I have a bad habit of buying too much junk, which I really don’t need. These days I am a lot better at curbing this impulsive waste, but it takes a lot of will power.
When Michael and I first started going out, I found toy plastic bath boats at the shop and I felt they would make the perfect present for him. There wasn’t an occasion that called for a present and he certainly didn’t need toys made for a five year old. I just thought it would be funny to give them to Michael. He did think it was funny and these days they sit next to the bath. Michael has even been known to put them in his bath. But if I was considering my consumption, I should never have bought them.
Michael returned the favour of giving seemingly useless presents by giving me a laughing pig for my birthday. You touch its stomach and it laughs, very loudly. He said it’s my new study buddy. When I’m bored of studying I can have a break with the laughing pig. Every time it laughs, I laugh too, so it will actually improve my state of mind. It was a well thought out present after all. Although it’s a bit too loud to take to my (shared) office at Curtin, I can use it when I’m doing work at home.
The Australian Conservation Foundation knows I buy too much stuff and developed a Consumption Atlas which shows the average greenhouse pollution created by households in a suburb or state of Australia.
The Atlas shows that the more things people buy, the greater their contribution to climate change.
People living in Australia’s wealthiest metropolitan areas are responsible for the country’s highest household greenhouse pollution based on their levels of consumption of goods and services. And where I live is part of that, with the average consumption 7.73 hectares, higher than WA’s state average (7.32 hectares) and the national average (6.4 hectares). I’m going to have to try harder to curb my consuming.
The Consumption Atlas is based on research by the University of Sydney’s Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis and was assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.