We see signs all the time “Buy More. Save More”. Therefore we buy more, thinking that we are saving.
“Buying more” largely benefits only the businesses that sell these products, who are incentivized to sell as much as possible without regard to material or resource waste.
Most of the products we use contaminate our Mother Earth, our water, and our air, and our food. They contain harmful chemicals that leach into soil or are washed down the drain into waterways and then into our municipal water supply. If not treated properly, these contaminants can end up in our tap water.
It takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of regular blue jeans.
It takes around 400 gallons of water to grow the cotton required for an ordinary cotton shirt. In addition to this, many hazardous chemicals are used to make our clothes. Some examples include alkylphenols, phthalates, and azo dyes.
We waste millions of tons of paper in just packing our gifts. Papermaking is a highly polluting industry! Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week! Half of the paper consumed in the US is used for decorating and wrapping.
What Can We Do?
Let’s reduce our consumption first. Buy what we really need. Please take pause and think before buying: do I really need this? Remember, the process of making most of products we see uses large amounts of water and chemicals which pollute our land, water, and air!
Purchase things that are reusable. You can help mitigate waste and save money!
Do not pay attentions to deals. Most retailers have deals and “sales” all-year round. Businesses want to sell their products all the time, so deals are there every day.
There is no need to give unnecessary gifts to your family & friends. Tell them why you do not give them gifts often. They would understand if you tell them these shocking facts. Research has shown that quality time and experiences are more memorable and expressive of one’s thoughts toward one another than material things. Consider a nice dinner, a volunteer activity, or a camping outing in nature.