You may have heard about the “Story of Stuff”, a viral online video that explains the environmental impact of our material economy. Now, creator Annie Leonard will bring her message of conscious consumption to a younger audience
Leonard and WGBH, the Boston division of PBS, have teamed up to produce a series of child-friendly videos that will help kids think about where their stuff comes from, what’s in it and what happens when it’s thrown away.
Launched on Oct. 18, the Web-only series, called “Loop Scoops,” is aimed at six to nine year olds. While The Story of Stuff had a clear activist agenda and addressed complicated socio-economic concepts, the Loop Scoops videos will be fun, two-minute segments that, producers hope, will help children think about product life cycles without feeling overwhelmed.
“I definitely believe that younger kids can handle thinking about this, and not only “can handle it”, they want to know how the world works,” said Leonard in comments posted to WGBH’s website. She added, “I think it’s important that we don’t make them feel guilty.”
Loop Scoops videos will be fanciful narratives that impart a small amount of information and end with a moral or a suggestion. Videos will explore topics like where garbage goes, the life cycle of orange juice and why you should buy what you love, rather than shopping for the sake of shopping. The series’ producers hope that Loop Scoops will stimulate discussion about sustainability and consumption, both in the classroom and at home.
“We want to help kids build the mental muscle necessary to ask critical questions about the things they use in their daily lives.,” said WGBH Senior Executive Producer Kate Taylor in a statement.
Hopefully, Loop Scoops can do for elementary school children what The Story of Stuff has done for older students and adults. Since the Story of Stuff was posted in December 2007, it has received almost 12 million online hits, been shown in classrooms and community gatherings across the country, inspired a textbook and been translated into 12 languages.
Loop Scoops videos are produced by Leonard and PBS, using funding from both the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the EPA. Starting in November, PBS will also provide supplemental resources for teachers hoping to incorporate Loop Scoops videos into their lesson plans.