Depending on who you ask, about 30-50% of all Chinese goods bound for export are manufactured in Guangdong Province. And perhaps up to 70-80% of these good are bound for the United States. Guangdong, thus, has heavy air pollution due to this manufacturing base. Guangzhou, the Province’s capital city and where we live, will host the 2010 Asian Games in November. Why do I tell you all this? Apparently, all the Guangdong factories are anticipating a 2008 Beijing Olympics type shutdown in preparation for the Games in a effort to make the air clear. As a result, manufactures are increasing production NOW, and the air quality in GZ is absolutely terrible.
There are consequences to what we buy. And there are consequences to buying cheap goods, which often fail to reflect environmental harm in their price due to limited environmental protection laws. Buy local goods, buy things that will last for years, and ask yourself if you really need that thing.