Six Cultural Trends That Are Not Saving The Earth


Photo credit: eliehaouzi @ flickr.

Live and let live, right? We've all heard the phrase a million times, and it connotes that true-blue American sentiment of accomodation and freedom of choice. But what about when our choices are trashing the earth? Then it seems the only remedy is pointing out our own foibles again and again until we realize how damaging and destructive they are. Scanning the globe for recent trends we find a lot that seems to be going in the opposite direction of environmental protection.
Photo credit Fensterbme @ flickr.

1. Advent of HDTV (USA)


The numbers are not all in, but the estimated number of TVs dumped due to new digital standards is 28.5 million. That's a massive electronic waste issue of nearly 2 billion pounds that effects other nations, and and an estimated landfill cost of nearly 40 million. The 'Kill your TV' adage was never meant to engender this waste heap.


Photo credit: Ford APA @ flickr.

2. Buck the Bike, Take the Car (China)


China surpassed the U.S. in car sales last year, with 13.6 million vehicles sold - 500,000 drivers newly hitting the roads each month. Of course, the downside is increased pollution in Chinese cities, and increased deaths of pedestrians and cyclists on the deadliest roads in the world. From bicycle kingdom to parking lot paradise.


Photo credit: eliehaouzi @ flickr.

3. New Fast Food Nation (India)


With its vast population and still growing middle class, India is experiencing strong growth in food and "quick service" outlets. The top five foreign brands in this fast-growing market are McDonald's, Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut, Subway, and Pizza Corner. Meanwhile, a quarter of India's population is undernourished, says Worldwatch.

Tags: Conspicuous Consumption | Transportation | Urban Life