Costa Rica Week 5: Consumerism

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Consumerism

One of the class I took in Costa Rica is Sustainable Consumption and Production. There were a few lessons I took away from this class which are, I am oblivious and privilege.

Almost every day in class we watched a small clip on sustainability of different industries, the chocolate industry, cotton industry, or agriculture industry. Most of these videos took place outside of the United States. It revealed the work conditions, environmental impacts, and economic profits.

To begin, these industries have practices that are detrimental to the environment. Production of goods is usually done on a massive scale which deletes the resources exponentially. The cotton, chocolate, and agricultural industries pollutes the environment. Water is undrinkable, air is not breathable, and land is not livable or many organisms.

In addition, workers are not paid enough because of added value. In the chocolate industries, the worker can be young children because of child labor, human trafficking, etc. Once the cacao is shipped overseas and made into chocolate, the profit goes to the people who made the product.

It’s hard to believe that many parts of the world live like this. As an American I am constantly consuming and yet never question where it comes from. The fact of the matter is that humans and animals all live on planet earth and use the resource of the earth. There are finite resources in which we can use. If one starts taking more from the earth it leaves little for others. When a country decides to take more, they are stealing from others. That to me was the hard to swallow.