Annie Leonard is a board member of the International Forum on Globalization who recently created a short film, The Story of Stuff.
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
While 20 minutes is hardly enough time to touch on all the issues, this film does a great job and sends an overall positive message. Click the image below to see the film.
Just in case anyone out there is living in a cave and hasn’t heard of “The 100 Mile Diet” yet or “Plenty” as it’s been titled in the US, it is the true story of one couple’s quest to eat only locally produced foods (as defined by a 100 mile radius) for an entire year, from the first day of spring in 2005 to the last day of winter in 2006. To put that challenge in perspective, it’s been said that most ingredients in a typical North American meal travel at least 1,500 miles to reach the table.
I have considered food-miles before from the perspective of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from food transportation, but after reading the book I was pleasantly surprised to learn of many other benefits experienced by the authors, Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon. I attended a talk on food sustainability at UBC where they were guest speakers and I found it truely inspiring, to the point where I’m not only trying to buying more locally produced foods, but I’m growing some myself.
Some of the things you can look forward to when you eat locally produced foods are:
- Better tasting food
- More social interaction
- Getting in touch with the seasons
- Discovering new flavours
- Reducing energy consumption and ghg emissions
- Supporting small farms
- Giving back to the local economy
- Feeling more healthy
For the complete list and other information, visit http://www.100milediet.org.