Don't buy what you don't needRead Now
I know I have said this before but I am going to say it again because it is very important: don't buy what you don't need. When you buy what you don't need this is known as over consumption. When we think of over consumption we usually think of the material make used to make the product being wasted but we never think of the carbon footprint of the transportation and of it ending up in the land fill. In this blog post we will look at all the steps of the life of a toy and that steps carbon footprint.
1. First all the material that is needed to make the product is shipped to the factory. If the product is made from wood, while it is better than plastic, still contributes a lot to climate change. While the process to turn trees into wood does not contribute a lot to climate change, the impact is still there. The tree that was used to make the product was contributing to taking carbon dioxide out if the air, which is helping fight climate change. Scientists say that 15% of growing levels of carbon dioxide is due to deforestation. If your product is made out of plastic, then the climate footprint is noticeable. First things first, the plastic is made from oil, which we need to stop using so much if to fight climate change. Secondly, the process to turn oil into plastic uses a lot of toxic chemicals and pollutes a lot.
2. Then the product is made. For most products, the manufacturing of them emits large carbon emissions. This means that this stage leaves a large carbon footprint. The factory could also have bad working conditions and while that does not leave a carbon footprint, is still a large problem in modern civilization.
3. Then the product is transported to the store. Now in days a lot of our products are made in low wage Asian countries. That being said that means that most of our products have to travel a long way to get to the store. Not only is there the carbon footprint of the cargo ships or planes used for long distance transportation but also the trucks used to get your toy from the harbor or airport to the actual store. If you order online then your product has to go not only on those long distance ships or plane but also on trucks or even more planes to get to you. Some say that ordering online has an even larger carbon footprint that ordering in store.
4. This is the step of the life of a product that we usually forget but leaves a large carbon footprint. This is when you throw away the product. When you throw away a product not only does the trash truck leave a carbon foot print but when it gets to the landfill, there is a huge carbon footprint. The landfill compacts everything. This process turns all the food that could be compost into methane, one of the strongest greenhouse gases. Scientists say that methane from landfills account for another 15% of growing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere. Another problem is plastic takes 1,000 YEARS to decompose. That means all the plastic that has ever been made hasn't even decomposed. This is a huge problem. Lastly, even of you have a non-plastic product, the product has probably been in contact with many toxic chemicals. If any of those chemicals leak into the ground, it could kill whole eco systems.
While we can't live without some of the products that make this carbon footprint, we can get less of these products and buy more products that don't make this large of a carbon footprint. Next time you go to the store ask yourself, "do I really need to buy this?". You can also try to buy more local. This will get rid of the third step of life, which is one of the most polluting of the steps. We are getting close to the holidays and most of the time we buy people physical gifts. This holiday why don't you make a donation to their favorite organization in their honor. This will not only help more people throughout the world but it will help the environment and ensure a healthy planet for the rest of humanity.
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