Explaining why consumism should worry us all is not an obvious task, but Annie Leonard achieves it with apparent ease in her video. I find particularly interesting the way she differentiates between cost and price payed by the final consumer for a product, something I’ve struggled to explain many times. I think we give too much importance to what we pay when we buy something, but too little to the environmental and human cost that a product may have. I have no doubt that to start changing our understanding of life, business and manufacturing first we have to understand where things come from, how they are produced and if we really need them.
Another interesting concept mentioned in the vide is how industry, to sell more and more, has transformed durable products into perishable ones. Something that started with pens or disposable coffee cups and is now happening with mobiles, computers and televisions, which have a much higher environmental impact. Certain groups have started to fight this trend, but I’m afraide they are not exactly winning. Media and peer pressure is increasing and hence lifetime of products is become shorter and shorter, which is not sustainable, even if we improve the materials used or our waste management systems.
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