GOOD

This Cheesy, Star-Studded ‘90s Recycling PSA is Amazing

If Bette Midler, Queen Latifah, and Bugs Bunny can’t get you to recycle, then no one can.

Ozzy Osbourne and a Cartoon Yak. Screenshot from "Yakety Yak-Take it Back" video

Recycling has come a long way since the early ‘90s. But let me take you back to the nascent days of curbside sorting, when no one knew the difference between different kinds of plastics, Everybody was Dancing Now, and a sincere young Michael Stipe was Losing his Religion. Jolie Jones, daughter of Quincy, and founder of the Take it Back Foundation, an environmental awareness group, had an idea for bringing the magic of other star-studded musical benefits like “We Are the World” to the issue of recycling. The result was “Yakety Yak—Take it Back,” a recycling-themed send up of the Coasters’ 1958 megahit “Yakety Yak (Don’t Talk Back),” featuring some of the biggest musical stars of the day, along with a number of animated characters.

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The Military’s Graphic Design War On Venereal Disease

WWII soldiers were warned about STDs via a series of colorful PSA ads created by the U.S. government.

Going into WWII, troops were told what their main enemies would be: Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito, and … gonorrhea. In order to prevent the type of rampant venereal disease that plagued the U.S. military during WWI, in the late 1930s, the government commissioned a series of colorful PSAs aimed at warning troops of the dangers that lurked with randy pleasures. From disease-riddled French prostitutes to Nazis dancing arm in arm with sexy skeletons, these ads were both fascinating and frightening. Initially drawing inspiration from ads created by the Works Progress Administration under FDR’s New Deal, artists used a wide range of techniques to get the message out, from dramatic comic book pamphlets to funny slogans like “Fool the Axis — use Prophylaxis!”

Ryan Mungia published a comprehensive collection of these posters entitled “​Protect Yourself.” Scouring the image libraries of the National Archives and the National Library of Medicine (among other resources) this book provides a unique opportunity to see how great graphic design can be used for social change.

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How Youth Are Using Poetry To Change The Conversation About Diabetes

As a Youth Speaks poet, Erica uses poetry to articulate her daily stress and living condition, as it relates to poverty, leading her to self-destructing eating behaviors and a battle with obesity

Raised in the neighborhood of Fillmore in San Francisco, Erica McMath Sheppard comes from a large family in which the majority is battling diabetes. She is the living statistic of the type 2 diabetes epidemic affecting low-income communities of color. She comes straight from the so-called vulnerable communities that exist in neighborhoods labeled “food deserts” where exercising in public parks is not an option because the streets are prone to violence and crime.

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GOOD Maker: Help Us Pick a Video That Explains Why Texting and Driving Is a Bad Idea

GOOD Maker and Project Yellow Light use videos to spread teen texting and driving awareness. Vote for your favorite—the winner will receive $400.

Earlier this month, a Massachusetts teen was sentenced to a year in prison for vehicular homicide after texting while driving. Texts are often quick and trivial—a last minute raincheck, a chuckle-worthy photo—but it's becoming clear that texting while driving is a serious public safety problem.

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A 'Talk Show' Uses Humor to Inform Domestic Workers About Their Rights

There's nothing funny about the treatment of many domestic workers, but a humorous public art project tackles the issue head-on.

There’s nothing funny about the treatment many nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers receive from their employers—including missed wages, no sick days, and strenuous hours. But a new public art project is using humor as a vehicle to educate workers, their bosses, and the public about the New York Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, a state law passed in 2010 that guarantees basic protections to a vulnerable class of workers.

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Groupon's Mock-Philanthropy Super Bowl Ads Don't Help

Groupon hired Christopher Guest to parody charity PSAs and push their daily deals email, but does the joke fall flat? Watch and decide.


The daily-deal coupon company, Groupon, introduced itself to the world at-large yesterday with a disappointing set of Super Bowl ads directed by mockumenatarian Christopher Guest. The ads use big name actors to make light of serious problems in a faux-philanthropic PSA style ads that tout saving money for yourself as a noble cause.

Here's a sample from Elizabeth Hurley's ad (pictured above, video at bottom): "Not all deforestation is bad. (Sound of hair being waxed off a body) and since 100 of us bought at groupon.com we're all saving 50 percent on a Brazilian wax ...." Clever.

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