Annie Leonard is passionate about stuff, so much so she produced an immensely popular short doco entitled The Story Of Stuff.
It was the result of nearly two decades’ investigating environmental health and justice issues in more than 40 countries.
She says that after witnessing firsthand the horrendous impacts of both over- and under-consumption around the world, she has become fiercely dedicated to reclaiming and transforming our industrial and economic systems so they serve, rather than undermine, ecological sustainability and social equity.
The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled film written and narrated by Annie that takes a look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.
Annie had originally been invited to Australia from the US by the Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (SSEE) as the keynote speaker for their national conference in Brisbane. While here she took the opportunity to visit other parts of the country.
‘The Story of Stuff has been viewed more than 15 million times around the world and one of the biggest viewership areas is Australia,’ said Annie when she visited Mullumbimby.
‘It is not only in terms of numbers but also in terms of enthusiasm.’
Annie was invited to the Byron Shire by the National Toxics Network (NTN), which is a community-based group whose aim is to bring about a toxic-free future.
During her stay she spoke to a large audience at the Mullumbimby civic centre about her life, her work and the short doco, which follows the path of stuff from its extraction through sale, use and disposal.
All the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet Annie says that most of this is hidden from view.
You can find out more about the film and others including The Story of Cap and Trade, The Story of Broke and other short films about electronics, cosmetics and bottled water at www.storyofstuff.org.