This is an online video by Annie Leonad, that is quite interesting. It's about (what else?) rampant consumerism and how we got to this point.
Also, I like the idea of getting rid of 5 things everyday. My mum has been meaning to completely clear out her house for ages now, and she's decided that the best way is not to look at something and decide whether you want to get rid of it, but to ask yourself if you really want to keep it. She tells me that's the crucial difference, and one that the local op shop is very grateful for I'm sure
This an awesome video. We used it on my campus to educate people who were studying environmental science. We also used it to effect lasting change to environmental policy at the school. It was a stimuli which garnered the school an EPA environmental stewardship award - the first community college in the country to be awarded thus. Thank you for sharing, this video will always have a place in my heart.
This one is cool too:
Thanks for posting this. A couple of things I thought: It reminded me of Al Gore's movie inasmuch as it painted this really scary but very accurate picture of the crisis WE are in and then seemed to back-pedal somewhat at the end (Al Gore - Planet Earth is in a crisis which is 10 times as bad as the Ice Age and 10 times as bad as the conditions that wiped out the dinosaurs and WE created it. Solution? Go into competition with the Chinese to build a better hybrid car!!???!! (Is this guy serious?). Annie Leonard has some really good advice, though, compared to Al Gore. The part I connected with is the "rebuild community" part. We've got to make friends with each other again.
It occurred to me, among many other insights, that if 200,000 people a day are being forced to abandon a sustainable lifestyle in harmony with nature that they may have practised for hundreds of years and are flocking to cities to find work, that means that, in order to achieve a balance, 200,000 people a day must be giving up the consumerist lifestyle and going back to live in harmony with nature. No? (I'm only half joking ...).
Another thing I figure is; it's OK to be really scared by what's happening. In fact, the more scared you can tolerate being, the clearer will be your ideas on how to change it.
Some books: The Natural Way of Farming - Masanobu Fukuoka; Permaculture - Bill Mollison; Power versus Force - David Hawkins; Living Deliberately - Harry Palmer.
"We've got to deal with it." seems to me to be the most important statement made. Whether relating to cleaning up our environment, directing our society to adjust to renewable resources, replacing the destroyed 80% of our original forests, or reversing our blameless disposition where we placed liability for all of our woes on the seller by the swipe of a plastic card to a more responsible participation in consumerism.
We can deal with it quite easily by ending the perpetuation of this linear cycle. Each item that you allow to become a part of your life is then your responsibility to dispose of, cradle to grave, without allowing harm to any other creature or being. It is not so easy to pick up many items on the shelves of your local store once you realize what exactly you are placing into the air, food, and water supply. Will you make the sacrifice of giving up two of your more favored and time-saving items that will do more earthly harm than good in order to purchase one less harmful, more costly, and more personally time consuming item?
Thanks Mike, I hadn't seen the story of cosmetics. I actually find that even scarier than the story of stuff! It amazes me what people will do to make money. It's good to take a look at what really goes into your body periodically.
Chris- I really don't think the population in cities is very stable- that would be no good for the construction industry Possibly the hybrid car will go some way to helping the situation, but it doesn't really address the cause of the problem
Gail- I agree, we need to take responsibility for our stuff and how we dispose of it. It's important not to acquire things in the first place, just for the sake of it. I actually tend towards hoarding (sadly it's genetic!) but my partner is a chucker- it's good that way, because I really think about how much I need or want something as I'll probably have to justify increasing the stuff in our house at some point in the future!
If we're going with the environmental theme here, a good book may be No Impact Man by Colin Beavan (although I've yet to read this as I'm waiting to see if the library will get it in). Apparently the author tries to live an entire year with a net impact of zero on the environment.
This takes me back nearly 30 years; I used to be in the advertising and marketing industry, one of those Madmen, but in London rather than NY. Since then, I've been hammering away at these issues but not nearly as eloquently as Annie Leonad's wonderful video. My views sadly made me almost unemployable - even by many environmental organisations who still, to this day, are trying to reconcile growth and limits as if were not a scientific impossibility.
On a more mercenary note, I have a petition that many here might feel inclined to support as I believe that self restraint is required in all areas of our economic and material life. For more information, please go to www.sirisuk.org to read the Sirisuk Declaration, a charter for citizenship and political activism. Having read it, links there will bring you back to the petition on this site.
Thanks for starting this excellent group,
Nick, I signed the petition (declaration) and forwarded it....thanks.
many thanks, it's greatly appreciated. From small oaks etc..
As Marley's ghost tells Scrooge "Tis a ponderous chain...you've forged it link by link". The greedy ones with all the expensive "stuff" must be burdened with a very long and heavy chain.
This is something I sometimes loose sleep over, the story of stuff/cosmetics. I try to recycle as much as I can. but at the workplace I sometimes get so tired of my coworkers, they are pigs! They throw plasic in the paper bin or vice versa to lazy to walk another meter! Yesterday in the store there was a bin for batteries, in it was a plastic bottle and paper! Why people, is it so complicated to separate your waiste? It's first grade logics so it must be something else?!
Brigitte, I know how you feel. I was constantly taking stuff out of the trash at work that was recyclable and my boss didn't like it as he was afraid I would get germs...get sick...and miss work...so he bought some rubber gloves for me. It is my experience that people who don't recycle (or don't do it properly) are bipolar manic depressives (most of whom also have ADHD) or are just damned lazy (most of course belong to the latter group). They are they ones that need to be "recycled".
Olivia, you are so right!
Howdy. Just read Olivia's post and, by a slightly convoluted path, it reminded me of something I saw on youtube. Check out North Pacific Gyre and you will see a whole lot of videos there about what happens to a large amount of all the plastic produced in the world, i.e., the stuff that doesn't get recycled. Frightening stuff! Maybe you could show some of the more pertinent ones to your co-workers. Nothing like a bit of evidence for sleepy people ....
Chris, I can't show anything to any coworkers because I don't work any more...and most of them don't either. My ex-company has laid off all but one employee on the floor I worked on. At a previous job, back in the 70's (before recylcing), there was a lunch room for the employees and had them all saving their egg shells, banana peels, etc for me for my compost. I was going to do that at my last job, but no body ate anything that I could use...mostly fast food junk. I have tried (and succeeded in a few cases) to get acquaintenances from buying bottled water because of the BPA. Every little bit helps I guess.
About the stories of.... I sometimes get so hopeless when I tell people about these facts and I nearly hit a spark with them, and then their eyes go dim and I get answeres like, there's already a lot of bad stuf around us so why bother. How blind can one get? Is this normal behaviour or have the toxins already caused so much braindamage that people can only react like slaves? Zombies?
@ Chris, I new about the plastic soup but it's so horrific what to do? Is there a petition for it?
@ Olivia, I'm so sorry you have lost your job! And you are very sure every little bit helps. Sometimes it takes just a little spark to light a candle!
Thanks, Brigitte. At least I stopped working on my own volution, though I know they would have laid me off soon...or would have fired me. The company was originally a small, private owned software company, but it was sold 5 years ago and became part of a big corporation....and things naturally started going downhill very quickly. I stood it as long as I could, and fortunately was old enough to start collecting Social Security and so I got out. It's unfortunately less than half what I was making, but at least I have peace of mind now...and the time and energy to get rid of all the "stuff". My husband and I originally had the intention of setting up a little shop in our big barn to sell the things we had acculumated from years of going to auctions, flea markets, and yard sales when I retired...but gave up on that idea several years ago.
Hi Brigitte and Everyone,
I was thinking about the plastic soup in the North Pacific and what to do about it and it occurred to me that all the businesses that have all but disappeared that used to make all the things that have been replaced by plastic could use this information as advertising for their products, which were all truly biodegradable, and make a "market comeback". Rather than protest to someone who has no interest in listening, go to the people who would. This is only a "half-baked" thought; I haven't thought it right through, but on the surface it seems workable.
And, for anyone who wants a bit of light relief but doesn't want to forget that we are globally in trouble, check out "Carbon Weevils" on youtube!
I like the idea Chris. Definitely workable on the surface. That's what I did on a small scale when I was student government president at my college. I simply replaced all office supplies in the student activities center with companies who were still around and natural coupled with newer entrepreneur based companies. Found a way to make them cheaper than standard office supplies and whammo, the whole school changed over once they saw the decrease in expenditures. All 'plastics' we used were sugar cane based, etc., bulletin boards were hemp based, recycled everything - you catch my drift.
I like the thinking.
Amy that was an amazing video thank you for sharing. I hope that more people in this wonderful world of ours will recycle more and waste less. Everyone can learn from this video. For myself I only put one bag of garbage out once every three weeks.