A new video from Berkeley’s own Annie Leonard and the Story of Stuff Project:
Here’s an excerpt from Leonard’s essay about the video:
For a long time I couldn’t understand why. Now I’ve realized that it isn’t because we don’t have enough data, white papers or experts to tell us we’re in trouble. The problem is we’ve forgotten what it takes to make change.
My new movie, The Story of Change, argues that’s partly because we’ve gotten stuck in consumer mode.
I’ve come to see that we have two parts to ourselves; it’s almost like two muscles – a consumer muscle and a citizen muscle. Our consumer muscle, which is fed and exercised constantly, has grown strong. So strong that “consumer” has become our primary identity, our reason for being. We’re told so often that we’re a nation of consumers that we don’t blink when the media use “consumer” and “person” interchangeably.
Meanwhile, our citizen muscle has gotten flabby. There’s no marketing campaign reminding us to engage as citizens. On the contrary, we’re bombarded with lists of simple things we can buy or do to save the planet, without going out of our way or breaking a sweat.
No wonder that faced with daunting problems and discouraged by the intransigence of the status quo, we instinctively flex our power in the only way we know how – as consumers. Plastic garbage choking the oceans? Carry your own shopping bag. Formaldehyde in baby shampoo? Buy the brand with the green seal. Global warming threatening life as we know it? Change your lightbulb. (As Michael Maniates, a professor of political and environmental science at Allegheny College, says: “Never has so little been asked of so many.”)
More videos from Leonard here.