Four videos that will make you reconsider your spending habits.
So often today, we are insulated from the processes and people that bring the goods we buy to market. When we pick up a new piece of furniture at Ikea, it is not common to consider where the materials came from, how much fossil fuel was used, or how soon it will end up in a landfill. But everything we buy has a backstory, and we deplete far more than just our bank accounts when we buy more than we need.
On a more personal note... Our area has been hit by an epic and early flu season, and the germs unfortunately did not skip over our house. Between sniffles, sneezes, coughing, and naps, there has been lots of down time. I did plenty of vegetating while I recovered, but I also put together this small collection of videos that highlight the true cost of America's shopping habits and our tendency to quickly discard things. Many can be watched in less than twenty minutes, and you can find all of them on YouTube or Netflix.
Four videos that will make you reconsider your spending habits:
- The Art of Letting Go (The Minimalists at TedX Fargo) - 18 mins, YouTube
- Food Waste (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) - 18 mins, YouTube
- The True Cost (who pays the price for our clothing) - 92 mins, multiple sources
- The Story of Stuff (A classic from 2007) - 21 mins, YouTube
A few astounding facts from the above flicks...
-- 99% of the stuff American's buy is in the trash within 6 months. (6 MONTHS!!!) Some things are even built to be discarded or upgraded quickly, keeping us handing over our hard-earned money.
-- We buy a shocking amount of food that we never even eat. In fact, "Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food annually and that sum of food is enough to fill up 730 football stadiums."
-- As a result of all this spending and trashing, the average American's credit card debt is over $16,000.
-- Even though we boast an incredibly high standard of living, American happiness has declined to an all-time low (this was from the 2007 Story of Stuff, but it remains true today).
These are just a handful of the many great videos out there that document the impacts of American consumerism on our happiness, the environment, and others. We'd love to hear your movie recommendations.