In the video, “The Story of Stuff”, which was published in the year 2007, Annie Leonard explains the steps through which stuff goes through before disposal. According to her, stuff goes through a linear system that incorporates five stages and that include extraction,…
Leonard maintains that people are over extracting resources leading to exhaustion of certain resources that include trees and minerals. Globally, during the past decade, 30% of the planet’s resources were consumed. This was mostly done through mining and cutting of trees. To put this point across, Leonard provides statistical data showing how much the U.S is extracting and the problems that America is causing in other regions that have managed to maintain their resources (Leonard, 2007). America has less than 4% of its original forest cover remaining while 40% of their waterways have become undrinkable. Leonard stresses that this is not due to the planet’s incapacity to provide for everyone but the fact that some are using more than their share. The U.S has 5% of the world’s population but it is using at least 30% of the planet’s resources (Leonard, 2007). This implies that it is in turn creating 30% of the total waste in the world. This shows over usage of resources, which is to blame for the disappearance of 80% of the planet’s forest cover as the developed countries exploit resources in the developing countries after exhausting theirs.
In addition, the products that are being manufactured after the over-exploitation of resources are contaminated with toxins. The production stage incorporates usage of power to mix natural resources with toxic chemicals, which leads to the production of toxic products. The modern commerce uses approximately 100,000 synthetic chemicals (Leonard, 2007). However, only few of these chemicals have been tested for health related issues while none has undergone synergetic tests. A good example is the Brominated Flame Retardants, which are known to be very toxic especially to the human brain. As people dip pillows in BFR and then sleep on them for up to eight hours per night, they cannot avoid the health ...
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It is a well directed and eye opening critique of the ‘materials economy’ (Leonard, 1). Discussion Basing her discussion on the well known cycle of (1) Extraction to (2) Production to (3) Distribution to (4) Consumption to (5) Disposal, and taking them one by one, Leonard points out the inefficiencies in this system at every stage.
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