Yesterday, the Harker Green Team hosted a talk by environmental educator Keshet Miller, who spoke to students about consumption and waste disposal, and how they affect the lives of people in vulnerable parts of the world.
Miller has led educational trips to places such as Indonesia, where communities that rely on fishing are increasingly dealing with waste from other countries disrupting their way of life. As waste makes fish populations sick or less edible, communities are forced to find alternative food sources.
Much of the blame for the creation of waste, Miller said, rested on large companies that generate profits through consumption. To fuel consumption, companies frequently create products that are meant to fail and be replaced, a principal commonly known as planned obsolescence. People are further motivated to consume by a society that places a high value on one’s ability to purchase many products.
She also touched on the limits of personal habits and lifestyles in making a more sustainable society, noting that major policy changes, community monitoring, economic change and education are all crucial to ensure the continued habitability of the planet.