Annie Leonard gave a wonderful talk this Earth Day at UMass Amherst. Her 20 minute web film has been seen over 20,000,000 times in nearly every country of the world, so if you haven't seen it yet, now is the time. www.storyofstuff.org
She spent twenty years of her life researching the factories and landfills of the world to find out what happens before we buy most products and what happens after we throw them away. What she has found is that it is not a very pretty story. That we are trashing the planet and trashing eachother and not having a very good time as we go.
That if we can make this a better story through buying from triple bottom line companies that support people, planet, and profit that we, the world and our economy will all be better off. She also suggests we put "our stuff" in its appropriate place, where instead of giving it such great importance, that we look more to developing our relationships with our family, friends and community. That we find a sense of meaning in this often crazy-making world. These are truer ways to create real happiness.