The Story of Stuff
How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change
The Story of Stuff was received with widespread enthusiasm in hardcover, by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Tavis Smiley to George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America, as well as far-reaching print and blog coverage. Uncovering and communicating a critically important idea—that there is an intentional system behind our patterns of consumption and disposal—Annie Leonard transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.
From sneaking into factories and dumps around the world to visiting textile workers in Haiti and children mining coltan for cell phones in the Congo, Leonard, named one of Time magazine’s 100 environmental heroes of 2009, highlights each step of the materials economy and its actual effect on the earth and the people who live near sites like these.
With curiosity, compassion, and humor, Leonard shares concrete steps for taking action at the individual and political level that will bring about sustainability, community health, and economic justice. Embraced by teachers, parents, churches, community centers, activists, and everyday readers, The Story of Stuff will be a long-lived classic, keeping company with Silent Spring and An Inconvenient Truth .
Read an Excerpt
In order to make all the Stuff in our lives, we first need to get the ingredients. Now, some of these don’t occur naturally—the man-made synthetic compounds—and we’ll cover them too. However, many ingredients for our Stuff exist inside the earth or on its surface. They only need to be harvested or extracted... Only!
Once we start examining them, we soon find that each key ingredient requires a lot of other ingredients just to get it out of the earth, processed, and ready for use. In the case of paper, for example, we don’t...see more
Hear an Excerpt
Get our latest book recommendations, author news and sweepstakes right to your inbox
Reading Group Guide
Where do our computers, soda cans, and T-shirts come from? Who and what was involved in their production? How far did they travel to reach us? And where will they go when we throw them away? Annie Leonard, creator of the internet film sensation "The Story of Stuff “takes readers on an epic journey around the world and back in time to understand our consumption-driven economy. Her conclusion is clear: we have too much Stuff, too much of it is toxic and we’re not sharing it well.
With staggering revelations about the economy, the environment, and cultures around the world, alongside stories from her own life and work, Leonard demonstrates that the drive for a "growth at all costs" economy fuels a rampant expansion of production, consumption, and disposal that is jeopardizing our health, our happiness and the very survival of the planet’s ecosystems.
Yet there is hope. Nearly every page offers alternatives and solutions that can stop the environmental damage, social injustice, and health hazards we face. Our see more