Can I share a short film with you? This one is only 20m and well worth the watch.
It’s called “The Story of Stuff”.
“From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.”
There’s no doubt that we could do a better job of stewarding this earth in a more responsible and sustainable way. I hope after watching it you will be freshly inspired to make a difference to how you steward your resources.
How we each can reduce the mass waste that we produce, and accumulation of stuff in our lives?
Here are some things that instantly come to mind:
- Buy organic and local where possible (both food and other items)
- Buy fair trade
- Plant a garden in your backyard
- Buy less – ask yourself, is it necessary?
- Recycle, reuse, but most of all, reduce
- Buy more durable items
- Reduce household waste
- Become a giver
- Become a pray-er
- Re-order your priorities
- Simplify your life
- Get outside!
- Look after the needy and vulnerable with intention
- Meet legitimate spiritual and emotional needs in a legitimate way, and not through retail therapy and ‘stuff’ accumulation.
- Ignore fashions and trends
- Switch off the TV and do something different – read, draw, hike, play board games, walk on the beach…
- Be thankful in all things!
Remember that one person can make a difference. [Did you know the average American produces about 1,600 pounds (726kg) per year? There’s definitely room for improvement on that. Read the rest of Annie’s blog post here.]
I know this might all seem a little over-simplistic in terms of what each of us can do, as there are many interwoven factors driving this machine. But at the end of the day, as long as there is consumer demand, then the stuff will keep being churned out. And the waste will keep being produced. I believe it will just take individuals, groups, and communities to start to change, and eventually sustainable living and wise stewardship will become core values that we live by. Well, that is my hope.
Obviously if I was to do this topic justice, I’d need to do a lengthy series of posts.
But instead, I encourage you to go on a journey yourself… become a researcher; ask questions; find out where things are produced and purchase wisely; read labels; support causes that seek to bring change; come up with a ‘game plan’ for your family and get everyone involved.
Do something today!