This 20-minute video educates us about "The Story of Stuff" in such a complete, complex, and straightforward way. Where does our "stuff" come from, beginning at the beginning? How is it removed from the Earth, who brings it to the factories, how are factory workers treated, how does it get shipped to the store, how is it placed on the shelves and marketed to convince consumers that we really really NEED it, and .... importantly ... after we are finished with the stuff, where does it go? These questions are big, and the filmmaker Annie Leonard wasn't the first to ask these questions. But then Annie and her co-creators did something unusual: they didn't put the burden of fixing the problem solely onto me and you, typical consumers with a small amount of buying power. Instead, they point the finger at the larger entities at play -- multinational corporations and the governments who enable them, and then offer solutions for holding these powerful players accountable.
"The Story of Stuff" deals with grown-up issues, which made me hesitate to share it with elementary children. Would they understand? Would it scare or overwhelm them? Finally, on a rainy day, we watched "The Story of Stuff," and their reactions were real, heartfelt, comprehending, and also committed to finding another way for humans to live on our planet. Children get it. They aren't often credited for their intelligence, and sometimes we try too hard to protect them from real-world facts. Yet I have learned that when we open the real world to them, they are ready for it, and they want to help, because it's their world too.