Annie Leonard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Annie Leonard
Born 1964
Seattle, Washington
Occupation Activist, filmmaker
Education BA, Barnard College, MA, Cornell University
Genres Consumerism
Notable work(s) The Story of Stuff
Children One daughter, Dewi

Annie Leonard (born 1964) is an American proponent of sustainability and critic of excessive consumerism.[1] She is most known for her animated film The Story of Stuff about the life-cycle of material goods.


Annie Leonard was born in Seattle, Washington, where she also grew up. She graduated from the Lakeside School, and has an undergraduate degree from Barnard College and a graduate degree from Cornell University in city and regional planning.[2] She has a daughter named Dewi, born in 1999. As of November 2009, she lived in the Bay Area with her daughter.

After interning at the National Wildlife Federation in the late 1980s, Leonard began to work at Greenpeace on a campaign to ban international waste dumping, travelling around the world to track garbage and hazardous waste sent from developed to less developed countries. “I was sneaking into the factories where it was being disposed, interviewing the workers, taking hair samples and soil samples to prove the environmental health harm,” she later explained in an interview with Cornell University. The work of Greenpeace and other organizations led to the 1992 Basel Convention, an international treaty to protect less developed countries from the dumping of hazardous waste by transnational corporations based in developed countries.[3]

Leonard is best known as the creator and narrator of the animated documentary about the life-cycle of material goods, The Story of Stuff (2007). The documentary began as an hour-long talk and was made into a condensed film version based on popular demand. She also published a book version of the film, released on March 9, 2010 by Free Press of Simon & Schuster.[4] The UK edition of the book was published by Constable & Robinson on May 27, 2010. The German edition was published on March 12 by Econ Verlag.

After The Story of Stuff, she created Story of Cap and Trade in 2009, which is on the topic of emissions trading, as well as, in 2010, The Story of Bottled Water,[5] The Story of Cosmetics and The Story of Electronics. In March 1, 2011, Leonard released The Story of Citizens United v. FEC and later that year, The Story of Broke.

In addition to her work on the Story of Stuff documentary, Leonard is also co-creator and coordinator of GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives)[6] and serves on the boards of International Forum on Globalization (IFG) and the Environmental Health Fund. She previously held positions with Health Care Without Harm, Essential Information and Greenpeace International, and was coordinator of the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption.[1] In 1992 she testified in front of the US Congress on the topic of international waste trafficking.[2]


  1. ^ a b Terrence McNally (January 10, 2008). "Consuming Our Way to Unhappiness". AlterNet. 
  2. ^ a b "Annie Leonard's bio". Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  3. ^ After 25 years, 'Story of Stuff' creator finishes her degree
  4. ^ "Annie Leonard Google Profile". Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Annie Leonard's "Story of Bottled Water" Should Make Fiji Nervous". Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Zero Waste: A New Vision review". Retrieved January 14, 2008. 

External links[edit]