrace it, the better. Maybe our kids can learn how to get free from too much of nothing.
    I do have one child who is not interested in “stuff.” I would like to take credit, but unfortunately I cannot. I love stuff too. Mostly I love old stuff, but I like new stuff too. I don’t need another scarf or pair of mittens……. I really am trying to get away from it though. It is very dangerous for me to go into Target. Sticking to the list is a must! We wouldn’t have to work so hard if we didn’t need money for stuff, right?

  4. March 15, 2012 7:35 am

    The entirely funny thing is that I found “the story of stuff” at of all places, the dollar store!

  5. July 15, 2012 7:43 pm


  6. September 23, 2014 6:17 am

    but because I could buy one book, and I have so many to choose from.
    Oakley Half Jacket Sunglasse

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