Stories of Stuff

A couple of years ago I watched The Story of Stuff for the first time. I thought it was an excellent, succinct way of framing the myriad related problems of consumerism, pollution, human exploitation, and other issues. I shared it with Daughter who found it interesting, and it sparked a few conversations about consumerism and the choices our family makes in terms of our lifestyle and habits.

I just found out that another movie by the same author was released last month. It’s called The Story of Bottled Water and I wanted to watch it. I asked Daughter if she would like to come watch a movie with me; the title apparently intrigued her so she came over for a snuggle. First we watched the Story of Stuff to renew our acquaintance with the subject matter.

It was fun for me to see it again, but very interesting to watch her reaction now that she is older and has a better understanding of ecological systems, food chains, and global ecology. At first she tried to ease her discomfort by stating that these problems “don’t happen in our time, right?” or “we don’t do that here, do we?” but I had to tell her that yes, they do and we do. She didn’t get overly upset or overwhelmed, however. But she was riveted and also pretty shocked at some of what she learned. At the end of the movie I wanted to discuss what our family does to address these issues but she didn’t want to hear me lecturing. 😉 Instead we then watched the Bottled Water movie and after that I noticed one called The Story of Cap and Trade, so we watched that too.

After watching, I got up to make lunch but she remained at the computer. She watched each movie several times over (I counted 4 times each) and while watching she was busy scribbling. She soon brought over the first of several Post-It notes on which she had drawn words and images. They are shown in the top photo. The top Post-It shows two factories, one using toxic ingredients and spewing out toxic pollution, the other using clean ingredients and not releasing any pollution. The bottom left shows two images, one says “Fresh Air” the other says “Toxic Air”, there is a check mark above the Fresh Air and an X above the Toxic Air. The bottom right shows someone drinking bottled water – it says “Bottled Water” and has an X over it; next to it is someone drinking a glass of water. It says “Tap Water” and has a check mark over it.

It was really neat to see her absorbing this information and processing it using artwork. I love watching learning happen!

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Categories: natural learning | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Stories of Stuff

  1. Erin & the boys

    Matthew and Brendan often request to watch the SOS. We have recently viewed the bottled water episode, too. Amazing how accessaile Annie Leonard has made it all, isn’t it? The little ones really get it, thankfully!

    The new SOS book by Annie Leonard (released March, 2010) is on hold for me at the library! I’m looking forward to reading it.

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