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Canada: A Throw-Away Society

Comsumerism in Canada and North America and how it is affecting the environment

Alison Beckwith

on 10 April 2011

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Transcript of Canada: A Throw-Away Society

Canada: A Throw-Away Society?? By Alison After much research, I have come to the conclusion that Canada is becoming a throw-away society. But what brought about this drastic change in comsumerism? What did mankind do to end up in environmental and economic ruin? Are what we think is being good to the environment really destroying it? The first problem is the consumers. The demand for more and more unnecessary products has increased. This chart shows the huge inequality of consumption in 2005. In the 5 years bringing us to present day, this inequality has only grown. If future generations consume as much as the wealthiest 10% of the world's population did in 2005, who knows what kind of destruction could take place in the future. Global Priority $US Billions
Cosmetics in the US 8
Ice Cream In Europe 11
Perfumes in the US and Europe 12
Pet Food in the US and Europe 17
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic Drinks in Europe 105
Military Spending in the World 780

Source:http://www.globalissues.org/issue/235/consumption-and-consumerism Global Priority $US Billions
Basic Education for All 6
Water and Sanitation for All 9
Reproductive health for all women 12
Basic Health and Nutrition 13

Source: http://www.globalissues.org/issue/235/consumption-and-consumerism While... We are spending more on ice cream for Europeans than on basic education in developing countries?? That doesn't make sense. But believe it or not, this is what is happening to our world. The main cause of this consumerism problem is the consumption of things we don't need. Millions of dollars are put into unnecessary items that will be thrown out within one day of their use. For example, thousands of brown supermarket bags are used every hour in the US alone. If everyone who uses these bags brings reusable ones, whole forests can be saved by the hour. Many children are becoming huge consumers of products also. New, more technological toys are being invented, and the demand for them is high. Fast-Food restaurants now have advertisements aimed at children (eg. Mcdonalds Happy Meals). This advertisement influences childrens' restaurant choices. If they know that they will get a toy if they eat at Mcdonalds, then they are more likely to choose the world-famous fast food restaurant over any other. The promise of a toy makes children want to eat out more, therefore increasing their consumerism. Children should be eating healthy, and with these advertisements tempting them, they are more likely not to. How do we stop this?? 1 Use things more than once. Don't throw things out unless they are absolutely unusable. This reduces our consmerism because we are not buying as much. Children?? 2 Reduce your inpulse purchases. The less you buy, the less is made. Don't buy things you don't need. 3
Buy good quality items that are not made cheaply. If you buy an object that will break after only a month of use, you have to buy another one which requires more natural resources, and more money from your wallet. Better made products may cost more now, but they are a better investment than cheap products. (in developing countries) Many people dispose of things that could be used again. For example, hundreds of plastic bags are found in landfills each year that could have been re-used. Clothes, shoes, and old electronics could be donated, but usually end up in landfills. Point #1: Point #2: Point #3: Cheaply made items are the biggest things that consumers are buying these days. These products break easily, which means more natural resources are used when new ones are bought when the old ones break.
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