Where Did Your iPod Come From? The Story of Stuff

Do you know the difference between planned and perceived obsolescence?

Do you know why high heels are fashionable with chunky heels one year, and thin heels the next year?

Why is breast milk the “food” highest in toxic contaminants?

And do you know why in the wake of September 11th, George Bush told us all to go shopping?


These questions and many, many others are answered in The Story of Stuff, a 20-minute documentary about the life cycle of products and services, explaining everything about…well…stuff.


The underlying environmental message is not communicated using sensationalistic footage or over-dramatic statements of Armageddon. In fact, the flash illustrations and enthusiastic presenter make this video appropriate (and constructive if you ask me) for even children to watch.


Fact checkers will enjoy the resources section of the site, which includes an annotated script. And anybody whose curiosity is piqued will find more information, along with constructive and innovative suggestions to harness change on the website.


It is worth the next 20 minutes of your life to learn about The Story of Stuff. Check it out here.


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Guest's picture

Seems very interesting. I will check the video and the site The Story of Stuff as soon as I'll have a little bit of time (20 minutes for the video) because it really captured my interest.

Guest's picture

Very good Flash movie. What I thought was even better, though, was the Zeitgeist Addendum. Scarier, perhaps?

Guest's picture

Wow, this video is really an eye-opener. I mean, we know about all this stuff; but the way she ties it in REALLY makes you realize just how much trouble are in.

Guest's picture

This video made me realize a couple of things. We always bother about stuff that in fact does not matter. But stop and watch the vid, you'll know why. :)

Guest's picture

I think this video is aimed at children. It's so simplified and the tone of the presenter so patronizing it's difficult to watch.

Nevermind the socialist agenda.

Guest's picture

Great little film. Recently shown in our community in a classroom, it caused all sorts of controversy and was ultimately censored.

Info here, including one high school student's perspective.


Guest's picture

Sounds like the kids knew it was a big pile of socialist crap.

While censorship may not have been the correct course of action, it was carried out via a fair hearing at the school board. I'm happy the system worked at keeping the bleeding heart socialists from further infecting the school system with incredibly biased horse manure.

While censorship is bad, the video should generally discouraged because it's exceptionally poor quality material pushing a political agenda.

Guest's picture

Who paid her for 10 years so she could travel
the world? I want one of those jobs please.

Guest's picture

A very patronizing video.

Unsuitable for adults.

Guest's picture

That website is at least a year old and while it might show something new to the average visitor it is nothing new. If you want to really get depressed, watch it. There is a definite agenda that they're trying to push but most of their statements are actually backed up with some research. If you don't feel like watching 20 minutes of it you can always download the transcript in a PDF and read at your leisure.

As for what they're talking about there are actually real economist terms to describe it. So the better question would be "Who is paying for your iPod?" not "Where did your iPod come from?". And the answer is: everybody. It's called externality costs and we are oh so blind to them and oh so helpless to work around them. For a much better read on the subject grab The Undercover Economist by Tim Hartford.

Guest's picture

I linked up to you on my blog ,
http://frugalfundamentals.blogspot.com/. I feel great knowing that being frugal is not only great for my pocket book, but also fantastic for breaking the cycle of consumption and thus destruction! Yay for Story of Stuff!!!!

Guest's picture

I laughed when she got to the computer. and how "one tiny change on the CPU" is the only difference between new and old computers. hahahah.

Guest's picture

How is it that most of the people who use the word "socialist" as invective have no idea what socialism actually is?


Guest's picture

Like 'pornography', 'socialism' is hard to define but I know it when I see it. And the Story of Stuff (funded largely by the far-left Tides Foundation) definitely qualifies. Perhaps a more certain way of putting it would be to call it "anti-capitalist." I do concede that some of the points it makes are good but the problem is that the good points are overshadowed by an obvious political agenda.

Guest's picture
regular guy

Socialism? Lets see... Thats when the state thinks it can do a better or more equitable job distributing resources (wealth) than the market can, for the good of the people of course.

How am I doing so far??

Guest's picture
Regular Guy

I was hoping for an intelligent discourse, instead I get a 'we are all bad white people/Americans' rant. While I wonder about all the questions she raised, rolling up a newspaper and hitting us on the nose with it is not the way to go about it.

Guest's picture

This is anti-capitalist propaganda funded by George Soros through one of his front organizations. A little extra research will show you that he is committed to destroying the US economy and creating a one world order. Does that mean I support wastefulness? No. But when you see who this guy is and the fact that he already destroyed 5 national economies (billionaires can do that) you'll realize that these messages are more than what they appear to be.

Guest's picture

This video is filled with LIES! How do you think people hold jobs if consumers aren't buying things? This video should be stripped from our schools. This video is nothing but liberal propaganda at its worst!