I finished The Story of Stuff this morning (at least one of the 4 books I brought with me on this conference will be completed!), and I am overwhelmed. Leonard actually does a good job of reassuring her readers against that despairing feeling of being overwhelmed - as though the issue is so big no amount of help can fix it. I can admit to a tinge of that in the middle of the book. But I got over it, and I appreciated these words of acknowledgment:
There's too much wrong with the system for even the most obsessive-compulsive among us to get every action and every choice just right. And because that scenario is so overwhelming, the individual-responsibility model of change risks causing people to freak out, throw their hands up in despair, and sink back into overconsumptive, wasteful lifestyles. People are busy enough already; rather than offering an overwhelming range of green lifestyle choices, we need meaningful opportunities to make big choices (for example on policy) that make big differences (240).
I also especially like the extended vision of a possible future she provides. I agree that "the important thing is to keep in clear sight a vision of what we are fighting for, because the things we are fighting against are all around us" (248).
And though the individual-responsibility model can be overwhelming, I still leave this book with 10 major things I have already begun implementing in my life, and I know the ripple effect can and should be possible with many of these changes. It won't save the world, but it can help.