The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Americans: Shop smart, don’t waste

By Mona Lisa Tucker/south news editor

America consumes food and other resources at an astronomical rate.

Following a long day of school and other responsibilities, I sat down at my desk in my living room to watch TV and enjoy some spicy chicken.

As I flipped through the channels, a scene of a mother and her three children mining for food in a massive Dumpster drew my attention.

The narrator said the family had been there for hours without anything to eat or drink. Words can’t describe how I felt when I watched the two children find and eat some tainted tamales. 

According to Mindfully.com, Americans account for 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 24 percent of the world’s energy.

If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate, four complete planets the size of Earth would be required.

We eat 815 billion calories of food each day, throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily and generate 52 tons of garbage by age 75.

The site also said reducing consumption without reducing use is a costly delusion.

Ecofuture.org said North Americans are by many measures the most successful people the world has ever known.

Our enormously productive economy affords us luxuries beyond the wildest dreams of previous generations.

Yet amid this affluence is evidence of a different story. Our rising standard of living has not always resulted in a higher quality of life.

Since 1940, Americans alone have used up as large a share of the earth’s resources as all previous generations put together.

Indeed, in many ways, our sense of well-being, both individually and collectively, has eroded because some people will steal, kill and destroy to achieve the so-called American dream.

Recently, I went through my children’s closets and once again found clothing and other things they weren’t using anymore, so we bagged and donated them.

It’s easy to forget how fortunate we are by taking our abundance for granted, so I plan to be more mindful and thankful for what I do own.

Our country has its faults and challenges, but for the most part, it is still considered a superpower.

However, we must do our part to preserve our resources before our dream becomes the earth’s nightmare.

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