Annie Leonard and the good folks at Free Range Studios have been turning out some of the most effective videos on stuff ever made.
Starting with the Story of Stuff (in 2008), which showed the lifecycle of everyday things from extraction, production and use to disposal, they've now launched a series called The Story of Change.
Change starts with the premise that citizen engagement--not shopping--is key to creating a better world--and provides a mini-roadmap for getting more involved.
It's well worth watching and sharing widely.
If you're looking for a project for students related to Stuff and Change, here's an idea: Ask your students to identify one material object that is about to be thrown away (plastic cup, candy wrapper, broken TV, worn out shoe). Next: have them trace the life cycle of the object:
- Where was it made? Who manufactured it?
- What is it made of?
- How did they come to cross paths with it?
- What happens to the object once it's thrown away?
- Was this object needed in the first place?
- Could the useful life of this object be extended?
- Could it be re-used or recycled?
- What policies/practices could be enacted as alternatives, to promote environmental health and sustainability?
- What individual and collective actions can they take to promote these policies?
Need resources? Check out: Why Should I Care about Waste.
and the Make Change podcast.