I finally got around to watching "The Story of Stuff" and was absolutely blown away by the compelling and simple way that its message is presented. Spend 20 minutes of your time to watch this video (here, on the site, or download it)
It is really important that this message gets spread, as we all have a role to play in fixing what we have helped to create. As consumers we need to change how we purchase, as engineers we need to change how we create, as marketers we need to change the message that we spread.
There are some things we need to carefully consider. Take this comment from the brilliant Seth Godin,
"So I'm hoping that what you make is worthy. Marketing is a powerful tool especially when it associates a product with a desire and instinct we already have."
Does what we create help people to live a better happier life? Does it protect the precious world we live in? We have a great responsibility when we create, market and sell things – we need to make sure we carry that responsibility well.
And then the final line of the video,
"Remember that old way didn’t just happen by itself. It’s not like gravity that we just gotta live with. People created it. And we’re people too. So let’s create something new."
We have created the system that we currently have. Does the current system protect our world? Does it help us to be happier? I don't think so.
Even though some people may think "there is no other way" we have to remember this: we created this system, and we can create a new one. We can find a new way.
 Happiness versus consumption on No Impact Man
 Sustainable consumption's "double dividend" on No Impact Man
 Slower consumption by Dr Tim Cooper – Journal of Industrial Ecology (via No Impact Man)