Week 10

16 Apr

What surprised me most about this week’s lectures was the vast amount of products we consume daily. From mobile phones to shoes to food, almost everything we interact with has a carbon footprint of some sort. From their sourcing to manufacturing to their disposal, many goods have a disastrous effect on the environment.

I’ve learned from the first lecture how our society has become almost obsessed with goods. We all want the best shoes, mobile phones, cars etc. and in turn we don’t even think of the consequences for the planet. The lecturer told us that households contain over 1000 goods nowadays compared to 300 just 25 years ago. That’s an incredible increase in just 25 years.

All these extra goods require energy to create and transport. Some of these goods needn’t have been bought in the first place, just purchased because of its cosmetic appearance. For example, some people may throw away their perfectly working blackberry to buy an I phone 4.

If we in the first world continue to consume as many goods as we are now, we will deplete the planet of its resources in a short time. And with an extra almost 2 billion people to come into the planet in the next 50 years or so all trying to increase their quality of life, where will we get the resources to keep all these people satisfied.

Another interesting idea that I came across this week is planned obsolescence. This is the reason why many modern phones, car engines etc. don’t last as long as they did over 20 years ago. The companies making these products are designing them so they’ll fail in a certain period of time. Planned obsolescence is unethical and I think it should be made illegal. These devises, of course, have to be thrown out after they break. This puts an added pressure on dumps which are already running short of space and as I’ve said the increasing population all striving for better lives doesn’t help either.

However lately, we have seen an increase of green consumerism. Many people would rather buy organic food now instead of food that is grown by pesticides which can be harmful for the environment. Biodegradable plastics have also been invented lately and will certainly help.

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