Global resource consumption has increased 10-fold since 1900, and Americans now use an estimated 88 kilograms of goods per day, with modern gadgets requiring some 60 different elements in their manufacturing. This has led to a boom in mining, especially for rare earth materials that are used in technology such as computers. Meanwhile, our gadget lust is forcing us to develop more unconventional and costly resources, which generate significant amounts of waste. To produce the same amount of ore as 100 years ago, for example, companies must now process three times as much total mining material.
Written by Antonia Sohns » Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity
(photo: People on Black Friday in Seattle via Flickr, Michael Holden)