Other than meat, fruit, veggies and grains, most of the items we buy are made from a combination of many different materials.
From brooms to cell phones, the ingredients in our stuff come from all over the world. A variety of natural resources are consumed during the "life cycle" of our stuff: manufacture, transport, use and disposal.
Life cycle assessments identify the full environmental impact of the products we buy. Here are a few resources tha help tell the full story of the things in our day-to-day lives:
Resources: US EPA LCA Cell Phone | CDs & DVDs | Soccer Ball| EPA “Make A Difference” Campaign Materials | WA Post “Paper or Plastic?” | Int’l Journal of LCA| Story of Stuff | Story of Stuff: "Electronics"| Story of Stuff: "Cosmetics"| The Story of Stuff: "Bottled Water" | Consume This! Buying That Matters | Cradle to Cradle | Kids for Change | Re-Nest Mini LCA Steps
As consumers, we vote with our wallets. By learning where product ingredients come from and how things are made, we can make educated choices about the environemental impact we want to have when we shop.