I'm not big on eco-guilt...especially with the holidays just a few hours away. But I have to admit, that as I look at all of the bounty under my Christmas tree, I can't help but think how much of that stuff could potentially wind up in a trash can in a few weeks or months. If you've been pondering the same question, take a look at this 20 minute video called "The Story of Stuff" with Annie Leonard.
The movie walks you through the entire life cycle of most of the "stuff" you see on store shelves (and most of the "stuff" that's under my tree). From the extraction of resources to make these products to their sale, use, and eventually disposal, The Story of Stuff answers all of your questions about where "stuff" comes from and how it affects our planet. I watched it for the first time a few months ago and it has really stuck with me every time I head out to the store.
If you've got 20 minutes (and I know that as a parent 20 minutes can be hard to come by) this movie will be well with your time. Go ahead and watch it with your kids, too. Maybe it will make them appreciate all of those toys under the tree even more!