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The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Betterby Annie Leonard
Synopses & Reviews
The Story of Stuff, now available in paperback, offers an astonishing, galvanizing exploration of the stuff we use every day, revealing how overconsumption threatens the planet and our health, and providing hope that change is within reach.
The Story of Stuff was received with widespread enthusiasm in hardcover, by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Tavis Smiley to George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America, as well as far-reaching print and blog coverage. Uncovering and communicating a critically important idea—that there is an intentional system behind our patterns of consumption and disposal—Annie Leonard transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.
From sneaking into factories and dumps around the world to visiting textile workers in Haiti and children mining coltan for cell phones in the Congo, Leonard, named one of Time magazine’s 100 environmental heroes of 2009, highlights each step of the materials economy and its actual effect on the earth and the people who live near sites like these.
With curiosity, compassion, and humor, Leonard shares concrete steps for taking action at the individual and political level that will bring about sustainability, community health, and economic justice. Embraced by teachers, parents, churches, community centers, activists, and everyday readers, The Story of Stuff will be a long-lived classic, keeping company with Silent Spring and An Inconvenient Truth .
Americans have way too much Stuff , and way too much of it is toxic. Thats the message Annie Leonard has been spreading ever since her college days, and most recently in her short Internet film The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed by over 12 million people. But the film is only the tip of the iceberg.
This astonishing, inspiring book takes her message to an even higher level. In it she outlines the perils of overconsumption as she traces products back to their sources, through their life spans, and forward into their disposal. The Story of Stuff works on all levels as it brings together information on the environment, the economy, and cultures around the world.
With her trademark compassion, curiosity, and playfulness, Leonard gives firsthand accounts of sneaking into dumps and factories around the world; chronicles the lives of Haitian textile workers and Congolese kids working in deadly mines; shows how our health and well-being are compromised by neurotoxins in our pillows and lead in our childrens lunch boxes; and most important, tells us that this is not the way things have to be. She presents concrete steps for taking action that point the way toward saving our health, our communities, and the planet.
From high school kids to their parents in the suburbs, from government officials to people working in corporations, schools, and churches, The Story of Stuff is a life-changing book. Like Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, it will transform the way you think and act.
Annie Leonard tracks the life of the "stuff" we use every day, transforming how we think about our patterns of consumption.
About the Author
Annie Leonard is an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues, with more than 20 years of experience investigating factories and dumps around the world. She’s taking time off from her other work to write the book, but until recently she was coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, communicating worldwide about the impact of consumerism and materialism on global economies and international health. Annie’s efforts over the past two decades to raise awareness about international sustainability and environmental health issues has included work with Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance (GAIA), Health Care without Harm, Essential Information and Greenpeace International. She serves on the boards of GAIA, the International Forum for Globalization and the Environmental Health Fund.
Annie has written about international environmental issues for a range of public interest audiences and will step this up and broaden her reach with op eds and features around publication time. She’s appeared on radio and TV in the
Annie did her undergraduate studies at Barnard and graduate work in city and regional planning at Cornell. She has traveled to 40 countries, including Haiti, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and South Africa, in her work investigating and promoting anti-pollution issues internationally. Annie currently resides in California with her daughter.
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