Do I Need This? is a timely, provocative, and humorous 60 minute documentary film examining our compulsion to buy things we don’t really need, and the powerful impact this has, not solely on the long-term health of Planet Earth, but more immediately - on our own lives, mental state, and personal well-being. While informed by the filmmaker’s concern about the dire environmental challenges facing our country and our planet, Do I Need This? and its focus on the personal implications of over-consumption rather than the environmental, is targeted towards environmentalists and non-environmentalists alike. Do I Need This? explores human nature, provoking audiences to consider their consumption habits for their own personal well-being, in this cradle to grave exploration of consumerism, excess, and what we really do need in life.
We know that life experiences bring us joy in ways that objects cannot, so why are we still trying to buy our way to happiness? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, total retail trade sales in the U.S. amounted to $4.881 trillion in 2012. We know the high cost of “retail therapy” is fleeting and expensive, and that much of what we buy will be thrown away — 251 million tons of trash were disposed of in the U.S. that same year. Yet the stores and online carts are still full, and people still order Dog Dung Vacuums and Floating Poker Tables from the Sky Mall Catalog. Why? Do humans have the capacity to move beyond their instinct to acquire in excess, or are we just hardwired to shop-til-we-drop?
Do I Need This? is a funny, entertaining, inclusive, and thought-provoking journey for all Americans to enjoy before they embark on their next shopping spree.