There are almost 8 billion people on our planet now. The mass consumer culture that has increased globally throughout the decades is un-sustainable. The world cannot handle the mass depletion of materials and resources that go into making all of those products, and then the mass dumping of the non-compostable products/packaging back into the oceans and environment.
In the last year or so, I made the commitment to STOP buying EVERYTHING.
- This refers to non-food products.
- Refers to not buying anything new.
- Applies unless a product is 100% necessary and I know it was produced and can be disposed of in a 100% environmental and ethical way.
Products have MASSIVE environmental effects. *(see below for example) Your phone, computer, toys, games, blankets, clothes, books, backpack, shoes, kitchen utensils etc.? Those were all produced by mining the earth’s resources for materials — often by destroying environments– and then processing the materials (typically by low-wage workers) and shipped around the world (greenhouse gas emissions cost). It only takes a few minutes of research on the internet to start to figure out the negative environmental effects of a product.
So just if everyone could PLEASE:
- a) STOP buying everything. When you are about to buy something, think “how much do I actually need this product”?
- b) If you do need it, buy it either used, or from a 100% environmental company (do your research!). Used is better – since you won’t be using up more material.
- c) Remember to take the packaging into consideration when thinking about buying something. DON’T buy anything with un-environmental packaging like plastic.
- d) Also it always helps to write to companies to both ask about their environmental practices and also let them know that you won’t support them unless they are certified in environmental practices, like: using 100% green energy in their supply chain, Fair-Trade-certified, Rainforest-Alliance-Certified, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, USDA-Organic-certified, ethical labor practices etc.
- e) Donate all of your old clothes/products etc. to donation and thrift stores.
Think about it, what do you really need to buy new? Hardly anything. Any products you might need, you can easily get used, from: yard sales, friends/neighbors, eBAY, Craigslist, Amazon-used products and other sites dedicated to used products.
There are almost 8 billion people in the world, chances are that someone else has already bought the product that you want.
Even if you need an updated electronic product, like a new phone, you do NOT need the newest model. And there are always enough people in the world buying and casting off phones that you can find a relatively new model that will work for you.
So please, everyone in the world needs to REDUCE their product consumption and try to buy everything either USED, or from 100% environmentally-friendly sources. Apply this to when you give gifts, buy new products for yourself, etc. Imagine the positive environmental impact we could have if all 7+ billion people in the world followed these principals.
*A smartphone for example is made of dozens of materials, including: glass, plastic, metals like aluminum alloys, the batteries include lithium cobalt oxide and carbon graphite, the wiring includes gold, copper and silver, the circuitry includes platinum and tungsten; Rare metals, such as neodymium-iron-boron alloys, dysprosium and praseodymium, are also used to make the magnets, speakers and motors found in your phone. **These materials have to be mined from environments all over the world, including increasingly in the oceans. Mining is a massively destructive process that obliterates the environment. The processing and transportation of all of these materials also have a huge environmental cost.