Annie Leonard: The Story Of Stuff Review
Do you think about how much trash you throw out every week? It can easily add up over the course of a year. Six months ago, my city instituted weekly recycling pickup in addition to trash service, and I’ve noticed that my trash output has reduced drastically, with much more waste being recycled.
Ty Pennington mentioned the story of a family that was featured in People magazine, because they threw away almost nothing for a full year. He invited Annie Leonard, author of The Story Of Stuff, to talk about our nation’s waste production.
The Revolution: How To Reduce Trash
Annie Leonard followed a family of four for one week, to see how much trash the average family produces. Carla and her husband Dane live in Pennsylvania with their two boys, Dylan and Bryce.
They usually have single serving oatmeal, snacks, juice boxes, and yogurt. They use paper towels constantly, but according to The Revolution you can save $200 annually by switching to reusable rags instead of paper towels.
The family uses plastic bags to make space for leftovers in the refrigerator. Carla said she had no idea how much garbage they produced every week.
The Revolution: Annie Leonard
Annie visited Carla and her family to help them save the environment and save money by reconsidering their habits. Annie said it takes about 98 pounds of other materials to produce one pound of paper towels, which is a lot of waste.
Carla shared her collection of plastic grocery bags, and Annie said there is no environmentally friendly way to dispose of them.
The Revolution: Concentrated Household Cleaner
Carla’s family spent one week with a camera pointed at their trash can. In addition, the family saved their week’s worth of trash so they could take a look at it in bulk. Annie said Carla’s family is producing a mountain of trash every year. But there are ways you can do better.
Trash Reduction Solutions
Author and expert Annie Leonard shared ways to minimize trash output for Carla, and these tips could work for you as well.
For children’s lunches, reusable containers are an easy solution.
Rags Vs Paper Towels
You can wash and dry cloth rags and towels to reuse them, instead of paper towels and paper napkins.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Cloth shopping bags with flat bottoms are a great alternative to plastic bags at the grocery store.
Revolution TV: Carla’s Trash Progress Report
Carla and her sons appeared in the audience to discuss the changes they’ve made. They aren’t using plastic bags at the grocery store anymore. They’ve also switched from using single serving packages and snacks in the kids’ lunches. Ty Pennington said he plans to check in with Carla’s family after another month to track their progress.
“Once you start looking for ways to reduce waste, you see that you’re not only helping the environment, you’re saving money,” Annie said. She explained that Eco Friendly also means Economically Friendly.
Annie Leonard: How To Save Hundreds & Reduce Waste
Annie Leonard shared three tips to save cash.
The Revolution: Plastic Bag Dryer
Annie said Americans use 43 million plastic bags every hour, which really adds up. Washing and reusing plastic bags can save you up to $70 every year. It’s easy to make a Do It Yourself dryer using a mason jar, rice or other weighted materials, and chopsticks or brushes to hang wet bags on while they dry. You can reuse bags until they wear out.
Annie said an average family wastes 474 pounds of food every year. That’s ridiculous, and it adds up to about $600 thrown away per family per year. You can save money by only buying what you need.
Food waste releases methane gases in trash, which are harmful to the environment. When you have scraps, you can compost them in your garden. You can collect scraps in anything with a lid, and periodically take them to a compost pile in your yard or neighborhood.
The Revolution: Concentrated Cleansers
Super concentrated household cleansers have less packaging. You just add ½ a teaspoon of concentrate to a container of water, and you have 32 ounces of cleanser. That means one bottle of concentrated cleanser can make 192 bottles of cleaning solution for your house, a savings of hundreds of dollars every year.
The Revolution: Annie Leonard The Story Of Stuff
If you want to find out more tips from Annie Leonard, click here to purchase her book, The Story Of Stuff. You can also watch the full 20-minute film for free, right here.