Today’s society faces global warming and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, fast depletion of the earth's natural resources, unacceptable levels of waste, rainforest decimation and endangered species. The reasons for this are complex and interlinked but together they have combined and created an unsustainable world in which to live.
Some contributory factors to the current environmental state are:
- The consumer boom of the second half of the 20th Century.
- Over-consumption of products and energy resources by the consumer and industry.
- Industrialisation and the creation of the wealthy Western world which has engendered a "throwaway society" where it seems acceptable to discard products when broken or even in full working order in favour of a new replacement.
- Manufacturers and clever advertising promote a lifestyle and encourage us to upgrade and/or replace appliances more often than is sometimes necessary.
- An influx of cheap, disposable products has provided the consumer with choice but at great environmental cost and very often the retail price of a product does not reflect the true environmental cost of production.
- More availability of products from all over the world brought to our doorstep, free market trade and globalisation.
- High rates of obsolescence of electrical and consumer goods.