Friday, June 12, 2009

The Right Stuff

Story of Stuff is an initiative of Annie Leonard and her associates. Their website from where you can view the video says:

"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."

I agree. The video is awesome. Little wonder that it has more than 6 million views. It should be made compulsory viewing in schools, colleges and even offices.

I have a request to people watching the video. Please move away from the narrow confines of politics and economics while watching it (and even thereafter). This is not about being a liberal or a debate between 'Left vs Right' or 'Socialism vs Capitalism'. It is much larger than that. It is about life, people and the fragile ecosystem that supports it all.

In this connection I must also bring to your notice another wonderful initiative called 'A Woman's Investment' started by Jasmin Tragas who also works part-time in IBM Australia. She raises funds for projects she believes in via internet(Social Media). She has also come out with an e-book 'World Shapers', about extraordinary women who are making a difference. This e-book is available free to download in her blog.

As always, I am amazed at the power of internet in helping people like Annie Leonard & Jasmin Tragas reach out to millions of people with their thought provoking message and also in mobilizing group action. I hope many more people are inspired by them and use the power of internet in a similar way. The world needs it.

Now that I have done my good deed for the month by sharing these inspiring initiatives, I need to balance it by doing the exact opposite. Otherwise I will not be me.

I am now taking my 20-year old car aka "Ozone Killer" (and "Heap" by my wife) to buy vegetables that were probably grown using GM seeds and with enough fertilizer to denude the soil of nutrients for the next 100 years!


  1. The video is well made for sure. And agree with you that the internet is awesome in allowing for the disemmination of anything.

    But the subject matter is another story altogether :-). You can't ask the reader to get away from political and economics views while evaluating it. The video tackles politics & economics. So why can't I.

    Anyway, that, I guess was not the point of this post. So we can postpone that debate to the next er... session :-)

  2. I am assuming that you think the video and message is anti-captialism. In my opinion it is also anti-government (Public Sector, if I were to simplify) I think she (Annie Leonard) is trying for a mind shift which is less about consumerism and more about an individual - things like locally grown stuff, contentment with what one has, commune (not communist), ploughing back to the environment etc. It is idealistic no doubt. But progress always begins with a move towwards an ideal state. The talk of electric cars/ethanol cars, carbon footprint etc is a step in that direction.

    I guess, we need a debate,,,er, session.