Well, it's not really a cartoon, but waste activist Annie Leonard's funny, hard-hitting and informative new animated short The Story of Stuff, about the effects of rampant consumption both on human health and the planet, does make you wonder if we've all gone Loony Tunes.
Meanwhile, if you have a dial up or a boss who doesn't like you watching videos at work, here is Annie's excellent list of "10 Little and Big Things You Can Do" (worth going to since I've abridged the commentary here):
- "Look for opportunities in your life to significantly reduce energy use: drive less, fly less, turn off lights, buy local seasonal food (food takes energy to grow, package, store and transport), wear a sweater instead of turning up the heat, use a clothesline instead of a dryer, vacation closer to home, buy used or borrow things before buying new, recycle."
- "There are hundreds of opportunities each day to nurture a Zero Waste culture in your home, school, workplace, church, community. This takes developing new habits which soon become second nature. Use both sides of the paper, carry your own mugs and shopping bags, get printer cartridges refilled instead of replaced, compost food scraps, avoid bottled water and other over packaged products, upgrade computers rather than buying new ones, repair and mend rather than replace….the list is endless!"
- "Talking about these issues raises awareness, builds community and can inspire others to action."
- Write letters to the editor and submit articles to local press.
- "Detox your body, detox your home and detox the economy. Many of today’s consumer products – from children’s pajamas to lipstick – contain toxic chemical additives that simply aren’t necessary. Research online (for example, http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/) before you buy to be sure you’re not inadvertently introducing toxics into your home and body."
- "Unplug the TV and the internet and plug in community."
- "Park your car and walk!"
- "Our current paradigm dictates that more stuff is better, that infinite economic growth is desirable and possible, and that pollution is the price of progress. To really turn things around, we need to nurture a different paradigm based on the values of sustainability, justice, health, and community."
- "Lobby government to prohibit toxics in consumer products and to enact Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws, as is happening in Europe. EPR is a policy which holds producers responsible for the entire lifecycle of their products, so that electronics company who use toxics in their products, have to take them back. That is a great incentive for them to get the toxics out!"
- Buy green, buy fair, buy local, buy used and, most importantly, buy less!
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.