annie leonard

DO I NEED THIS?: Pursuing happiness at the mall

DO I NEED THIS?: Pursuing happiness at the mall

Photographer and film maker Kate Schermerhorn seems obsessed with the notion of happiness: in addition to her previous documentary AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER (which, as you’ll probably guess, focused on marriage), she’s also the author of the photography book America’s Idea of a Good Time (which explores our “pursuit of happiness” broadly). If you’re going to dig into such a topic, and particularly its most American incarnations, you’re going to end up at the mall: we love acquiring stuff so much that we now refer to shopping as “retail therapy.” But how happy do the things we buy make us, and what are the larger costs associated with those moments of pleasure?

Organic bottled water… really

Organic bottled water… really

Bottled water companies have had to get imaginative to distinguish their products from one another, because, as many watchdog groups have pointed out, all of it is pretty much just water (often filtered tap water) in a plastic bottle, and it’s often not as “pure” as tap water. That hasn’t stopped vendors from using everything from school spirit to New Age-y interpretations of quantum physics to position their products as unique.

The latest marketing trend for bottled water? Organic. Yep, that’s right. A number of companies now market “organic water.”

A green Moore's law? The Story of Electronics

A green Moore's law? The Story of Electronics

Moore’s law, the idea that computing power should double every eighteen months, may be the ultimate sign of progress for a techie… and there’s no doubt that much good has come from our ability to process more amounts of information faster. But what’s the environmental cost of this progress? Annie Leonard deals with that question in the latest video from The Story of Stuff Project: “The Story of Electronics.”

Annie Leonard & the Story of Stuff Project take on the cosmetics industry

Annie Leonard & the Story of Stuff Project take on the cosmetics industry

Lead in your lipstick? Carcinogens in your child’s baby shampoo… even when it’s labeled “natural” or “organic?” It turns out that cosmetics and personal care products have been on the voluntary self-regulation train for generations… so Annie Leonard and the folks at the Story of Stuff Project have once again teamed up with Free Range Studios to make another video: “The Story of Cosmetics.”