Animation of the Environmental Impact of Gadgets

A short stop motion animation exploring the human and environmental impacts of our smartphones and devices. It shows how the production chain impacts ecosystems and human health through the extraction of conflict minerals, exploited labor, fossil fuel emissions to power server farms, and e-waste. Accessible for all ages.

Cadillac EV Super Bowl Ad: The American Dream?

This Cadillac 2014 Commercial is for their electric vehicle (EV) ELR Coupe. Explore with students how it represents the American Dream and its connection with class status, race, and gender. The ad is promoting an EV, but are the beliefs and values depicted beneficial or damaging to the environment? Compare this ad with Ford’s Upside: Anything is Possible ad.

Samsung Ad: Drag and Drop World

A 2008 ad from the early days of touchscreen technology, it touts the benefits of being able to change and manipulate the world. This is a great warm-up video to discuss whether or not it expresses anthropocentric (human centric) or ecocentric (environmental centric) values. Students can discuss who has the power to shape and change the world and for what ends (for example, what kind of person in the video has the power to manipulate the world). It also allows for the discussion of the types of behaviors that are beneficial or damaging to the environment. Finally, it also depicts gender relations and can be used to discuss the relationship between gender and the environment (ecofeminism).

Toys R Us vs. Outdoor Education

This 2013 “mockumentary” ad for Toys R Us shows a group of school kids being taken on a field trip to the forest. The kids are shown to be bored and disinterested until the trip leader announces that they are actually going to Toys R Us. This provides a rich discussion for how different environments are portrayed. You can can compare the framing of the natural world versus the the environment of the toy store and how they are represented as distinct. You can also discuss which provides more education, excitement, and fulfillment, according to Toys R Us and our own lived experience. This can also be used to discuss the issue of nature deficit disorder.