Our Consumption Model Is Broken. Here’s How To Build A New One.
Ali El Idrissi

I realize this is intended as propaganda for a good cause rather than reporting, but there are some problems here. Many of these resources are not globally fungible in the way these computations pretend. For example, as a New Yorker my water consumption is strictly from quickly recycled surface water that replaces itself in 2–3 years. Using less of it here will do nothing for folks in arid climates dependent on mining deep groundwater. It will simply flow unused down the rivers to the sea. So when I wash dishes I let the tap run, which would be stupid in California or Australia.

As another example, the scourge of over-packaging of consumer products has zero to do with consumer demand and everything to do with choices made by suppliers. NYC is not self-sufficient in food (obviously) so except for the tiny amount brought in to greenmarkets, we are absolutely dependent on other people’s packaging choices. Being an informed consumer helps not at all.

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