Because the United States has so many resources that it often simply doesn’t occur to the citizens that other coutries can’t afford to have this much stuff. Our GDP is at the level of several other major countries combined, which gives us a skewed perspective as to what we can actually afford.
I hope this helped!
The United States also has a lot of freedom, much more than most other countries…so more companies can go into business. We have plentiful land, an abundance of resources, and an incredible amount of selection. These things combined give a sense of no limitation, so people tend not to use things sparingly. Society has an outlook for the latest and greatest, not really valuing what you already have.
The United States also is an ahistorical country. Bigger is always better, and to make something better, something must be newer. So, think all of the buildings that have been torn down and replaced or built over with something bigger or more futuristic. That contributes to waste, too.
I don’t think it is true to say that we use more of EVERYTHING than ANY other country. While our overall oil consumption is incredibly high, our per capita consumption is actually only 5th in the world. Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar all consume more oil per person than the US according to 2004 numbers. Even though we have countless fast food burger joints, we are not even the world’s leader in beef consumption. We do have a high average 43.8kg per person (in 2006) but come in a distant second to Argentian which consumes 65.2kg per person annualy. Lastly, we are not even the largest generator of CO2 per capita. In 2006 the US was ranked 9th in CO2 emissions.
So, while I think I have shown that we cannot say that we are the largest consumers of everything, we still have a long way to go to become a sustainable and responsible country. Because we are not a developing nation it is unacceptable that we only recycle up to 6% of our plastics. It would be great if we could change from a culture of consumerism and disposable products, to having only two TVs per household and one car rather than two cars with two TVs each and 5 or more TVs in the home.
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