Posted by: Martin Fox | November 3, 2008

Stop the consumption insanity – what are we doing to our planet?

Hello and greetings from Sunapee, New Hampshire… 5,000 miles in the past 5 days – wahoo.

I was forwarded some very interesting consumption info from a friend this morning.  While the consumption facts are important, I highly suggest you watch the Annie Leonard’s video at to get the full story. We are definitely pulling her information into our work.

Peace out – Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership and the “Be the change today” tour

The “story of stuff” – some scary consumption facts… Well, facts are facts are facts (no emotion – just data) – I just find them scary.

  • In the past three decades, one-third of the planet’s natural resources base have been consumed.
  • In the United States, we have less than 4% of our original forests left.
  • Forty percent of waterways in the US have become undrinkable.
  • The U.S.has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 30% of the world’s resources and creates 30% of the world’s waste.
  • If everybody consumed at U.S. rates, we would need 3 to 5 planets.
  • There are over 100,000 synthetic chemicals in commerce today.
  • Only a handful of synthetic chemicals have even been tested for human health impacts and NONE have been tested for synergistic health impacts.
  • In the U.S., industry admits to releasing over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals a year.
  • The average U.S. person now consumes twice as much as they did 50 years ago.
  • We each see more advertisements in one year than a people 50 years ago saw in a lifetime.
  • In the U.S. our national happiness peaked sometime in the 1950s.
  • In the U.S., we spend 3–4 times as many hours shopping as our counterparts in Europe do.
  • Average U.S. house size has doubled since the 1970s.
  • Each person in the United States makes 4 1/2 pounds of garbage a day. That is twice what we each made thirty years ago.
  • For every one garbage can of waste you put out on the curb, 70 garbage cans of waste were made upstream to make the junk in that one garbage you put out on the curb.

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