The Story of Stuff with Author Annie Leonard
GreenTalk Radio host Sean Daily talks with author Annie Leonard about her book, “The Story of Stuff.” iPods, DVD players, cars, clothes, jewelry, computers, flat screen TVs… or more generally, STUFF. Stuff surrounds us, it permeates our personal and work lives. We’re told from birth that having more stuff will make us happier, and that all we need to do when we’re sad is a little retail therapy, and everything will be better. Driving down the street in anytown USA it’s not at all unusual to see only half-joking bumper stickers proclaiming simply “He who dies with the most toys wins.”
Stuff. We’re continually dealing with finding it, buying it, selling it, trading it, and disposing of it… There’s no doubt that dealing with stuff is a huge part of most people’s lives, especially in the US. However, one question people rarely ask themselves is: Where does all my Stuff come from? Or other important questions, like: What goes into my stuff, and who and what is required — and affected, to allow me to be able to buy that DVD player at Walmart, that shirt at Banana Republic, or just about any other consumer good people typically buy these days?
One person who has asked that question intensively for many years is today’s guest Annie Leonard. She is an author and activist who has spent the past 10 years traveling the globe fighting environmental threats, and doing research for her newly published book entitled “The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change.” In 2007 she also narrated a short film version of the Story of Stuff book which has made its rounds on the Internet, in which she delivers a rapid-fire, often humorous and engaging story about …. well, stuff—where it comes from, and where it goes when we throw it away.