Every day we surround ourselves with materials possessions we think we need, or just really, really want. But how often do you stop to think about what it took to turn raw materials into the shiny, new product you see sitting on the store shelf? “The Story of Stuff” project is the brainchild of Annie Leonard — a multimedia attempt at creating a global discussion about the environmental, social and economic concerns involved in our addiction to stuff. “The Story of Electronics” is the latest installment in this series of educational short films. In this eight-minute clip, which was animated by Free Range Studios and hosted by Leonard herself, viewers are exposed to the concept of “planned obsolescence,” a tactic that permeates the entire electronics industry. Planned obsolescence means that products are designed to be replaced as quickly as possible, which in turn creates a major problem when it comes time to decide how to dispose of all of those unwanted devices safely. According to Leonard, one of the most important things you can do to is find a good recycler for your old electronic products. After that, you can tell electronic companies to change the way they make their products, and to create programs that will accept old devices in an attempt to keep them out of the landfill. You can also tell Congress to support HR 6252 and make it illegal to send toxic e-waste from the U.S. to developing countries.
Can ‘The Story of Electronics’ Have a Happy Ending?
“The Story of Electronics” sends a good message. Now it’s time for us to act.