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Download The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change Audiobook, by Annie Leonard Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.12 out of 54.12 out of 54.12 out of 54.12 out of 54.12 out of 5 4.12 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Annie Leonard Narrator: Annie Leonard Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9780743599160
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We have a problem with stuff. With just 5 percent of the world’s population, we’re consuming 30 percent of the world’s resources and creating 30 percent of the world’s waste. If everyone consumed at US rates, we would need three to five planets!

This alarming fact drove Annie Leonard to create the Internet film sensation The Story of Stuff, which has been viewed over ten million times. Now in a landmark book in the tradition of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Leonard tracks the life of the stuff we use every day—how it is produced, distributed, and consumed, and where it goes when we throw it out.

Leonard’s message is startlingly clear: we have too much stuff, and too much of it is toxic. Outlining the five stages of our consumption-driven economy—from extraction through production, distribution, consumption, and disposal—she vividly illuminates its frightening repercussions. Leonard reveals the true story behind our possessions and how we as consumers are compromising our health, safety, and quality of life. Meanwhile all this stuff isn’t even making us happier!

The drive for a “growth at all costs” economy fuels a system in crisis, but Annie Leonard shows us that this is not the way things have to be. Expansive, galvanizing, and sobering yet optimistic, The Story of Stuff transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Annie Leonard not only knows ‘the story of stuff’—she has the right stuff!” 

    Ralph Nader

  • “The intrepid Ann Leonard has written an eye-opening, humorous, and highly readable account of how our seemingly innocuous lifestyles are part of a larger system of destruction and dysfunction. Leonard gets my vote for hero of the year. A must-read.” 

    Juliet B. Schor, author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth and professor of sociology at Boston College 

  • “Where others have documented countless challenges to the Earth and its inhabitants, Annie Leonard has accomplished the rare feat of defining the systemic nature of the problems we face and offering solutions that get to the heart of the matter. Whether you are redesigning industry and commerce or simply imagining a better world for your grandchildren’s grandchildren, Annie’s work will engage you. Read it and be inspired into action.” 

    Ray C. Anderson, founder and chairman, Interface, Inc. 

  • “At once engaging, accessible, and authoritative, The Story of Stuff is a brilliant masterwork. Leonard weaves together engaging personal stories and encyclopedic knowledge of her subject to communicate a powerful systemic frame and define a spot-on agenda for practical action. I gained new facts, ideas, and inspiration. It gets my highest and most enthusiastic recommendation for anyone interested in why we humans are on a path to self-destruction and what we can do about it.” 

    David C. Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning and board chair of YES! magazine 

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna Fogarty | 2/16/2014

    " this is a very important book. i feel like i should read it again and again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika | 2/4/2014

    " In this book, Leonard details what she has learned in a lifetime of studying stuff, where it comes from, how it is used, and where it ultimately ends up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Molly | 2/4/2014

    " Currently listening. I want to like this... but it's a bit on the snooze-y side. We'll see... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tita | 1/24/2014

    " I've watched the video and used it in my Design & Sustainability class. Now I finally got the book! Reading proceeds... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eline | 1/23/2014

    " A shocking and depressing must-read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle | 1/18/2014

    " Good stuff here, though listening to the audio book, I felt the flow was a bit disjointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Henry | 12/12/2013

    " Depressing and scary. A very sobering book that will make you question whether we will survive as a species on this planet for much longer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen Ordorff | 12/10/2013

    " Makes you think about buying and throwing thing away...where is away exactly? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brittany | 12/8/2013

    " GREAT. Everyone should read this! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chloe | 12/8/2013

    " Very clever, engaging in small amounts- good to read before bed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 10/24/2013

    " You had me at the cover: one person hauling out to the trash the same stuff the next door neighbor is brining in from the car. Appendix 3 has a sample letter to send to PVC retailers, manufacturers and lobbyists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 2/17/2013

    " Excellent story of how we create, use, and dispose of our "stuff". Perfect for anyone looking to make an impact on the world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 1/21/2013

    " I wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. I was too dismayed that every reference was to some random website. Why should I believe what Annie Leonard read on the internet? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Herb | 11/9/2012

    " Informative. Many of the things here are the kind of knowledge that most Americans brush off, but the familiarity lingers in their head. This is because they see evidence of destruction all around and the superfluousness of waste so thick on the ground it's basically impossible to ignore it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Conny Feistauer | 10/23/2012

    " A real eye-opener. Fantastic book. Educational and entertaining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma-Rose Beauchamp | 8/16/2012

    " This book was so enlightening. It really made me stop and think about my active part in consumerism and recycling. If you want a preview of the book google "the story of stuff" and watch the mini video. I promise it will get you hooked. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Gadsden | 7/16/2012

    " Everyone should read this book, really. Americans may single-handedly kill the planet, acquiring and dumping their stuff. It's an intense read and good addition to the 20 minute on-line film. The 'Dummies' like icons drove me crazy, though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathely | 6/2/2012

    " Interesting. I don't quite agree with everything espoused by this book, but there's alot of good information and ideas here...just sort through carefully. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leila Emery | 4/28/2012

    " I loved this book. Annie Leonard is absolutely inspiring -- she explains things so well, and makes extremely compelling arguments without being preachy or giving her readers a guilt trip (a rareity). I think this should be required reading for every American! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Martin | 8/13/2011

    " Probably well intentioned, but most assertions are simplistic to the point of rendering them irrelevant. A rant. Couldn't finish it... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 dersteppenwolf | 6/2/2011

    " Este libro tiene buenas ideas pero se queda corto en las posibles soluciones que pudieran implementarse. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika | 4/21/2011

    " In this book, Leonard details what she has learned in a lifetime of studying stuff, where it comes from, how it is used, and where it ultimately ends up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 4/7/2011

    " Fascinating and Alarming. I'm glad it contains hope as well. I shelved this book because I'm into the videos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen (Helena/Nell) | 3/27/2011

    " Still worrying about this one. It regularly depresses me at bedtime and I've been reading it for months.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maxi | 3/23/2011

    " Primer No Logo. Segundo, La historia de las cosas. Tercero, Obesos y famélicos de Raj Patel. Luego, el film. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 2/22/2011

    " Amazing book, loved it. Now I always try to buy used if I can and local. Completely changed the way i think. "

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About the Author
Author Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard is an expert in international sustainability and environmental health issues, acting recently as coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption. Her efforts over the past two decades have included activist work, travel, research, media appearances, and writing to promote awareness of environmental causes. In 2008 she was named one of Time magazine’s Heroes of the Environment. Annie currently resides in California with her daughter.