It's a condensed explanation of where consumer goods come from, where they go when we're done with them, and how much havoc they wreak on the earth. It doesn't shed a flattering light on U.S. government or corporations (a school board in Missoula, Montana ruled against screening the video in classrooms after a parent complained it was too anti-capitalist).
The New York Times reports that kids are taking the video to heart. After watching it, Rafael de la Torre Batker, age 9, was worried whether it would be bad for the planet if he got a new set of Legos. His dad said Rafael debated with himself, then said it was okay to buy them because "I'm going to keep them for a very long time."
For a third-period Economics class, "Stuff" is easier to watch and discuss afterwards than the 90-minute film An Inconvenient Truth. That's why more than 7,000 schools and educational organizations have ordered the DVD version, and hundreds of teachers are assigning students to view it on the web. Facing the Future, a curriculum developer for schools in all 50 states, is drafting lesson plans based on "Stuff," and Leonard now has a book contract.
While pro-capitalists may take issue against Leonard's stance on consumer goods, at least her video does a good job making kids think about how much stuff is too much and when, especially regarding the environment, enough is enough. Watch it with your kids.