Monday, 12 November 2012

Preparing India for a consumer wave

A recent article in The Hindu highlights the environmental dangers of consumerism.  The article highlights the problem that invariably accompanies consumption, that of garbage disposals.  Well documented, the author points to the issues in the USA, notably its largest landfill, Puente Hills outside Los angeles.


What started off as  landfill (a hole in the ground) is now a towering 500-foot high hill of trash.  The refuse of nearby civilization, and growing.  The problems are diverse, from escalating production of trash to containment of the toxic substance oozing into the ground and contaminating the underground water resources.  It is a man-made natural disaster in the making.

Furthermore, the article points out that recent trends in educating the masses in the need of recycling is not really addressing the problem, for the majority of trash is a direct consequence of industry's calculated strategy to push consumption to its extremes.  One of the biggest contribution being technology's built in obsolescence, a design feature of modern consumer technology to ensure a shorter life-time of the object and therefore force the consumer to purchase evermore newer models, as this short movie highlights.

The original documentary, by German film maker Cosima Donnitzer can be viewed in this post.  However, as a note of optimism, all problems come with opportunities, as this report from Puente Hills shows, trash decomposition is also a source of alternative energy.

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