I’d like to recommend a website: The story of stuff. Here you can listen to a presentation about material economy: how we produce stuff, where it comes from, how we deal with it and where it goes after we throw it away. It’s very interesting because it reveals what really happens along the way. The speaker, Annie Leonard, goes through the main stages: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. From one phase to the other, she adds all the information that we need to have, all the things that nobody talks about, she adds the truth. Here are some facts that she mentions in the presentation:
• In the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s natural resources base have been consumed.
• In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left.
• Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable.
• The U.S.has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
• If everybody consumed at U.S. rates, we would need 3 to 5 planets.
• There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today.
• Only a handful of synthetic chemicals have even been tested for human health impacts and NONE have been tested for synergistic health impacts.
• In the U.S., industry admits to releasing over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals a year.
• The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago.
• We each see more advertisements in one year than a people 50 years ago saw in a lifetime.
• In the U.S. our national happiness peaked sometime in the 1950s.
• In the U.S., we spend 3–4 times as many hours shopping as our counterparts in Europe do.
• Average U.S. house size has doubled since the 1970s.
• Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage a day. That is twice what we each made thirty years ago.
• For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk in that one garbage can you put out on the curb.
Go and watch the presentation and use this information to improve your life and the world around you. Pass the word.