One thing I haven’t completely conceptualized globally is the consumerism that we see in the United States. I knew that this mass production was out of our means and that it was having damaging effects on the Earth, but I never knew it affected other countries as much. I remember in class my professor displayed a graphic that showed if every country consumed as much as the United States alone, we would need 5 planets to sustain that much consumption. That amazed me! I knew we consumed so much here, I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen a “$500 SHEIN Haul” on Tiktok or Youtube. And SHEIN is, well, arguably the worst fast fashion place to shop from around. But, then again, I may be surprised by some of the big stores out there that have been able to hold their reputation. It wouldn’t surprise me if Nike, or some other big brand, was actually worse.
All in all, our consumerism has devastating effects on other countries, and we simply don’t care enough to stop or take any prevention measures. Our consumerism causes deforestation in Africa that increases their risk for malaria infections. “Deforestation contributes to other environmental concerns, including global climate change and biodiversity loss. Additionally, the felling of trees impacts human well-being, especially as deforestation is linked
to furthering malaria vulnerabilities in a wide range of studies.” This directly ties back to the climate change discussion, because deforestation is a huge issue. And when the US comes into Africa and takes their land and cuts down forests, many people are forced to relocate which causes even more deforestation. The US is using their land, and killing them in the process by making these areas at an increased risk for malaria. There are other environmental factors that lead to increased malaria risk and time and time again the US and other wealthy white nations have not cared about the long-lasting effects they are ensuring in these countries.
With all of this being said, please, consume less. Thrift as much as you can, make the decision everyday to be more sustainable. We cannot live on this Earth with this much consumption, and WE are the problem. It’s costing lives, and it will come back to us soon.