Convenience and stuff

thanks to the Story of Stuff Project

I just really liked this poster.  I could say a lot of stuff about…stuff.  But you already know it anyway.

Let me give you this question to ponder, though:  If stuff like plastic cutlery, paper plates, paper towels, cleaning agents, swiffers and processed food are meant to save us time, what are we doing with all that saved time?

Is it worth the price we’re paying environmentally ?  It’s not just the oil extraction, there’s also the plastic manufacturing process, the packaging process and the waste disposal issue.

If you haven’t already seen the Story of Stuff, it’s about 20 minutes and worth watching.

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6 thoughts on “Convenience and stuff

  1. wildramp says:

    What was welcomed as convenience has become a lack of concern about a number of things besides the environment. Personal budgets is another. So easy to use the credit card. One question I asked people during the recent election season when they were shouting that something needed to be done to balance the budget was -how about your personal household budget—is it balanced? The housing financial crisis was blamed on bank lending practices but it really points right to personal greed. I want more—doesn’t matter if I can afford it. Living without thought of consequences is in every aspect of our lives.

    • I agree about the greed. I think of it as a sense of entitlement. Your example of budgeting vs credit is great – we really don’t want to be responsible unless it’s to our benefit do we?

  2. I love this. It captures something that can sometimes be hard for people to understand actually. Purchase-impact. I always say We Vote with our Forks! Even more so if we use plastic ones! This is the very reason I promised myself one thing when I launched a good business- if I added more plastic to the world, I wouldn’t do it. From the very beginning I have used compostable, recycled, recyclable packaging. The food industry causes so much waste. I wanted to offer an alternative. I recycle, upcycle, reuse everything possible. I even give away my marshmallow scraps to bakers and cafes for cooking and baking. And one thing I started at home when I had kids was packing dishes and cutlery in my trunk in the car- that way, if we are out and need cutlery or something on the go, then we don’t have to use plastic. I also stopped buying papertowel about 10 years ago. Small things add up. Thanks for this!

    • Your business proves that ditching the plastic doesn’t compromise on presentation or shipping ability – your packaging looks beautiful, and since shipping makes up a huge part of your business, it has to stand up to the rigours of Canada Post :). It can be done, but it takes intention and careful sourcing (I know you support other small businesses when you choose your packaging for example) – and yes, I guess it takes some of that precious time that you might otherwise save by taking the cheaper less sustainable route, but I think it’s time well invested.

  3. df says:

    The Story of Stuff is on regular repeat at our house, now along with The Story of Bottled Water and the other great ‘Story’ videos. That poster says it all, and yet we still need to hear it, again and again. It’s amazing how thick the human skull is, even when ‘enlightened’.

    • Annie Leonard has a great way of explaining things, doesn’t she? True story – I confused her name with that of Annie Lennox, and told my husband that Annie Lennox had done this great little video on the Story of Stuff, so he was a little let down when he saw that the Story of Stuff Annie was definitely not the Annie of pop music fame.

      Yes, we have to remind ourselves repeatedly on this “stuff” too…the poster was a nice little jolt.

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