Annie Leonard’s video about her book ‘The Story Of Stuff’ became the stuff of legend. This video has been around for about a year now, but is worth taking another look at because it was one of the first to use added cartoons in a viral that would help explain her ideas. Apart from being a brilliant example of how to publicise a book, it’s a great primer to help kids understand how the world of shopping works. Leonard is not against capitalism or consumption per se, but understands why the system urgently needs to be changed, and is beautifully succinct about explaining it. The 20 minute video has been seen by 3 million so far, and deserves to be seen by everyone in the so-called first world.
Of course, Leonard’s broad-stroke facts are shocking and are designed to confirm our worst fears. But did her book and video make any difference? There’s been a lot of discussion and not much action, but at least it’s a start-point, even if it will require an overhaul of the West’s entire production system. At the moment, the US is the world’s biggest culprit (there are some angry comments about the video on sites running it) but China is coming up fast…sobering stuff.