Not too long ago, Annie Leonard felt the need to educate the world about the hidden impacts of the process of manufacturing goods, and to warn others about the destruction our culture of consumerism has caused. Hence, she set about producing a short film, The Story of Stuff, which she launched in December 2007 with that exact purpose – of inspiring conversations about today’s environmental and social challenges, and encouraging us all to pause, put down the credit cards and pick up a ball with our kids or have a cup of tea with our neighbours.|
The results were astounding, beyond Annie’s wildest dreams. Within a year, Annie has seen the Story of Stuff leapfrog to an awe-inspiring 4.6 million online views, with many more in living rooms and theaters around the world. As of today, The Story of Stuff is being used in elementary schools and post-graduate economics classes; in churches and synagogues and temples; in arts programs and corporate sustainability trainings. It has been seen in 228 countries and territories. And more than 50 000 emails have poured in to ask Annie how they might get involved or sharing ideas for a sustainable planet.
With the current phenomenal success, Annie hopes to turn the movie into a movement. As such, she has left her job to start The Story of Stuff Project to develop the work further. In the next 24 months, Annie hopes to translate the film into 20 languages, expand the website to include discussion rooms and other tools to facilitate information sharing and community building amongst the Story of Stuff community, work with supporters around the world and develop additional material, including more films about the materials economy.
And just as Annie could not have reached 4.6 million views without your help, she needs your help once again for the second part of the project!
You could volunteer your time or money to the project – the Story of Stuff needs to raise $45 000 just to keep the film available on line next year, and they need volunteers to run the project. Check out how you could help at the Story of Stuff website at www.storyofstuff.com (click on “help support the story”).
And this holiday season, before you whip out your wallet to buy more stuff, consider sending the Story of Stuff message to your friends and loved ones instead!
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