We're not fans of big box waste and mass-produced, disposable products around here, and graffiti artist Banksy's revamped Simpsons intro does a great job of illustrating some of the problems with this system.
While the video needles Fox, it's a commentary on our culture of consumption and the negative effects of that culture. Of course, as Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told the New York times, the animation is "very fanciful, far-fetched. None of the things he depicts are true," but there is a kernel of truth in there that bears discussion.
While they're not punching the holes into their CDs with sickly unicorns, Fox certainly mass-produces their fair share of merchandise, and most big box stores are no different. Whether it's a Simpsons DVD or a t-shirt from Wal Mart, chances are what you're purchasing was produced in a factory. There's also a good chance that it came from a sweat shop.
Mass-produced products are bad for the planet and bad for the people who create them.
What You Can Do
It's hard to completely avoid buying mass-produced products, but we can definitely all do our parts to minimize our impacts.
One way to make a big difference is to buy handmade. When you purchase a handmade item, you know exactly who made it. Chances are, you can even meet the person who created what you're purchasing and ask questions about where she sourced materials and what her processes are like.
Of course, not too many crafters are out there making DVDs from scratch. When you do have to make a big box purchase, first, ask yourself if you really need that item. In the case of the DVD, could you watch that movie or TV show online or purchase it through iTunes?
When you can't find an alternative, it helps to do research. Check into the company's environmental and labor practices. A little googling can go a long way.
I'd love to hear tips from you guys! How do you avoid mass-produced items and seek out responsible companies?
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by sabeth718