Let’s re­view the green cost of con­sumerism

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Opinion -

MARIO Du Preez ( West­ern Daily Press, Novem­ber 29) makes some very in­ter­est­ing points about con­sumerism. But we are in a cleft stick, aren’t we?

Con­sumerism is a source of wealth. Oth­er­wise we re­ally would still be in the Stone or Iron Ages knock­ing about the planet try­ing to live a sub­sis­tence life. On the other hand, con­sumerism is cost­ing the planet.

We al­most know for cer­tain now that we are run­ning out of time on this planet, from what sci­en­tists have re­cently said. It will be­come hot­ter and more in­hos­pitable, weather much more an­gry and tur­bu­lent. Un­for­tu­nately, th­ese ef­fects will mostly im­pact the next gen­er­a­tions, rather than us.

A good place for us now would be to re­view just what con­sumerism costs us en­vi­ron­men­tally. We could com­pile some statis­tics on just how long it takes for any made ob­ject to go from the fac­tory to the tip. This would be fas­ci­nat­ing. After all, most ‘things’ will end up there. It is just a mat­ter of time, var­ied by each type of ob­ject.

Most things will not be of much in­ter­est to the next gen­er­a­tion and only a few items will end up in mu­se­ums or antiques gal­leries. So ob­jects re­ally are time-lim­ited within the ex­cesses of the gen­er­a­tion that buys them.

I like go­ing to the re­cy­cling tip. It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see what goes over the edge to land­fill etc.

Yes, I know quite a few cat­e­gories do get melted down, or what­ever, in the course of a re­cy­cling ef­fort.

When we buy a super-duper PC game or a book or a gar­den fork, for ex­am­ple, it would be in­ter­est­ing to read on the la­bel next to the price, ‘The life­span of this ob­ject is on av­er­age X num­ber of years. Can you make it last longer?’

El­iz­a­beth Smith Wood­man­cote, Glouces­ter­shire

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