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Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
Green consumerism
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Green consumerism

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  • 1. Changing Consumption for a Greener Tomorrow Green Consumerism
  • 2. Introduction Products have environmental impacts throughout their lifespan Some potential environmental impacts are not known by most consumers Products can also have detrimental health impacts Consumer and producer mindsets- key factors in environmental impact
  • 3. Knowing Potential Impact Life-cycle assessment “a method that allows us to systematically tear apart any manufactured item into its components and their subsidiary industrial processes, and measure with near-surgical precision their impacts on nature from the beginning of their production through their final disposal.” (Goleman, 2009)
  • 4. Product Life Cycle 5 stages: Extraction Production Distribution Consumption Disposal
  • 5. Extraction Products are made of raw materials Raw materials are sourced from nature, often coming with impurities Common raw materials for products: Rocks and minerals Plants Water
  • 6. Extraction: Rocks and Minerals Often mined from mountains, underground, caves etc. as ore Involves clearing vast expanses of land, often with vegetation Destroys natural habitats Uses chemicals in order to soften the ground for digging Contamination of soil, groundwater, nearby bodies of water May even involve mountaintop removal
  • 7. Extraction: Rocks and Minerals Contains impurities (minerals in trace amounts only) Purification involves large amounts of energy, water, and chemicals “Most of the ore-and an ever increasing amount, as high grade sources disappear-ends up as waste.” (Leonard, 2010) According to Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities, and the Environment, “Chemicals used in processing contaminate at least 90 billions tons of waste ore per year globally…”
  • 8. Extraction: Water Often used in numerous industrial and domestic processes, usually in very large amounts 256 gallons of water for 1 T-shirt! 36 gallons of water for 1 cup of coffee! Can easily be contaminated by a plethora of pollutants Toilets: water contaminated with domestic waste
  • 9. Extraction: Plants Found in many places in nature Often cut down for wood, pulp (paper making) and other materials UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Net decrease of 6M hectares/year from 2000-2010 Threat to biodiversity, loss of habitats and valuable tools to mitigate climate change and pollution
  • 10. Production Raw materials put together to create final product Majority of raw materials synthetic Not too much known about possible health and environment impacts Some highly toxic and can contaminate the environment “Low-dose exposures over time can have tragic outcomes…reduced intelligence, lowered immunity, ADD, infertility, cancer, etc. “ (Colborn, T. et al., 1996)
  • 11. Production Done in manufacturing plants High energy and resource demand Waste products from manufacturing process leech into soil, air, water
  • 12. Distribution Process of delivering products to where they are needed i.e. stores, warehouses etc. including selling to customers Goods transported by trucks, ships, planes, trains, etc. Emit large amounts of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases As of 2005 contributed to 23% of the world’s emissions, including developing nations Emissions from transporting goods linked to lung cancer and cardiopulmonary ailments which can be lethal
  • 13. Consumption Actual usage of the product until it is replaced Marketing lures many people to buy new products, even when they are not truly needed Planned obsolescence Defined by Brooks Stevens, an American industrial designer as, “instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than necessary.” According to Annie Leonard (2010), “In planned obsolescence, products are intended to be thrown away as quickly as possible then replaced.”
  • 14. Consumption Example of planned obsolescence: Cellphones have an average lifespan of only 1 year New generations/iterations of certain models are introduced very quickly, prompting consumers to replace their current phones, even if they are in good working condition
  • 15. Phil Schiller Vice President for Marketing Apple, Inc.
  • 16. Consumption Global Footprint Network (GFN)-an organization measuring overall ecological footprint of humans and of individual countries Currently, consumption is at 1.5 earths per year, or 50% more resources than the planet can sustain If all nations had consumption patterns akin to the US, we’d consume the equivalent of 5.4 earths!
  • 17. Disposal Discarding of products that are a.) no longer useful, b.) no longer wanted, or c.) both Options for end of life disposal: Landfills and open dumps Incinerators Dumping in waterways and littering Composting Recycling Reusing
  • 18. Disposal-Landfills and Dumps Open dumps-waste is dumped in an open area Attracts flies, rats, other disease carrying organisms Gases emitted cause air pollution and foul odor, leachate causes water pollution
  • 19. Disposal-Landfills and Dumps Landfill-engineered facility where garbage is covered by a layer of soil daily, includes leachate and gas collection and treatment systems Inevitably leak due to liner rupturing under immense pressure, polluting soil and groundwater Leachate contains many toxic substances such as heavy metals Ex. Manganese-->damage in areas of the brain responsible for movement, possible link to Parkinson’s Some gases produced, when burned can cause adverse effects
  • 20. Disposal-Incinerators Reduces volume of waste by as much as 90% (Hufemia, 2007) Can be used to generate electricity (waste to energy) Generates ash (particulate matter), which may contain heavy metals and must be disposed of in landfills and gaseous emissions Generates organic compounds such as dioxins, some of the most toxic man-made substances Carcinogen, linked to birth defects, infertility, learning disabilities, etc. Trivia: Philippines-only country to ban garbage incinerators
  • 21. Disposal-Dumping in waterways and littering Aesthetically unappealing Causes land and/or water pollution Clogs drains Flooding during heavy rain Can be ingested by organisms, poisoning them
  • 22. Disposal-Composting Only for biodegradable waste Degraded into organic matter which can be used to fertilize soil Restores nutrients to soil, maintains ecological balance Aids in plant growth
  • 23. Disposal-Recycling Only for recyclable materials Reduces the need to extract more resources Extends the usable time period of materials before they become waste Much less energy is used to manufacture products from recycled material than virgin material Aluminum recycling-up to 95% energy savings vs. aluminum ore extraction and purification! Reduces carbon dioxide emissions
  • 24. Disposal-Reusing Some used materials can still be used again before having to be disposed Ex. Paper where front side has been used, Plastic bags from grocery shopping, etc. Extends the usable lifespan of materials Reduces need for sourcing virgin materials Avoids impact associated with extraction Less carbon dioxide emissions Less energy used
  • 25. What can be done on your part? Awareness! Be informed about how environmentally friendly your product actually is! Goodguide.com-website that assesses a myriad of products based on environmental impacts, now has an iOS app Greenpeace’s Guide to Green Electronics- Evaluates electronics producers in terms of their overall environmental impact, updated yearly View product LCA’s if possible Buy products with proper environmental certification Buy locally made products Causes less overall pollution and GHG emissions than non-local equivalents
  • 26. What can be done on your part? Buy products with less packaging Less packaging=less materials=less harm Take part in proper waste segregation and reduction 3 R’s Composting, if possible Reject products that are highly toxic to human health and the environment Do not throw away or replace products that are still in good working condition Alternatives include handing down to siblings/relatives, selling, take-back programs or maintenance
  • 27. Conclusion Each part of a product’s life cycle has considerable environmental impacts Our role as consumers is to reduce impact where possible Buying products which cause less environmental harm benefits us as well Lesser health impacts We should also be mindful of how to properly dispose our waste and reduce the amount of waste produced Remember: “There is no away.” “One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.”
  • 28. Bibliography  Bilton, N. Disruptions: You Know You Can’t Live Without Apple’s Latest Glass Rectangle: New York Times (October 29, 2012). Retrieved November 9, 2012, from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/disruptions-know-cant-live-without-163824479.html  Goleman, D. (2009). Ecological Intelligence. New York: Broadway Books.  Hufemia, A. (2007). Resource Recovery…Begins With Me. In Emilyn Q. Espiritu, Ph.D. (Ed.) Introduction to Environmental Science : Managing Resources for Sustainable Development (pp. 212-230). Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.  Leonard, A. (2010). The Story of Stuff. New York: Free Press  Aluminum Recycling: Chicago Recycling Coalition. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://www.chicagorecycling.org/aluminum.htm  Dioxins & Furans: The Most Toxic Chemicals Known to Science: Energy Justice Network. (2012). Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin/ Manganese Exposure and Diagnosis of Manganism or Manganese poisoning: Brayton Purcell LLP. (2012). Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://www.welding-rod- dangers.com/illness/illness_manganism_detect.htm  State of the World's Forests: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. (2012). Retrieved July 21, 2013 from http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3010e/i2010e.pdf  World Footprint: Global Footprint Network. (2013) Retrieved July 20, 2013 from http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/world_footprint
  • 29. Images http://sydney.edu.au/facilities/images/Sust ainable_campus/procurement/product_lc(la rge).jpg http://mountainjustice.org/facts/images/MT Rsteps.jpg http://www.blueenvironmental.com/images/ imgLandfillDiagram.jpg
  • 30. Thank you for listening! Questions?

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