Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Debunking the "Third World Myth"

A very instructional and enlightening video <20mins which talks about our misconceptions about the "third world" (not so politically correct any more) or "developing nations" in their relation to more "developed nations".  I liked the message of this video in which Dr. Rosling is saying it's really just one world and using the mindset of "us" and "them" might not be so valid anymore.  I am from Canada and this is, generally speaking, I feel is still a dominant mindset among the general population. 

Why is this important to families? Aside from teaching children about acceptance, compassion and understanding of different cultures, greening a family has social considerations. For example, in my post on March 10 - The Story of Stuff, video host Annie Leonard explains why we are able to buy consumer items so cheaply. It's because often the labor used to produce them is outsourced to "developing nations" where in some (many?) cases, the price of the product does not accurately reflect the true cost to society and the environment.  (I will examine this in further detail in later posts but what is important today is the social costs that are not included.)

Were the workers fairly paid?
Were their working hours fair?
Do they have safe working environments?
Are they under-aged? (child workers)

This is an area that will begin to have more and more focus on it in coming years - with more detailed information available to consumers so we can make informed choices. I know it's not that easy right now!

For now, if you'd like an engaging review of changing perceptions around social sustainability aspects please watch!

Tracy Lydiatt
The Green Families Guru

No comments:

Post a Comment