The Story of the Stuff

Student/USA / Disi Gao

After watched "The Story of the Stuff" in class, I was very impressed on the perception and entertainment of the video. Most people are all aware the environment problems of the industry, but we did not know the tricks of those big corporations. I was surprised to know how they keep customers buying stuff, especially why we have to throw our entire computers to upgrade one of the chips in it. When I was in China, I always can find all kinds of repair shops. People can repair their shoes, people can find someone fix their computers, people can fix their bicycles on the road side. After I came to the US, I can hardly find one repair store. Few months ago before I bought my new laptop, I was looking for some place that can fix my old laptop. I actually knew exactly the problem was the connection to my power cord, it was loose, so my laptop can't get charged. However, I didn't know how to fix it. I asked a lot of friends, and finally found out that Office Depot can repair computers. So, I took my computer there, the guy looked at it and told me that they need to charge 400 bucks to fix it. I left. $499 was the price I paid for the laptop. Now, I understand why it cost 400 bucks to replace a little part, but I spend only $99 more and get a brand new computer. We throw so many underutilized stuffs away to buy shiny new stuffs that people can find some fairly new stuffs from garbage dump and make a living. When I look at the shoes piled up in my closet and remember the Starbucks caps I threw away, I realize that I was part of "the story of stuff". By buying unnecessary things, I promoted the corporations to produce more and then I buy more and more, and this vicious cycle keep making waste and toxic air...

I start to think it's a good idea if we all think a bit more about it before we pick up stuffs in the store: do I really need it? where this stuff comes from and goes? how much it really worth? So we altogether can slow this cycle down, and it would be so much easier if there are more repair shops, so I can still use the stuff out of grantee but still usable. I went online to check this video "The Story of Stuff" and share it on facebook, so all my friends can watch it and start to do something about our "stuffs". I also found some other great videos on They are all very fun and inspiring. I think they did a good job to spread the information around the world, so did Ashok Khosla in the other video "Science for the Future and the Future of Science", and I think we should do the same. Our class is one of the great platforms, and all our blogs and discussions should be spread out, so more people will know about the problems, more people will know there are other people sharing the same concerns with them and more people will go to find the solutions!