Greenie me!
            “Stuff” is a big problem and those of us living in the wealthiest nations have way too much of it.  Most of the products we buy and use regularly are contributing to the destruction of Earth’s natural resources, the pollution of our air, and the rapid accumulation of non-biodegradable waste.  According to Annie Leonard, founder of The Story of Stuff Project, the Average U.S. house size has doubled since the 1970s, with each person now consuming twice as much as we did 50 years ago, creating twice as much garbage as we did 30 years ago.  Anup Shah writes in a web article on “Consumption and Consumerism” that according to the most recent available figures from 2005, “the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%.”  Clearly, there is a great discrepancy between how much stuff is needed to live and how much is actually being produced, consumed, and wasted. 
            Most of us don’t think about how all those products are made and what happens to the garbage we dispose of.  Up until recently, I’m ashamed to say, that included myself.  Batteries, paper cups, cellophane, product boxes and jars… Take a moment to think about and perhaps jot down a list of things that you regularly throw away. 
            Now, would you like to know where it all goes?  And then what you can do to reduce the amount of waste you create?  Click on the “Helpful Tools” bar above to watch the “Story of Stuff” movie.  When you’re finished, click on the “Where Can I Recycle?” widget to find recycling centers near you.  You’ll also be able to find the places that take all the “odd recyclables” most recycling pickup services won’t allow, such as plastic coffee cups and old electronics. 
Leonard, A.  The story of stuff. Retrieved from
Shah, A. (2011, March 6). Consumption and consumerism. Global Issues: Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All, Retrieved from