Latest "Story of Stuff" Sequel Takes Our Gadgets to Task

Annie Leonard has educated us about everything from the cosmetics supply chain to bottled water with her signature animated shorts. Now the filmmaker is back with one of her most important videos yet: The Story of Electronics.

The eight-minute video, produced in conjunction with the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, covers the entire electronics supply chain from manufacture to disposal. In between, Leonard loads the film with surprising facts: did you know that computer factory workers have 40% more miscarriages than the general population?

"This come at a time when our awareness has heightened. It's an excellent story," says Renee Blanchard, a campaigner with Greenpeace's Greener Electronics Team. "One thing [in the video] that stood out for me—if the CEO's, the designers, the electronics industry had to deal with recycling waste themselves, the story would be different."

In typical Leonard style, the Story of Electronics website doesn't just offer despair; it also provides a list of actions for inspired viewers. These include joining the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, sifting through the eCenter for Environmental Health’s green electronics resources, and telling Congress to stop sending e-waste from the U.S. to developing countries.

Check out The Story of Electronics below.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.

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  • Ted Smith

    I think that the take away message from this video is: "So, let’s have a green Moore’s law. How about: the use of toxic chemicals will be cut in half every 18 months? The number of workers poisoned will decline at an even faster rate? "
    Can you do two things to help get the word out?

    1. Share the film? Post to your facebook page, list serves, etc. We really want to get a lot of views in the first week – it helps with the momentum on this project. I know some of you are already doing this – and we THANK YOU!
    2. Comment on Annie Leonard’s blog on Huffington Post this morning. Add a positive comment on the blog (even a quick one) – that will get this to move higher in the visibility on Huffington Post.
    Ted Smith
    San Jose, California