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Wall E: Sustainability Through Film Essay

967 words - 4 pages

If asked, most children probably won't be able to define sustainability, but they might recall seeing the movies A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E. In A Bug’s Life, the protagonist must save his colony from greedy human-like grasshoppers stealing their resources. Finding Nemo, shows the effects of the human footprint on tide pools through a father clownfish losing his son. Directed by Andrew Stanton, Wall-E (2008) also uses an anthropomorphistic story to highlight aspects of sustainability.
The first sentence of the trailer for Wall-E, sets the story seven hundred years into the future when mankind has abandoned planet Earth and left it’s clean up in the hands of a machine. As the ...view middle of the document...

This is an exaggeration of the power corporations hold today. They use up limited natural resources, and dump toxic substances freely. Our environment is rapidly declining, and corporations are mostly to blame. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “By 2030, an additional 1 billion people are expected to live in severely water-stressed areas and global terrestrial biodiversity is expected to decline an additional 10%, leading to a loss of essential ecosystem services.” Our reality is extremely similar to the plot of the movie. Consumerism is on the rise, natural resources are running out, and corporations continue to influence ecological decline. Although children will not understand these things, exposing them to the realities of the world through the extreme dramatization helps to promote environmental awareness for the future.
The un-recycled resources and waste in Wall-E are relevant to the biggest waste culprits actually destroying our environment. In the movie, the world has become one huge landfill full of cans, trash, and electronic waste. Wall-E himself is a symbol for electronic waste in the world. He is an outdated machine, and the others like him who have stopped working are scattered about the Earth. This is another warning for consumerism. Humans love to buy every new version of a product, but how many are recycling their old iPhones? Electronic waste “represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.” They also show compacted soda cans that could’ve been recycled, and everyday waste like old toys and furniture. Using scenery that is relevant to the actual toxic waste harming the environment gives viewers a look at the reality and future of mass consumerism....

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