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The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff

How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change

Read by: Annie Leonard
  • reading group guide
  • freshman reading
The unabridged audiobook on only two MP3 CDs!

 

We have a problem with Stuff. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, we’re consuming 30 percent of the world’s resources and creating 30 percent of the world’s waste. If everyone consumed at U.S. rates, we would need three to five planets! This alarming fact drove Annie Leonard to create the Internet film sensation The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed over 10 million times. Now, in a landmark book in the tradition of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Leonard tracks the life of the Stuff we use every day—how it is produced, distributed, and consumed, and where it goes when we throw it out.  

Leonard’s message is startlingly clear: we have too much Stuff, and too much of it is toxic. Outlining the five stages of our consumption-driven economy—from extraction through production, distribution, consumption, and disposal—she vividly illuminates its frightening repercussions. Leonard reveals the true story behind our possessions, and how we, as consumers, are compromising our health, safety, and quality of life. Meanwhile, all this Stuff isn’t even making us happier!  

The drive for a “growth at all costs” economy fuels a system in crisis, but Annie Leonard shows us that this is not the way things have to be. Expansive, galvanizing, and sobering yet optimistic, The Story of Stuff transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.

 This MP3 CD edition will not play on traditional CD players, but is perfect for transferring to iPods and other portable MP3 players. It will also play on your computer or MP3 CD player.
Choose a format:
  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9780743599160 | 
  • March 2010
List Price $23.95
Available on or around March 9, 2010

Video

Author Annie Leonard's The Story of Stuff

Annie Leonard tracks the life of the "stuff" we use every day, transforming how we think about our patterns of consumption.

Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Story of Stuff includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Annie Leonard. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

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

About the Author

Annie Leonard
Photograph © Christy McDonald

Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard is an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues and has written for a range of publications. She has worked for the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production & Consumption, Health Care Without Harm, and Essential Action and Greenpeace International. In 2008, Annie was named one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Environment. Annie currently resides in California with her daughter.

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