Geog 101

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Emily McCullough
Exercise 11
Section 2
“The Story of Stuff: A System in Crisis”
Our world is slowly being filled with toxins that are not only harming us, but will also harm our children and more generations to follow. In the “Story of Stuff” videos Annie Leonard reveals so many hidden factors that we as consumers are unaware of. The video titled “The Story of Stuff” explains to us the linear sequence system that we are using, how much we are hurting our planet and how we can fix it. There are several other videos that this organization has published, but the two that I chose to learn more about were “The Story of Cosmetics” and “The Story of Bottled Water”. Both of these videos show us things that I, personally, was oblivious to and I'm sure many other Americans are too. In “The Story of Stuff” video tells us that we use a linear system: extraction, production, distribution, consumption, then discard. Companies that produce our goods assume that there is no limit on extraction and production, but the Earth has a limit. Americans make up 5% of the worlds population but we are using 30% of the worlds natural resources. In the past three decades we have consumed one third of our natural resources. If we continue to use resources at this speed we will use up all that we have and be left with nothing. Another thing I was surprised to learn was how much it really cost to make a product. It takes more money to produce a product under $5 than anyone is making back. It cost to produce the product in the factory, pay the cost of labor, ship the product to the store, then the cost of being on the shelf. Our economy is losing money with this system. Once we get the item soon enough there will quickly be a new, nicer, more modern version of the item that we “must have” so therefore the first item becomes garbage. 99% of our stuff becomes garbage in six months. The cost of these products is much more than money, during the production stage many toxins are released from...
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