Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The True Cost of an Item

I saw this article and immediately thought of our stewardship of this planet and how at times we forget the real cost of producing the stuff we buy.

The Story of Stuff: Externalized Costs and the $4.99 Radio
by Annie Leonard
Walking to work one day I wanted to listen to the news, so I popped into Radio Shack. I found a cute little green radio for $4.99. Pleased with my bargain, I stood in line to pay, but then started wondering: how could $4.99 cover the cost of extracting the raw materials, manufacturing the parts, assembling the radio, and getting it into my hands?

Whenever I go to buy something I get sidetracked, thinking of how it got here. It's an occupational hazard. I spent a decade traveling around the world, visiting the factories where our stuff is made and the dumps where it goes when we don't want it any more. What I learned makes it impossible for me to look at anything and not see the journey it made through the global take-make-waste system.
Read the whole article here.

Her website can be found here.

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