I have read a lot of posts that encourages recycling in order to decrease emissions. Of course, this is a great way to get the most out of our natural resources. Though, I wonder if that is enough. Recycling can take us only so far considering the enormous demand of products we have today. I think that even in a scenario where everything that is produced also gets reused and recycled, the environmental problems will remain. I recently watched a documentary (unfortunately in swedish, http://www.svtplay.se/video/1480596/del-5-av-18 ) that stated that people make a big mistake when not linking emissions and consumption. The documentary spoke of China as an example. It is true that the country has emissions far beyond what is sustainble. At the same time Sweden (where I live) is happy about having managed to decrease the emissions during the past couple of years. What many seem to forget is that countries like China have high emissions only beacuse we want to buy their cheap products. As long as the demand exists the manufacturing will continue. So, reusing and recycling are both great actions, but they should not be the first ones to take. Instead the process should start at the mall or where you buy your electronics. I think the question we all need to pose is: “Do I really need this?”. That way you will both decrease emossions and save money. Another way to do it can be to see if you find what you are looking for in a second hand shop before buying it in the regular store. Analyzing my way of living, I realize that I buy a lot of things that I do not really need.
How about you? What do you buy that you do not really need? And what would you be willing to refrain from in order to lower your global footprint?