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PBS Affluenza Documentary
Student Worksheet

This documentary, published by PBS, is a great way to introduce the topic of overconsumption. Most environmental science students identify overpopulation as a main cause behind many of the issues we face today. However, the consumption rates between developed countries, such as the United States, and developing countries, such as India, are a much more important factor. Consumerism, commercialism, and materialism have become almost inescapable parts of our society, but this documentary explores the forces that have caused this cultural shift, and discusses what we can do to resist it.

Essential concepts: Environmental economics, environmental ethics, overconsumption, resource use, developing countries, developed countries.

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