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annie_leonard_taking_action - Ideas for Taking Action after...

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Page 1 www.storyofstuff.com Many people who have seen The Story of Stuff have asked what they can do to address the problems identified in the film. Each of us can promote sustainability and justice at multiple levels: as an individual, as a teacher or parent, a community member, a national citizen, and as a global citizen. As Annie says in the film, “the good thing about such an all pervasive problem is that there are so many points of intervention.” That means that there are lots and lots of places to plug in, to get involved, to make a difference and we each just need to find the actions that feel right to us. To get started, think about the issues which most excite or interest you, which have a connection to your own community or family, then contact organiza- tions at www.storyofstuff.com working on those issues to find out the best way for you to plug in. We’ve provided some ideas below on how each of us can promote sustain- ability at the individual, community, city and State level. And we would like to hear your ideas. If you have suggestions for more ideas or success stories from your work, please send us a letter or email. Things YOU can do as an individual As The Story of Stuff makes clear, current consumption patterns are intertwined with a range of envi- ronmental, health, and social problems. It follows then, that changing our individual consumption choices is a good place to start. Yes, it is a good place to start, but it is not a good place to stop. By this, we mean that being a conscious consumer is better than being a mindless one. Of course , if we must buy something, we should buy the least toxic, most eco-friendly, most fairly produced products available. Of course we should ride public transportation and our bikes more and drive cars less. Of course we should recycle as much of our discards as we can. Of course we should do all this and more. But buying green and planting trees and changing light bulbs and recycling and all those things aren’t enough to address the scale of the problem we’re facing. Ideas for Taking Action after Watching The Story of Stuff
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Page 2 www.storyofstuff.com To really change things, we need to engage as political beings, to join with our neighbors as citizens in a participatory democracy, not just engage as consumers. We need political change because the real solutions we need aren’t for sale in even the greenest shops. We’ve listed some ideas on “greening” our individual lives below in hopes that The Story of Stuff viewers will adopt these practices as one step in a journey. While we are all integrating more “green” practices into our personal lives, let’s also start reinvigorating our political life, our local democracy, and our communities. Because strengthening communities and engaging in local democratic action is going to bring about longer, stronger change than any change we can achieve at the supermarket check out.
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