Scientists show that products made in China are associated with significantly higher carbon dioxide emissions than the same products made elsewhere. The researchers attribute China’s high emissions intensity — the quantity of CO2 emitted per dollar of goods produced — to the nation’s antiquated manufacturing processes and reliance on coal.
So in addition to human rights abuses in China with unfair pay, conditions, and treatment of resources, there is also this-more carbon emissions due to old-fashioned processes. It is amazing, isn’t it? That we get cheap China goods but at a tremendous and unsustainable cost.
I have to say that most of the goods from China I have bought have failed. Things produced in Hong Kong/Japan seem to be much better but still have issues like the PS4 or other electronics. I haven’t seen any country that has the corner on quality with the possible exception of things from Sweden. I had a cheap watch from Sweden that worked great as a kid, and I have a few tools that have worked very well as well. Have you found one country’s goods to be more reliable than others?
So if we care about the environment the decision is clear. We should boycott Chinese-made goods and attempt to buy things that are made sustainable as possible. I have been very impressed with many environmental materials like bamboo. I bought a bamboo cutting board that has stood up extremely well and was very affordable. It looks nicer than any wood/plastic board I have used. I have seen bamboo also in some cars. Rather than cut down rare woods they are using something that is quickly and easily grown. Bamboo is even starting to come out in kitchen tools like a stirring stick and other things. I don’t need one now, but when it’s time to replace the one I have, it will be my first choice.
Looking at options for environmental purchasing doesn’t mean an automatic penalty in quality, cost, or durability. In fact, many alternative materials seem to be superior. I shared before about my environmental socks which are the softest and longest-lasting socks I have ever used. There are many examples of things that are cheaper, environmentally and last longer. Is it worth your time and money to invest in researching these options? For me, the answer is yes.