Growing up in Australia, where things always come relatively easy in comparison to other countries, the Journey that the items we buy go on before we purchase them often goes unquestioned, this could be due to the fact that no one in the country is willing to face the undeniable truth that we are destroying our planet at an ever increasing rate with our own selfish desires.
The idea of our environment being damaged to make our lives more luxurious and comfortable is not something that we are very used to thinking about, because, well, let’s be honest, the only part that the nonuser really cares about is the item once we get it into our hands and how we get it out of our homes once we are finished with it. Other than that the rest of the process goes very much unnoticed. After watching Annie Lemonade’s video The Story of Stuff it became abundantly clear to me that in order for us to get even the smallest of items we use a massive number of natural resources to make it for it Just to be tossed in the trash.
Throughout the video Annie outlines the various and more obvious stages of production with in a country; it was when the video got into the racer and behind the scenes part of production that the main people in charge didn’t want you to see that took me by surprise. The amount of waste that is made at the very end of the production and consumption line in Australia is unbelievable with waste amounts per person increasing from 1. 23 tones in 1996-97 to 1. 62 tones in (Australian Bureau of Statistics December 2007), this is an astonishing Jump in less than 10 years.
It makes me think that if rather than throwing out the items I no longer wanted I handed them down or disposed of them in a more environmentally roundly way that this figure wouldn’t have escalated so much in the 6 years that it had. Although the waste in Australia was quite a lot higher than I had expected it didn’t come as a real shock to me to discover that it had increased since the ass’s. The real shock that came to me was that Green Power costs as little as 80 cents to $1 a week (Greengrocer. Gob. U) and only 936,810 households had invested in getting solar power by the end of 2012 (Clean Energy Australia 2012 Report). This means that a very large amount of households in Australia are spending more money than they onto need to on non-renewable energy, to me that seems like a massive waste of resources and money that could be going into making something more healthy for the planet, like lowering corporations and towns CA emissions by doing something as little as hiring more people to plant trees in areas where there is barely any.
At the start of this course we were asked to measure out Ecological Footprint upon doing this I was shocked to see that if everyone lived the exact same way as I did, it takes 4. 9 Global hectares of productive earth area or 7. 4 Tones of Carbon (EPA Victoria) Just to support how my family and I chose to live, we would need 2. 7 Earths to provide enough resources for everyone to survive (EPA Victoria). If the way I live was the exact same was as everyone else the world would be Just as dark and as destroyed as it is pictured on hundreds of Hollywood films nowadays, this is not the earth that I would like to be living in.
After taking the quiz on how large my ecological footprint is, I decided to click on the link that shows me what I would need to change to bring down the number of how many ‘Earths’ we would need to survive. I found o that if I ate half the amount of meat my family eats, purchased more things that are packed in recycled plastic, used solar panels, made all of my appliances energy efficient and used public transport one day a week I could decrease the number of earths that we would need to only 1. 9. This number is still quite large, but not nearly as bad as 2. As a developed country that continues to grow we continue to enjoy the finer things that life has to offer, but often take for granted what it costs the planet for us to have these things. If everyone Just took small, simple steps to reduce their footprint, like installing Solar Panels then we wouldn’t use half as many resources, destroy half as many forests or need multiple versions of earth to help us survive. The gains from being more environmentally friendly and aware are much more satisfying than the small amount of satisfaction that you get from buying a new item that will Just be tossed out.