Gibbon Paragraph [Partington]

I recently read an article about the consumption of the United States in comparison to the consumption of the rest of the world. The article detailed the mass amounts of consumption in the United States that greatly overshadowed the consumption of all other countries. This article inspired me to reflect on my own consumption. As a college student, I try to keep my consumption to a minimum: I eat a primarily vegetarian diet, I take short showers, I don’t drive in San Diego (and when I am in a car I carpool), I live in a tiny dorm room with three other girls, and I try and buy recycled or reusable products when I can. A friend had told me about an online survey that tracks your consumption and tells you how many planets the population would need to be able to sustain your consumption. I decided to take the survey. After answering all the questions I proudly hit the submit button and awaited my results. The results were not what I expected. Our population would need 1.9 planets to sustain my level of consumption. I immediately felt very guilty. As someone who is passionate about climate change awareness and preservation of our planet, I felt extremely disappointed in myself. Although I am a consumer in the United States, comparing my level of consumption to that of my friends and family greatly scared me. My mother spends an hour every commuting to work and my sister eats meat with every meal. If the US were to decrease consumption we would all need to make large changes in the ways we live our lives. I have always been told that every little change you make in your lifestyle has an impact, but clearly these small changes aren’t enough.

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