Utne Blogs > Environment

All Stuffed Up

by Staff


Tags: Environmentalist Gifts, Too Much Stuff, The Story of Stuff, Holiday Stuff, Holiday Gifts,

December in America is a time for stuff. Mountains of wrapping paper, plastic packaging, and gag gifts will be thrown away this month in the name of holiday gift giving. Many people try not to think about where that stuff comes from or where it goes after they throw it away. The viral video producers over at Free Range Studios think that's a big problem.

The company created a video that tracks all this stuff from extraction, to production, to distribution, to consumption, to disposal. It’s called, “The Story of Stuff” and you can watch a YouTube clip of the first chapter below.

For all its cute animations, the 20-minute video’s very straight forward. Host Annie Leonard explains the methods of distribution, with some environmentalist messages mixed in. She talks about many of the ways that companies are able to “keep the prices down, keep the people buying.” It's all based around the idea that there is “another way.” The environmental website Grist is doing its part with a “stuff-free” guide to holiday giving. What are you doing this December to cut down on the stuff?

Bennett Gordon