It's no secret that the world population is increasing at alarming rates. As a human race, we consume resources to survive. And, some of us consume more than others (far beyond what would be considered necessary for survival).
Just recently, I read an article addressing our consumption entitled, "What's Your Consumption Factor?" by Jared Diamond, author of "Collapse," and "Guns, Germs and Steel." Some of the highlights of the article are that developed nations consume resources at a relative per capita consumption rate of 32 whereas the "rest" of the world consumes at a rate far lower than that-- somewhere around 1. And, that the disparity in these resource consumption rates is at the root of many of the world's conflicts. This article uses China as an example of where we are headed with our consumption. In 2008, China's per capita consumption hovered somewhere around 11. China has the world's fastest growing economy and four times the population of the United States. If China's consumption rises to be on par with the US, oil consumption would increase by 106 percent, and world metal consumption would increase by 94 percent. I don't mean to pick on China or single out any particular nation. But, it is clear that we all need to start thinking a lot differently about how we consume.
And, that is why eco-steps matter! Even the seemingly smallest measures of conservation, reducing, reusing and recycling add up to make a tremendous difference for what's left of our natural resources. I encourage you to read the above-mentioned article, check out my other blog posts, especially The Story of Stuff, and share, share, share your new-found information with friends, family and even with people you don't like all that much. After all, it's the Holidays. Happy Eco-Stepping Holidays to All!
For some added fun, try this out: Earth Day Eco-Footprint Calculator. You may be surprised at the results!