How Sustainable Are Our Patterns of Consumption?

It is public knowledge that a capitalistic system heavily governs North America, prioritizing the needs of a select minority: privatized corporations. This elite class determines the extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal of public goods, creating an unjust distribution of power reasoned by the World Systems Theory. First world (developed) countries benefit by exploiting and dominating third world (developing) countries, which then allows for the Dependency Theory to take place – the wealthy encouraging a flow of resources from the poor. Story of Stuff is a brilliant short documentary that breaks down this flow of commodities for our leisurely consumption. Were you aware that approximately 99% of our consumeristic purchases are discarded within 6 months of use? Our world has a long way to go before achieving some level of sustainability, but acknowledging the sheer volume of humanity’s destructive behavior makes becoming more environmentally friendly seem like such a hopeless endeavor.

Story of Change addresses this pessimistic cloud that has pervaded our 21st century population. The truth is that we have become creatures of habit, choosing to remain ignorant of our individual parts in this chain of consumption due to its simplistic accessibility. It is easy to run out to the store and buy things, and it is easy to place things into the trash to be picked up by someone else. We all play a part in this big picture, and we need to stop taking our lifestyles for granted. Humanity created this consumption chain; therefore, we can change it again and make it better. We are meant to progress and innovation is the key. For example, it may have been easier to stick with the first cellphone that was invented, but in time it was drastically improved for the better! Our environment – our world – is improvable, and the first step towards this reality is educating yourself on these issues, seeing that change should be a priority, and sharing the message so that we can develop the collective mindset needed to make a difference.

Story of Solutions further stresses the importance of environmental education and cooperation, and outlines how we can begin to make this shift towards global sustainability. Take some time out of your day to check out these great short documentaries and share their message!

Story of Stuff:

Story of Change:

Story of Solutions:

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