According to WWF, to create economic growth and cater to the needs of material consumption, we are using 50% more natural resources than the Earth can support. Our planet has already lost 80% of its forest, while more than 1.2 billion tons of coal are burned every year. This exhaustion of the earth’s resources is taking a heavy toll on the health of the planet and humans, and will affect generations to come—posing a fundamental threat to the environment, species and people’s livelihoods.
The causal relationship between environment and personal health affects our daily lives. The combined impact of rapid environmental, social, and technological changes is creating unnecessary stress to our physical and mental health, as well as the spreading of infectious diseases. The future of humanity depends on ensuring the health and resilience of our planet, which requires a fundamental mindset shift to focus more on a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Documentary: Death by Design
Consumers love – and live on – their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer, and five billion people will own a mobile phone.
But this revolution has a dark side, hidden from most consumers. In an investigation that spans the globe, filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the electronics industry and reveals how even the smallest devices have deadly environmental and health costs. From the intensely secretive factories in China, to a ravaged New York community and the high-tech corridors of Silicon Valley, the film tells a story of environmental degradation, health tragedies, and the fast approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.
In this session, we will watch Sue William’s film Death by Design, and engage with her on a discussion about the impact of modern consumer lifestyle on the Earth’s ecosystem.