What is natural resource consumption?
Almost everything we do involves materials that have been extracted, processed, transformed, bought and sold, taxed and subsidised, and often shifted across vast distances.
Our economy is built around these raw materials – natural resources – like trees, gas, oil, metal ores, water and fertile land. Look at your smartphone. It likely contains cobalt from Africa, copper from Chile and aluminium from Australia.
Over the years, our appetite for raw materials has grown – from 1970 to 2010 our natural resource consumption more than tripled. But overconsumption worsens climate breakdown and increases air pollution. It exhausts the planet's life support systems like the ones that provide us with fresh water, and leaves us short of materials critical to our health and quality of life.
Fresh water reserves, fish stocks and forests are shrinking, many species are under threat of extinction and fertile land is being destroyed.
So what should we do?
Plastic sticks around in the environment for ages, threatening wildlife and spreading toxins. Plastic also contributes to climate breakdown...
Almost all plastics are made from chemicals that come from the production of planet-warming fuels (gas, oil and even coal).
Our reliance on plastic therefore prolongs our demand for these dirty fuels. Which is why we're working with other organisations to reduce plastic across all sectors, from supermarkets to stadiums.
We need to end our reliance on extractive fossil fuel industries.
Here in the UK, we've got colossal renewable energy resources like wind, wave and solar to help us lower our climate-changing emissions.
What's more, with the right investment by government, the transition to renewable energy could create thousands of jobs.