Four main issues have been discussed in the fourth chapter, “Consumption” of The Story of Stuff. The four themes are discussed below: Unhappy People, Nation, and PlanetAnnie emphasizes that many stuff doesn’t make us happy but the work done out of hard work makes one satisfied thus one is happy. She goes further to say that “we can only compromise so much until no solution is reached.” If one is rich, it is assumed he is happy, and those who are poor are unhappy.
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In the miserable planet, she says, the assumptions that “pollution is the price of progress” or that “we must choose between jobs and the environment” have long limited our creative thinking about innovative solutions that can be good for the environment, the workers, and a healthy economy.
How the economic state favors the customers through honest dealing and proper advertising in such a manner that the financial situation of any given country is usually the main thing to discuss. Annie tries giving readers a remedy of relaxing and making use of their leisure time. She says, We depend on this planet to eat, drink, breathe, and live. Figuring out how to keep our life support system running needs to be our number-one priority. Nothing is more important than finding a way to live together – justly, respectfully, sustainably, and joyfully – on the only planet we can call home. Regarding economic growth, Annie tries to make the readers understand the relationship between consumption and production.
From the quote, remember when my daughter was just learning her letters. She was playing in her room and came downstairs to ask me, Momma, what does C-H-I-N-A spell? China, she asked next, why is it written on everything? Annie emphasizes on the choice the customers make in regards to where they stay, how they commute and the customers taste of fashion. The decision made by the customers is out of their own will.
Annie puts across the article by Wolfgang Sachs as one that views the need of being fair in trading activities in any given country. The chain in the production and distribution of the markets that ensures that there is no trade imbalance in the markets in any country. She quotes, “Why to sit and stare at a box beaming messages indoctrinating us into consumer culture for hours a day when there are so many more enjoyable alternatives available? It’s The Economic Growth Stupid. According to Annie Leonard, a rise in economic activities like farming and trading will increase the economic growth of the income of individuals increases.
Such economic activities are a source of employment to the citizens thus their level of income is raised. In such a situation, there is a rise in the living standards of citizens in any given country. Though the people in the country will have employment opportunities, and their incomes raised, there is a danger posed to the natural resources. We use energy to mix toxic chemicals with these natural resources, and the product is contaminated products, subjecting the consumers to health dangers. This discussion by Leonard relates to the issue of sustainability due to the use of natural resources which may end up being depleted. Also, the lives of the consumers need to be maintained at the normal levels, which is not the case when they consume contaminated products.
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