Friday, March 26, 2010

The Story of Stuff

Slightly off topic but it was on my mind...

Over the course of this year my classroom has been learning about sustainability. They have done many lesson led by Naomi our Environmental Educator. One lesson revolved around the online movie The Story of Stuff. I found this movie enlightening, hilarious, and educational. It does a very nice job of taking a complicated issue and breaking it down into very understandable parts. Many of my students were very affected by this movie and its sister movie the Story of Bottled Water, which is another very large issue. In fact a group of my students are taking on the issue of bottled water as their service learning project.


  1. We'd all like some more detail on this "Stuff" movie...

    How did you students react? Did they think they were less bogged down by stuff than they actually are? Did they blame their stuff-acquisitions on someone else?

    More information, please!!

  2. Have you seen the movie?

    Well the students many of them think that people have too much stuff and that they don't need it. However they don't think about themselves as having too much crap that they really don't need. I brought up ipods and asked how many of them have more than one and many hands went up. Reasons for having more than one vary but all boiled down to "I need the newest greatest one and the other one wasn't that." Now I am sure that most of my students have owned more than one.

    We are all good at externalizing the problem and putting it on someone else. Yet I think that they realize their is a problem and I think some of them realize they are part of that problem.

  3. Chris I have showed my class the story of stuff this year and last, they all were surprised and a bit upset about how they felt they are being manipulated. Some of them realized that they do use a lot of "stuff" and were especially concerned and connected with the idea of the outdated technology, planned and perceived obsolescence. There is a great way to introduce many ideas and issues one being sustainability. I am glad you were able to use this well.