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American Consumer Habits and the Environment
American Consumption Habits and Consumer Impact On The Environment
Consumer impact on environment ranked http://www.enn.com/news/enn-stories/1999/04/041599/conchoi_2657.asp
"Some consumer decisions, like whether to choose paper or plastic grocery bags, are insignificant," said Dr. Warren Leon, deputy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists and co-author of the book.
"Our book shows people how to focus on those environmental choices that make the biggest difference."
SOURCE: Consumerís Guide to Effective Environmental Choices Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists
When we look at the world as a whole, we can see that our country is responsible for a lopsided share of the total consumption of key products and materials. We use one-third of the world's paper, despite representing just 5 percent of the world's population. Similarly, we use 25 percent of the oil, 23 percent of the coal, 27 percent of the aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper.
Even when we compare ourselves with other wealthy, industrial countries, we generally emerge as the champion consumers. An average American uses twice as much fossil fuel (coal, oil, and natural gas) as the average resident of Great Britain and 2.5 times as much as the average Japanese. We consume over 3.25 pounds of boneless meat (mostly beef and chicken) each week, 1.5 times as much as the average Briton or Italian and more than 2.5 times as much as the average Japanese.
The sheer production of waste in our society is astounding. The typical American discards nearly a ton of trash per person per year, two to three times as much as the typical western European throws away. Amy Dacyczyn and others who have embraced voluntary simplicity are noteworthy precisely because they have departed so strikingly from the usual high-consumption, high-waste American lifestyle.
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