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.AS