Globalisation, buy cheap pay dear

When we hear the word Globalisation, many people associate it with ease, immediacy or brotherhood.

Reality can be very different.

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On April 24, 2013, a catastrophe occurred. The Rana Plaza building in Savar, an industrial suburb of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, collapsed, killing 1,127 people.

The day before, cracks had appeared inside the building, causing it to wobble enough for many workers to not return. An engineer called to inspect the building noticed that it was unsafe. The owner and the heads of the factory played down the issue and ordered the workers to return to their positions the next morning.

Homicide charges were recommended against the owners of the factory. It was also suggested that they had bribed the government to obtain construction permits. Corruption on the agenda as in the recent earthquake in Mexico last September 2017.

This event has drawn the attention of the entire world about the conditions of insecurity in textile factories in Bangladesh, the second largest exporter of clothing in the world, just after China. Bangladesh has more than 5,000 textile factories, with orders from almost all major brands and manufacturers around the globe. It has become a large export factory thanks to its low costs, due in part to the lowest wages globally in the textile industry. [1]

Events like this, fortunately, do not happen every day. But it shows us the greed of the big companies to maximize their profit over even the lives of their workers.

Zero Waste is for me?

Zero Waste is for me?​ We all have seen these kind of images that instead of making us sensitives, making us seeing those things normal

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But, what is globalisation?

The word ‘globalisation’ has the following meanings:

  1. The process enabling financial and investment markets to operate internationally, largely as a result of deregulation and improved communications.
  2. The emergence since the 1980s of a single world market dominated by multinational companies, leading to a diminishing capacity for national governments to control their economies.
  3. The process by which a company, etc, expands to operate internationally. [2]
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Globalisation is everywhere: in production, international trade and economy, technology, different cultures and the environment.

Food Globalisation

The trick is to not consume any of these brands, and it is possible. [3]

Monopolies or oligopolies, as in this case, limit us the power of decision, leaving everything in the hands of large corporations that control a wide range of brands, so you always end up buying them whatever you acquire.

Did you know that in 1960 there were not all these chemicals they sell us as food?

Why is there a “healthy food” aisle in supermarkets? So, what is the rest?

 Solutions! We love solutions:

  • Buy just neccesary
  • At local stores
  • Local products
  • Especially fresh, on season, healthy and organic products.

We have stopped consuming processed things. The only thing we buy at the supermarket is organic mustard and organic olive oil. Everything else is fruit, vegetables, and things in bulk (nuts, vinegar,…).

Food is also influenced by globalisation. To give an example -and this happens with many others-: Mexico. It is one of the main exporters, importers and consumers of chicken, beef, pork and turkey (turkey that does not produce), and it is a coming and going, and not only of live or packaged animals [4].

It is also of grains with all these animals are fed. Mexico produces enough white corn for human consumption, but the same is not true for yellow corn used for animals. United States thanks to Monsanto is the main producer of transgenic corn that “feeds” animals all over the world.

Taking into account this process that is far from being zero waste [5]:

  • 1 kg of meat requires 15,000 litres of water.
  • 1 kg of grains to feed these animals is 150 litres of water.
  • Damage cause by transgenic seeds to soil, animals and humans.

Is the solution to let Monsanto water its transgenic seeds around the world to “feed” the animals that people “feed” on? Surely there would be no famine if we use that grain to feed humans instead of feeding animals to feed us. It does not make sense, do not you think? Obviously we do not want transgenic grains to feed us, but we do not want them to feed the meat we are going to eat, do we?

Is the solution to stop making ill animals that make us sick? Is eating vegetables for poor people and eating meat for rich people? Or the solution is to realize that nothing happens to keep making dollar notes?

On the Fashion Industry

Source: Oxfam Australia.

An Oxfam report reveals that only 2% of the total price of a garment manufactured in Bangladesh and sold in Australia goes to the salary of the worker who made it, when on average all the clothes sold in Australia without specifying the country of origin, the manufacturer worker receives 4%.

This research carried out together with Deloitte estimates that if large companies pass on to consumers the cost of a living wage for workers, the increase in price would be only 1%.

Therefore, it is not surprising a 27 billions of dollars business in Australia [6] causes so much indignation for not wanting to provide only 1% to its true manufacturers -the workers- so they can have access to enough food, health, housing, education, … and ultimately a decent life.

Low cost has a price we do NOT pay

Now the companies are going to other Southeast Asian countries because in China they are implementing robots for production, which has increased costs.

In our opinion, why increase costs for a robot and not for a human? What will happen to all the workers? And with their families? We want them to have a decent job, not to be replaced by robots. What will happen when all those robots are garbage? And also, how many resources are being needed to make humanoid robots?

In environmental issues, producing one kilogram of linen textile (natural) needs 277 watt / hour, while one kilogram of nylon (plastic) textile needs 69,444 watt / hour.

Again it is important to see where we buy, but also what we buy.

On the Heavy Industry

What happens when in countries like Spain or the United States they close the automobile factories and reopen them in Asian or Latin countries because for these multinationals it is much more profitable to produce in places where labour is cheaper, or because the currency is cheaper, either because the country lives in a “dictatorial” regime – it does not have to be a pure and harsh dictatorship, it can be “democracy” – and it exploits its people with ridiculous salaries. Therefore, the profit margin of the company will be much higher than in its origin country.

The problem with this measure is that in countries where the economy is supposed to be developing due to the growth of their companies, the people are being pulled apart from their piece of cake. They do not get a job in this big company to improve their standard of living. It is, therefore, an illusion.

They tell us the country is in economic growth, but those who are really enlarging their pockets are the rich owners of these big corporations, since most of them do the same: go out to produce where the costs are much lower, at the cost of leaving their compatriots unemployed and exploiting the neighbours, so that their benefits of millions can keep on growing. grow.

For more information about it, it is highly recommended a Michael Moore’s documentary called Capitalism, a love story.

Each purchase is a vote, without demand there is no offer

On the Environment

Like everything in our world, political, social and economic changes, inventions, etc. are governed by wars, and environmental problems are not the exception.

At the end of the World War II, plastic was no longer exclusive to the army and began to be produced on a large scale. Since 1950 this massive production has generated 8,300 metric tons of plastic, of which 6,000 are already garbage and although they are not in use they are still on the planet.

If we count that factories work 24 hours with water, electricity, gas, besides that these same resources are needed to obtain raw material, to make molds and machinery, to make packaging, logistics, etc. All of this generates lots of carbon dioxide emissions.

CO2 is the main cause of greenhouse gas, damage of the ozone layer, melting of polar ice caps, increase in average temperatures, sea level rising; and without counting the contamination of water and soil, generated by all industries. Remember that companies migrate to countries where the laws are very fragile and do not have environmental laws where it is prohibited to pour chemicals into rivers, for example.

As Jane Milburn, author of the book Slow Clothing, says, there can not be infinite consumption in a finite world. And maybe the world “is not going to end”, but it is not fair that animals and ecosystems are extinguished just because of our lack of information and awareness.

Some countries are forced to overexploit their natural resources – as is the case of Mexico deforesting the state of Michoacan to export avocados to the United States – due to political pressures, debts with other countries or the lack of diversification of the countries that base the majority of its economy in a single product.

Advantages of the Globalisation

We can always turn a blind eye and just seeing the bright side of things:

  • The advance in medicine has been able to reach more people on the planet, thanks to globalization.
  • Transportation has become so much better too. Do you remember when traveling by plane was super elegant and you even had to wear your Sunday clothes? Now we get on with the most loose and comfortable clothes we can find in our closets.
  • Do you remember when you sent letters, or the phone booths in the streets, or when you could not use the internet because your mother was speaking with your aunt?
  • Being able to buy products anywhere in the world, thanks also to the Internet.

Choose the light side of Globalisation

With this post we do not mean we are not going to buy anything ever again, which is probably impossible – or at least unlikely -, but we can consume things knowing the process, the producer or the creator simply checking labels.

And not only consume organic cold pressed coconut oil because it is trendy, while we have monkeys exploited by dropping them off from palm trees.

Do not get overwhelmed, go step by step, but do not delay in acting.

The most important thing is to have the awareness that the solution is in our hands.

They tell us we do not do anything because many will remain the same, but many others have changed and that is how things are improving. And every day we are more.

Let’s buy only what we need. Let’s lend, give, rent, buy second-hand, share, give second lives to objects, let’s be part of a circular economy.

What is manufactured in China, India, Bangladesh, what is grown in Mexico, Peru, Australia, has repercussions throughout the world, and we are part of the problem, or the solution, with every action we take.

Thank you very much for reading until the end 😉 Leave us your opinion in the comments, be heard!

Resources

  1. Jim Yardley (May 22, 2013): Report on Deadly Factory Collapse in Bangladesh Finds Widespread. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/world/asia/report-on-bangladesh-building-collapse-finds-widespread-blame.html
  2. Globalization definition: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/globalization
  3. Oxfam (2013): Grow food, life, planet. Link: https://www.behindthebrands.org/
  4. Mexican Council of Meat, 2016 compendium. Link: http://infocarne.comecarne.org/compendio/visualizar?comp=9&componente=429
  5. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO-UN). (Santiago de Chile, March 22, 2012): http://www.fao.org/americas/noticias/ver/es/c/229495/
  6. Oxfam Australia (October 29, 2017): Poverty the real cost of fashion in Australia: Oxfam report. https://www.oxfam.org.au/media/2017/10/poverty-the-real-cost-of-fashion-in-australia-oxfam-report/

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This blog is written based on our experiences and knowledge we have got through the years.

Remember each body and home is unique and requires different times and solutions.

Beat the waste is a path of holistic transformation towards a minimalist and healthy life.