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  • In Season One of the Story of Stuff, we looked at a system that creates way

  • too much stuff, and way too little of what we really want.

  • Now we're going to start looking at the stories behind the story of stuff.

  • That's where we'll find ways to turn this situation around.

  • Welcome to Season Two.

  • Ever since I learned where our stuff really comes from - and how this system

  • is trashing people and the planet - I've been trying to figure out how we can

  • change it. I've read a lot of these: 100

  • Ways to Save the Planet Without Leaving Your House,

  • 50 Simple Things You Can do to Save the Earth,

  • The Little Green Book of Shopping. I thought they might have the

  • answers, but their tips all start here

  • with buying better stuff

  • and they all end here - with recycling all that stuff when I'm done with it.

  • But when it comes to making change, this story of "going green" - even though we

  • see it everywhere -

  • has some serious shortcomings.

  • It says that if I become a smarter shopper,

  • and tell my friends to do the same,

  • I've done my part.

  • And if I don't buy all this green stuff,

  • then it's my fault that the planet's being destroyed.

  • Wait a minute. My fault?

  • I didn't choose to put toxic products on the shelves or to allow slave labor in

  • factories around the world.

  • I didn't choose to fill stores with electronics that can't be repaired

  • and have to be thrown away. I didn't choose a world in which some people can

  • afford to live green, leaving the rest of us to be irresponsible planet

  • wreckers! Of course when we do shop we should buy the least toxic and most fair

  • products we can,

  • but it's not bad shoppers here who are the source of the problem, it's

  • bad policies and bad business practices here.

  • And that's why the solutions we really need aren't for sale at the supermarket.

  • If we actually want to change the world,

  • we can't talk only about consumers voting with our dollars.

  • Real change happens when citizens come together to demand rules that work.

  • Look, it is important to try to live green.

  • As Gandhi said, “be the change.”

  • Living our values in small ways shows ourselves and others we care.

  • So it is a great place to start.

  • But it's a terrible place to stop. After all, would we even know who Gandhi

  • was if he just sewed his own clothes and then sat back waiting for the British to

  • leave India?

  • So how do we make big change?

  • To answer that question,

  • I went back and looked at Gandhi,

  • the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement,

  • and the environmental victories here in the 1970s.

  • They didn't just nag people to perfect their day-to-day choices.

  • They changed the rules of the game.

  • It turns out, there are three things you find whenever people get together

  • and actually change the world.

  • First, they share a big idea for how things could be better.

  • Not just a little better for a few people,

  • a whole lot better for everyone.

  • And they don't just tinker around the edges;

  • they go right to the heart of the problem, even when it means changing

  • systems that don't want to be changed.

  • And that can be scary!

  • Hey, millions of us already share a big idea for how things can be better.

  • Instead of this dinosaur economy that focuses onlyon corporate profits -

  • we want a new economy that puts safe products,

  • happy people, and a healthy planet first.

  • Duh, isn't that what an economy should be for?

  • Trying to live eco-perfectly in today's system is like trying to swim upstream,

  • when the current is pushing us all the other way.

  • But by changing what our economy prioritizes,

  • we can change the current so that the right thing becomes the

  • easiest thing to do.

  • Second, the millions of ordinary people who made these extraordinary changes

  • didn't try to do it alone.

  • They didn't just say, “I will be more responsible.” They said, “We will work

  • together until the problem is solved.”

  • Today it's easier than ever to work together.

  • Can you imagine how hard it was to get a message across India in 1930?

  • We can do it now in less than a second.

  • And finally, these movements succeeded in creating change because they took

  • their big idea,

  • and their commitment to work together,

  • and then they took action!

  • Did you know that when Martin Luther King junior organized his march on

  • Washington,

  • less than a quarter of Americans supported him?

  • But that was enough to make change - because those supporters took action -

  • they did stuff.

  • Today 74% of Americans support tougher laws on toxic chemicals.

  • 83% want clean energy laws. 85% think corporations should have

  • less influence in government.

  • We've got the big idea and the commitment. We just haven't

  • turned it all into massive action yet.

  • And this is our only missing piece.

  • So let's do it.

  • Making real change takes all kinds of citizens -

  • not just protestors.

  • When you realize what you're good at and what you like to do,

  • plugging in doesn't seem so hard.

  • Whatever you have to offer, a better future needs it.

  • So ask yourself,

  • What kind of change maker am I?”

  • We need investigators,

  • communicators,

  • builders,

  • resisters,

  • nurturers,

  • and networkers.

  • At StoryofStuff.org,

  • you can explore these types of change makers and find your first,

  • or your next, step to take action.

  • Being an engaged citizen starts with voting.

  • That's one of those basic things that everyone's just gotta do.

  • But it gets way more exciting - and fun - when we put our unique skills

  • and interests to work alongside thousands of others.

  • I know that changing a whole economic system is a huge challenge.

  • It's not easy to see a clear path from where we are today to where we need to

  • go.

  • And there's no ten simple things we can do without leaving our couches!

  • But the path didn't start out clear to all these guys either.

  • Doctor King said, “Faith

  • is taking the first step even though you don't see the whole staircase.”

  • So, they worked hard to get organized,

  • practiced the small acts that built their citizen muscles

  • and kept their focus on their big idea -

  • and when the time was right, they were ready.

  • It's time for us to get ready too -

  • ready to make change and write the next chapter

  • in the story of stuff.

In Season One of the Story of Stuff, we looked at a system that creates way

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The Story of Change

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    Vita posted on 2013/03/11
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