Talking Rubbish Blog

Is Annie Leonard in The Story of Stuff right? She says taking your own bag, refusing plastic, recycling our cans and paper, composting our scraps etc will never mean anything really.

There must be a movement indeed a paradigm shift in our consumption driven value system. We need massive government and business change in policy and processes to reduce our consumption of all those endangered creatures like resource materials and accessible clean water.

Annie says all those little changes although necessary for our own personal behaviors will not make real difference in the roller coaster all consuming lifestyle our world embraces or strives for. I disagree. When I was young (in the 1950’s), ‘environment’ was hardly a word, in the 70’s it became a movement and now it is a whole university department!  There is a progression to change.

We are not always in a position to generate an army or join a legion of ‘changers’, however our personal sacrifices are always critical as is our support of those who can and do make the big moves. When we hear a good speech, read an innovative essay, smile at a profound action;- acknowledge the author, give some feedback and help to keep that passion burning.

However if we don’t agitate, stick out, be ridiculed, take chances on behalf of more modestly consuming habits, the tipping point of mass change will not happen in years to come.

So let’s think of ways to make differences, be a bit odd or funny, and it may just be remembered!

20 Jan 2012 3:08 PM  /  Peg Davies  / change, compost, consumption, environment, innovative, paper, personal, plastic, processes, resource  /  3 comments


It's while since Annie brought out the Story of Change and that idea of generating a groundswell to activate our personal 'good actions' to become a movement of change. Acknowledging Sue's comments, that we need to see our whole lifestyle as part of a bigger picture and change whatever we can constantly... but it can beenjoyable. That's the next blog.

Robyn Collett

Thanks for that link Peg. I thought it was great and surprisingly not too depressing. I know I'm certainly buying less since seeing the Story of Stuff and hope others are similarly affected when they see it too.


But I think Annie can be right at the same time as you being right, Peg. It is essential but not sufficient for us to make those little changes. We need to use our mesh bags, ride our bicycles, grow our veggies, eat less meat... but we also need to change our policies, stop mining coal, grow forests, create useful public transport systems. If we only do the first bit, feeling that we have now Done Our Share, we run the risk of continuing to drive 500 metres to the shop, buy Lemons and Oranges from California, and then throw them in the Landfill bin when they go mouldy before we remember to use them. Our mesh bag is then just laughable.

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