Source: Global Footprint Network, National Footprint Accounts 2016
The infographic above shows that Australia tops the chart – and this is not an auspicious position to be in. We, as a nation, are the biggest consumers of resources, according to this data source.
Consumption is followed too regularly these days by the accumulation of waste. We live in a culture of convenience and this has led to the increasing number of disposable items that flood our supermarkets, shops and restaurants. Couple this with the planned obsolescence built into our electrical appliances and mobile phone technology and the waste continues to pile up. Additionally, there’s the clothing waste which has been in the media of late.
Teen spending data indicates that 50% of their money is spent on clothing, food and personal hygiene/cosmetic items. I showed this graph to Year 10 students during Conversation Period this week and they concurred that it was typical of their spending. I challenged them to consider the changes that they could make in their own lives to reduce the amount of packaging waste they generate when eating out at the shopping centre by providing them with simple actions. I also spoke to them about the impact of the fast fashion industry from an environmental perspective, rather than from the perspective of exploitation. This industry generates an ever increasing mass of discarded clothing, but also the energy, carbon emissions and water use required in the manufacture and transport of these clothes.
Individuals can make a difference and being informed is the first step in the process.
Beginning next Tuesday at 8:30pm, the ABC is showing a three-part series called War on Waste. The series promises to be a real eye-opener and is a great opportunity to prompt discussions with your family and friends.
Mrs Elizabeth Cranfield