Western society is founded on a principle of convenient consumerism; however, this easy living comes at a high environmental cost. Individuals today are pushed to buy the latest fashions, the newest electronics, and the best imported foods the world can offer. Consume, consume, consume! In recent years, a growing focus on global warming has brought discussion of the effects of such lifestyles into the focus of mainstream media. This new emphasis on “going green” has opened up an entirely new category of products to meet society’s need to consume. The market is now flooded with “easy” ways to go green; hybrid cars, light bulbs that use less energy, anything to purport the idea of becoming more environmentally friendly – so long as the consumer does not have to actually sacrifice any of the conveniences of modern life. While these are certainly steps in the right direction; to create the dramatic decrease in global CO2 emissions required to combat the effects of global climate change, the idea of the “American Dream” society, and today’s rampant consumerism, will have to be revolutionized.
According to a study done by Canada’s “One-Tonne Challenge” project every Canadian is directly responsible for at least five tonnes of greenhouse gases each year (Welcome). While lowering each person’s emissions to zero is a goal next to impossible, there are many small changes that, with a little bit of sacrifice, can drastically reduce yearly emissions.
Coffee is an excellent example of this. The “average cup of black filter coffee is responsible for 125 grams of CO2 emissions”. This means that simply drinking one cup of coffee six days a week can add up to more than 175 kilograms of CO2 each year, the equivalent of a flight across Europe! Reducing or eliminating coffee consumption entirely can make a noticeable dent in the average Canadian’s yearly emissions.
Furthermore, products like bathroom tissue are another quick way to reduce yearly...
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