Once upon a time there was... stuff. This is a 20 minute story of the Materials Economy or how we extract, produce, distribute, consume, and dispose of stuff.
Go to this site, look at the movie, and snoop around. You will find all kinds of neat information. One tool that I found, that was also entertaining, was an online personal carbon footprint calculator.
I was also quite shocked in finding out that there are personal care products that are made with toxic materials. Yeah, that´s right, there are some shampoos, creams, lipsticks, etc. that have toxic materials in them. You can read about those by visiting Not Just a Pretty Face.
I thought the movie was brilliant in its simplicity. Sure, it´s a broad stroke to a very complicated problem. The author herself responds that it is complicated giving people simple solutions; "Neither the problems nor the solutions are simple or easy. If we want to change the situation we’re in, we’ve got to be willing to spend time figuring all this out."
This is a great first step, and it gets you thinking of how you can take your own steps in helping to reduce your own carbon footprint.