Now that we've enjoyed Thanksgiving and thought about what we're thankful for, it's time for shopping! Sometimes we shop for things we need, or things we've been saving up for and have wanted to a long time. But a lot of times we buy things we didn't really need or want. I'll admit it -- I've done it. So let's go into this holiday buying season a little more conscious of what really makes us happy and how we can save resources along the way. I thought this was the perfect time to show some comparisons of our spending, compiled by Miller and Spoolman in their textbook Living in the Environment (published in 2015 by Cengage Learning). This info is compiled from the UN, the WHO, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Earth Policy Institute, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and World Bank.
First, we'll look at the estimated expenditures per year needed to do the following:
- Reforest the earth -- $6 billion
- Protect the tropical forests -- $8 billion
- Stabilize water tables -- $10 billion
- Deal with global HIV/AIDS -- $10 billion
- Restore fisheries -- $13 billion
- Protect topsoil on cropland -- $24 billion
- Protect biodiversity -- $31 billion
- Provide basic health care for all -- $33 billion
- Provide clean drinking water and sewage treatment for all -- $37 billion
Seems like a lot of money. But here's a little comparison on expenditures per year on items we buy everyday (from the same source);
- U.S. dog food -- $39 billion
- U.S. potato chips and similar snacks -- $22 billion
- U.S. cosmetics -- $8 billion
Want to see what we're spending every second? Check out Retail in Real-Time to see what Americans are purchasing.