Many people who have seen The Story of Stuff (www.thestoryofstuff.com) have asked what they can do to address the problems identified in the film.
Each of us can promote sustainability and justice at multiple levels: as an individual, as a teacher or parent, a community member, a national citizen, and as a global citizen.
As Annie says in the film, “the good thing about such an all pervasive problem is that there are so many points of intervention.” That means that there are lots and lots of places to plug in, to get involved, and to make a difference.
There is no single simple thing to do, because the set of problems we’re addressing just isn’t simple. But everyone can make a difference, but the bigger your action the bigger the difference you’ll make. Here are some ideas:
10 Little and Big Things You Can Do
1. Power down! A great deal of the resources we use and the waste we create is in the energy we consume.
2. Waste less. The more we visibly engage in re-use over wasting, the more we cultivate a new cultural norm, or actually, reclaim an old one!
3. Talk to everyone about these issues. Talking about these issues raises awareness, builds community and can inspire others to action.
4. Make Your Voice Heard. Let’s get the issues we care about in the news.
5. DeTox your body, DeTox your home, and DeTox the Economy. Getting the toxics out of production at the source is the best way to ensure they don’t get into any home and body.
6. Unplug (the TV and internet) and Plug In (the community). On-line activism is a good start, but spending time in face-to-face civic or community activities strengthens the community and many studies show that a stronger community is a source of social and logistical support, greater security and happiness.
7. Park your car and walk…and when necessary MARCH! Driving less and walking more is good for the climate, the planet, your health, and your wallet. Throughout U.S. history, peaceful non-violent marches have played a powerful role in raising awareness about issues.
8. Change your light bulbs…and then, change your paradigm. To really turn things around, we need to nurture a different paradigm based on the values of sustainability, justice, health,and community.
9. Recycle your trash…and, recycle your elected officials. Recycling saves energy and reduces both waste and the pressure to harvest and mine new stuff.
10. Buy Green, Buy Fair, Buy Local, Buy Used, and most importantly, Buy Less. But, buying less may be the best option of all. Less pollution. Less Waste. Less time working to pay for the stuff. Sometimes, less really is more.