OK, so I know I'm literally 10 years late to the party, but I just finished watching The Story of Stuff. Have you seen it? OMG.
It's a 20 minute animated video that identifies and dissects the linear economy of consumption that we live in. It's incredibly simple - just a narrator and an animated infographic - but incredibly informative. And some of the statistics in the video are nothing short of staggering.
For instance, did you know that only 1% of consumer goods are still in use 6 months after their purchase date? That means that of all the things we buy, 99% of them will be disposed of within 6 months. That shocked the crap out of me.
This video is not easy to watch; it contains some pretty harsh realities about what our consumer patterns have done to trash the planet and to risk the health of the people involved in the supply chain. In the end though, I found myself inspired. Just recognizing that this system exists makes it easier for us to spot it and opt out of it whenever possible. And it made me feel that, no matter how insignificant our individual efforts may seem, they do make a difference.
Please give it a watch. It's only 20 minutes long, very easy to follow, and you'll be surprised how much it blows your mind.
Traveling can be especially difficult for a zero waste warrior, as it can be challenging to keep yourself fed and watered without resorting to single-use disposables, ubiquitous and convenient as they are. Water can be of particular concern, especially if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t have safe drinking water readily available. Is it possible to travel to places like Mexico and India without resorting to plastic bottled water?
You live in the real world, and it's not always easy to stick to your high principles when you're on your grind from 9 to 5. As with everything, a little bit of planning and preparation go a long way, and it is actually possible to avoid all the trash pitfalls the corporate workday can throw your way.
For many years of my adult life, I was really into the idea of camping, but I never actually went camping, likely because the thought of gathering all the necessary gear and planning for a camping trip was too overwhelming. What will I do about food? How do you even pitch a tent anyway? Will bears eat me in my sleep? Do I have to poop in the woods?
It takes 660 gallons of water just to produce enough beef to make 1 burger.
I have spent the last 7.5 years involved in the nitty gritty details of design, endlessly tweaking colors, print techniques, sleeve proportions, and fabric qualities in order to funnel thousands of units of product into stores for middle-American consumers to buy at a sharp price point.
How much water does the dishwasher actually use?