10 Little, Big Things You Can Do

Free Range Studios and Annie Leonard, the co-coordinator of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), have made a 20-minute short about the underbelly of our production and consumption patterns, as well as how they tie up with a large number of environmental and social issues. 


Watch the entire 20-minute video here, The Story of Stuff.


Here you will find Leonard's 10-point plan of how we all can help by using less stuff:


1. Look for ways you can reduce energy use; including driving less, flying less, turning off the lights, buying local seasonal food, wearing a sweater instead of turning up the heat, using a clothesline instead of dryer, vacationing closer to home, buying used or borrowing things before buying new, and recycling.

2. Nurture a zero-waste culture in your home, school, workplace, church, and community. Use both sides of the paper, bring your own mugs and shopping bags, refill rather than replace printer cartridges, compost food scraps, avoiding bottled water and other over packaged products, upgrade your PC instead of buying a new one, repair and mend instead of replacing.



3. Spread the word and inspire others by talking about these issues and raising awareness in your community. 

4. Write letters to the editor of your newspaper and submit articles to the local press.

5. Detox your body, home, and economy by eliminating products that contain unnecessary toxic chemical additives. Do some research online at sites such as Cosmetics Database.

6. Unplug the television and the Internet, and get involved with your community.

7. Park your car and walk.

8. Instead of our current paradigm, which dictates that more stuff is better and pollution is the price of progress, nurture a different paradigm based on the valuesof sustainability, justice, health, and community.



9. Lobby your elected officials to get rid of toxins in consumer products, as well as to establish Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws, such as those in Europe. EPR policies hold producers responsible for the entire life cycle of their products and requires these companies to take them back.

10. Buy green, buy fair, buy local, buy used, but most of all, buy less.