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The Negative Effects of Consumerism

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Alice Guo

on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of The Negative Effects of Consumerism

Consumerism... What is it? -noun
The concept that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy.

The theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial. My Opinion on Consumerism: The costs to society and the encironment outweigh the benefits of a throw-away society. Why? People put in so much time and effort to create a small item, only to be thrown away in a matter of days/weeks/months/years, and so on. The costs to society and the environment outweigh the benefits of a throw-away society. In a year, the world produces about 25 trillion cubic feet of garbage for the landfill. It is estimated that one landfill 120 feet deep (about 36.6 metres) and measuring 44 miles square (about 70.8 km square) would adequately handle the needs for the entire nation for the next 100 years. However, according to my calculations, it will take 275 478 453 900 years for Earth's crust to be filled entirely with garbage, meaning the ENTIRE crust will be filled with garbage with no space for anything (e.g. residence, parks, lakes, oceans). The natural resources are running out and we are still consuming them at an extremely fast rate. In the past three decades alone, 1/3 of natural resources are consumed. As of now, 80% of Earth's original forests are gone. Solutions: Companies should get workers to produce less "throw-away" items and make more reusable and longer lasting items. Although they might not be making as much money now, it will benefit in the long run.
These throw-away items would be items that are designed to break easily or be replaced with a newer version every once in a while. With more better quality and longer lasting items, landfills won't fill up as fast. Besides limiting the amount of garbage we throw out, we could:
-Compost
-Recycle (paper, glass, wood, certain plastics, metal, batteries, etc)
-Donate (clothing, books, toys, bikes, computers, cell phones, FOOD-to a food bank, hair, household items)
-Reuse (e.g. old crayons-including stubs or pieces-can be remade into new forms)
-Give it to anyone who will take it in and make good use of the items (e.g. some pet stores can take in used aquariums, even if it's only pieces/parts, or not working)

Just to name a few. (: Find alternatives to replace using up natural resources, such as using more recycled material as opposed to fresh material (e.g. trees). Some alternatives:
-Used certified harvested wood/recycled lumber
-Use homosote (a building material made of recycled material that is chemical free)
-Use paper made of alternative non-wood fibres such as kenaf (fibrous African plant), hemp (natural fibre product of the Cannabis sativa plant), or agricultural residue.

Again, just to name a few. (:
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