Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Daughter and I have been enjoying (and forcing people to watch) this web movie (via feministe).

That's just the first chapter. You can see the whole thing here.

The parts that I keep thinking about: about how only 1% of the stuff we buy is in our houses after 6 months. I buy a little less than the average person, but still. Yuck. Also, about how, to make my 1 bag of trash per week, there were 70 bags of trash made to produce the stuff in that one bag. Double yuck.

My big weakness is plastic food containers. Like tupperware, but not tupperware because I'm too cheap to buy it. More like, the "disposable" kind you get at the grocery store. There comes a point in every plastic container's life in which I forget to take it out of my bag after the weekend, or I leave the leftovers in the fridge a month too long, or something. And then I chuck it, and feel guilty about it. Otherwise I think we do pretty good on the disposable stuff front. I buy recycled when I can (paper products) and keep an eye on the packaging of the stuff we do buy.

I've been trying to sell Daughter on having a zero-waste birthday party this year, where friends bring donations for a charity instead of gifts, and there's no plastic crap or extra bag of trash. She's.... um... unconvinced. I can't blame her; making changes is hard--but it's possible. I haven't bought any baggies (with the notable exception of two boxes of freezer bags to freeze vegetables last fall) in two years, and no paper towels in three (with the notable exception of moving week, when we lived in a paper product world).

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