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Chapter Video

ERS317 Chapter Notes - Chapter Video: Resource Depletion

Environment and Resource Studies
Course Code
John Jackson

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The Story of Stuff Video Week One
- Stuff moves through a system called The Material’s Economy a lot is
missing from this system
o Extraction
Chop down the trees, use up all the water, etc.
Limit: we are running out of resources and we are using too
much stuff
In the past three decades alone 1/3 of the planet’s natural
resource space has been destroyed/consumed
First world countries are taking away from third world
o Production
Synthetic chemicals
Toxic chemicals
Human breast milk has the highest amount of toxic chemicals
Pollution is high in this sector which is another limit to the
First world countries move the factories overseas to try
and get the toxins away from them
o Distribution
Keep the prices low and sell as much and as fast as you can
Externalize the costs; we aren’t really paying for the stuff we
are buying
The materials are found from all over the world and put
together overseas
Things are being paid for people even consume it
(pollution, low minimum wage, resource depletion, etc.)
o Consumption
The heart of the system this is the top priority
We have become a nation of consumers
The primary way our value is determined
1% of the consumed goods are still in use after 6 months
99% is in the trash within 6 months of purchasing
People want to provide even more consumer goods
Planned Obsolescence: designed for the dump. Things are
designed to be disposable to people go and buy more.
They want things to break fast but leave enough faith in
the consumer to buy more
Perceived Obsolescence: convincing us to throw away things
that are still perfectly useful
This is done by changing the way stuff looks people
can tell if you haven’t replaced your items recently
Fashion is a prime example of this
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