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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars visually impressive, lacking in substantial content
I teach high school science and 100 level science classes at the local university. I showed the dvd for both groups with a worksheet I made up for them (anyone in education knows that you must give the students something to work on relating to the movie they're watching, or else they won't pay attention). It was visually impressive to see the amounts of "stuff" we go...
Published on May 14, 2008 by Raiven E. Trantham

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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Fascinating...Then Boring....Then Irritating
This film tracks the life of a boy and girl from childhood through old age.

At various stages of life their consumption of various resources is examined in great detail.

The early displays of actual counts of what they use are at first fascinating and impressive. Gee...I thought... someone went to lot of effort to assemble and set up over 43,000...
Published on July 19, 2008 by J. C. Urbaniak


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64 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars visually impressive, lacking in substantial content, May 14, 2008
This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
I teach high school science and 100 level science classes at the local university. I showed the dvd for both groups with a worksheet I made up for them (anyone in education knows that you must give the students something to work on relating to the movie they're watching, or else they won't pay attention). It was visually impressive to see the amounts of "stuff" we go through in a lifetime, and it's a good movie because students have no idea what these amounts really are; they cannot fathom how immense 43,000 soda cans is. However that's really all there was to this dvd-they show a product (or activity), explain (briefly)how it is constructed, or shipped, and then they actually display the amount with the number (literaly they laid out 43,000+ soda cans in a parking lot). There was no explanation of the impact or problems associated with the levels of consumption or waste. And after 30-40 minutes (the dvd is 1.5hrs) it gets well, kind of boring. So good for providing the visual concept, poor in terms exploring the underlying cause and consequences.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Video, May 15, 2008
This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
The "Human Footprint" was first aired on the National Geographic Channel earlier this year. It is a graphic portrayal of the quantities of stuff that an average American consumes over the course of a lifetime.

The criticism of our lifestyle is implicit. No one says what all this is doing to the planet, but it quickly becomes obvious that enormous quantities of stuff must be manufactured, consumed, and discarded in order to support the high standard of living that we enjoy. You only have to look at the herd of pigs, tons of potatoes, or football field expanse of bread to be amazed at what we consume.

The story is told with a sense of humor. The kitchen filling with fruit is funny. However, the question that comes to mind is whether we will always have the resources to keep this up. The inventory shown by National Geographic is food for thought.

Another interesting video on the subject of the consumer economy is the 20-minute "The Story of Stuff." It does not seem to be available on Amazon, but can be found for viewing on the web. "Stuff" is more direct in its point of view.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Fascinating...Then Boring....Then Irritating, July 19, 2008
This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
This film tracks the life of a boy and girl from childhood through old age.

At various stages of life their consumption of various resources is examined in great detail.

The early displays of actual counts of what they use are at first fascinating and impressive. Gee...I thought... someone went to lot of effort to assemble and set up over 43,000 soft drink cans.

Then as the statistical bombardment continues, one begins to wonder are these numbers really correct. Each stat is accompanied with yet another visual display of what the number means. OK...I get it...I don't need to see the actual number of toothbrushes I will use in a lifetime.

Finally, the whole experience becomes irritating, if there is a point here the film is not making it clear (at least for me). Even small uses become large values over the 77 years of the average lifespan.

Are we supposed to apologize for being alive? That was the way I felt a few times. Apparently you are really not a good person if you eat cheeseburgers.

I would certainly agree that there are waste and excesses that need to be curbed especially here in America, but the film seems to imply that consumers are to blame for all of it.

There is nothing in the film about the endless marketing and advertising that drive all of us to over-buy and over-use. Consumption and more consumption is just what corporations want and their role in driving that to excess is never explored.

The planned and engineered obsolescence of many products that requires us to re-buy the same items that fill up the landfills is also never considered.

As an hypothetical example, the "Acme Widget Company" wants you to buy as many "widgets" as possible in your lifetime, building them to last is the very last thing they want to do. Meanwhile landfills are accumulating thousands of broken and worn out "widgets".

There is also nothing about the real source of the human footprint impact and that is over-population. Even consumption in moderate amounts really starts to add up with 6+ billion of us out there.

Finally, it seems the film misses a golden opportunity to discuss the positive benefits of recycling. If it was discussed at all I missed it.

Human Footprint is certainly worth a look, but the steady stream of "average" statistics may not be entertaining for some. For me, I felt a sense of relief when the film was over.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Tedious, Needs a Study Guide or Booklet, April 20, 2008
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This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
The intelligence that went into creating this movie, and the artistic creabtivity and sheer industry in amassing visual depictions of what goes into making and using things, is absolutely top of the line world class.

Unfortunately, viewed in one sitting this movie becomes tedius and also suffers from throwing out so many numbers that none of them are memorable. I suspect the following terms were uttered sometime during the movie, but the fact that I cannot remember for sure is troubling:

Virtual Water
Carbon Footprint
True Cost

This DVD, if used in a classroom, should be broken up into at least five sessions, no more than three chapters at a time.

I actually think this would be better as a book, the movie aspect is too fleeting for the best possible absorbtion and retention.

Chapters cover:
Human Presence
Diapers and Milk
Meat, Eggs, and Carbs
Sweets, Fruits, and Vegetables
Plastics and Metals
Cleansing and Beauty Products
Water and Solid Waste
Clothing and Textiles
ASlcohol
Housing, Furnishing, and Apppliances
Entertainment Consumption
Transportation
Consumption of Natural Resources
Cell Phones
Shrinking Wildlife

National Geographic: Six Degrees Could Change the World is the better of two, all things considered. This movie I would like to see National Geographic re-issue with a little booklet of facts for each chapter, and also a website in which the complete true costs for all items discussed are presented, and volunteers shown how to do the research to post "true costs" for any given product or service.

I see real value in National Geographic becoming the hub for "true cost" information, something they could easily do in partnership with the World Index of Social and Environmental Responsibility (WISER).

Only one big negative: the DVD pupports to be about the average person but is actually about the average within the billion rich that have an aggregate annual income of one trillion. It teaches us nothing at all about the five billion at the base of the pyramid who have an aggregate income of four trillion. I'd like to see National Geographic rethink its plans, and ultimately come out with short videos on each of the ten high-level threats to Humanity, each of the twelve core policy areas, and each of the eight demographic definers of the future. Somewhere in there they could teach citizens to demand responsible transpartisan policies and balanced transparent budgets.

Books that I recommend include:
Pandora's Poison: Chlorine, Health, and a New Environmental Strategy
The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink
Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beau
The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teaching tool, January 19, 2009
This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
I use this video in my ELL classes, but I don't show the whole thing. We only watch the parts that are most significant to their immediate lives. If you watch the whole thing, the numbers become so overpowering that you could actually mentally tune it out. In small pieces, with activities around the video, it has worked great and been very powerful. It is also excellent because of the amount of visuals included which makes it more accessible for language learners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sadly upbeat, but flawed., October 12, 2008
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This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
The documentary was sadly upbeat for the subject matter. The host was constantly smiling and explaining all of the resources which go into any given thing and how many of that particular item the average American uses throughout his/her life. As if its a good thing to say that we use so-many thousand of disposable toothbrushes in our lifetimes.

Also, there are parts of the documentary that that disgust me. In order to show you the number of eggs the average American eats, they dump them all from a bulldozer. This, of course, destroys the usefulness of the eggs...and for an animal rights activist its like watching abortions.

Continuing, I have to say that the number for how many chickens, pigs and cows each American eats in their lifetime has got to be low. I am currently a 22 year old vegetarian, and I used to eat chicken wings a lot - there's no way I only ate 17 chickens worth of wings, let alone everything else.

Now, on to the good stuff. I certainly like how this documentary shows us the consumption - it lays items out that either are that item or represent that item. By the end of the film there are diapers, cans, bread, buns, toothbrushes, hair and skin care products and many more things simply laid out in a fairly open area to show us the massive consumption. If it were not for this visual, I don't think I would have the respect for this documentary that I do.

Because the negative moments are fleeting, and the positive moments continue throughout, this documentary was certainly worth purchasing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Footprint, Carbon Footprint..., July 29, 2012
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This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
The old saying goes, when visiting a beach or national park, "take only pictures and leave only footprints"; this film even gives that new meaning. This movie really puts in perspective how much 'stuff' we actually use, dispose of, and will leave on this plant after we die. To some, this film may encourage change; personally I wasn't motivated to make much of a change. The Industrial Revolution brought about ways to make our lives easier and have allowed us to get things done quicker, regardless of the price paid. There won't be a person who watches this movie and decides to stop driving or stop eating for that matter, but it's certainly food for thought.

I purchased this film three years ago after seeing about it on Natgeo. The packaging is very creative being made of recycled material. This is one film that will encourage you to think if nothing else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat Video, January 27, 2011
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This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
It's amazing to actually see the amount of "stuff" we use. Makes me want to go even more green!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human blight a true story, April 11, 2010
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This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
We can no longer be complacent and leave the problem for others like (clean Coal) to fix. We are using up our lifeboat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and Informative, February 27, 2010
This review is from: Human Footprint (DVD)
I bought this movie to show during the environmentalism unit of the after school program I work in. I have been very pleased with the information provided in the video.
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Human Footprint
Human Footprint by Clive Maltby (DVD - 2008)
$19.97 $14.59
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