In most countries in the world we can’t seem to stop buying. Worldwide, about three quarters of us own at least one television set. There were 41 million new passenger vehicles in 2001, 5 times as many as in 1950. 91% of Americans consider a car a necessity and there are 3% of us who can’t live without an iPod.
To put things in perspective, globally we spend 18 billion dollars per year on makeup while a 10 billion annual contribution would help provide clean drinking water for all. We spend 14 billion on ocean cruises annually and it would cost just 5 billion more in funding for universal literacy.
Recognizing that we aren’t going to stop buying things, the Worldwatch Institute‘s Gary Gardner explains how we can consume more responsibly.