You may have seen “The Story of Stuff” by now — if you haven’t, it’s worth your time to check out. It’s an anti-consumerism video narrated by a woman named Annie Leonard. It’s been a huge viral sensation — it logged over 100,000 views in the week after its release.

The video is well done — it shows how a single voice and some simple graphics can tackle a very complex topic. I definitely have quibbles with the content of the video, but I admire it as a thoughtful, artful example of communication. And let’s just take a second to reflect on this rather unlikely success story, shall we?

This is a viral sensation that:

  • Is 20 MINUTES LONG (I am not exaggerating)
  • Has nothing lurid, sexy, embarrassing, disgusting, or funny in it
  • Tackles big, macro, complex issues like production, distribution, consumption, etc.
  • Will largely make you feel bad about yourself and your fellow humans
  • Requires you to confront your own behavior through the lens of sustainability

This is indeed a Christmas gift to the world of ideas, and it’s a reminder to all of us that the right idea, communicated in the right way, can make a big difference.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of you, and thanks for the support you’ve given our book this year!

-dan & chip

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