Effects Of Consumerism On The Environment
Effects Of Consumerism On The Environment: When we hear the word “development”, we always think about it as a good thing. We always think about it as an indicator of a country’s prosperity, hence the terms “developing” and “developed” country.
But is this the case for Earth’s sustainability? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it does quite the opposite. The question is “how does consumerism affect the environment?”.
Let me further discuss the effects of consumerism to you, readers.
A Bit About Waster
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Now, let us continue with the blog about the effects of consumerism on the environment.
What Is Consumerism?
We will first discuss what consumerism is, in a more general term. Consumerism is the notion that increasing the consumption of goods and services equates to a better economy in a country. Just to add, in discussing what consumerism is, we get a further grasp on how negative its effects are to the environment.
This is where being a developed country comes into play. Generally, a country with many “consumer-class” people means the country is a well-developed one.
According to the United Nations Development Report’s Statistical Update, here are the top 10 countries based on their HDI (Human Development Index) ranking:
- Hongkong, China
Take note that HDI is used to measure a country’s human development, i.e., status, health, and education of people. Additionally, it measures the average achievement in a country based in certain dimensions of human development, then calculated into an index.
As a result, you might think that the more there are developed countries, the better. In contrast, it is not, especially to the environment.
Let me discuss why consumerism has negative effects on the environment.
Effects Of Consumerism On The Environment: Growing Problem
Due to the increasing number of developed countries and their consumerism rates, it is slowly showing destructive effects on our environment.
According to National Geographic, about 1.7 billion people now belong to the global “consumer class” – a group of people characterised by processed food diets, bigger houses, cars, debts, and lifestyles with the goal of accumulating more non-essential goods. Additionally, they all reside in developing countries.
Let us focus more on Western people, the culture which is more developed. As a result, it means that Western people experience greater negative effects of consumerism on the environment.
Inspired by a blog I read on Greentumble, here are some ways on how consumerism affects us and the environment:
- Global Inequality – it would not be too far-fetched if I said that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing bigger. One problem here is spending priorities. For example, 14.5 billion dollars was spent on cigarettes in Australia in 2017, while only 12.6 billion dollars a year is spent on meat, a necessity.
- Obesity – naturally, having a richer lifestyle means an increased possibility of over-consumption. In Australia, more than 2 million Australian men were considered obese in a 2014-2015 report.
- Increasing Demands – more people in Earth prospering means the need for more material consumption. Taken from the National Geographic blog: “Rising consumption has helped meet basic needs and create jobs,” Christopher Flavin, president of Worldwatch Institute said in a statement to the press. “But as we enter a new century, this unprecedented consumer appetite is undermining the natural systems we all depend on, and making it even harder for the world’s poor to meet their basic needs.”
Read more: See blog on waste management recycling.
Most waste and pollution comes from commercial and industrial processes. The more consumerism booms, the more products and materials are produced.
This cycle starts with the drawing out of materials here on Earth. The extracted materials, such as fossil fuels, water, metals, and wood, are then processed and sold into the market. The cycle then ends with the disposal of the materials utilised.
Having read all of these, let us cite an example, specifically about cars. It is not rocket science to think that cars are one of the main causes of pollution. As a result, a dramatic increase in cars means trouble for the environment. It would mean that there would be an increase in pollution, traffic, and usage of fossil fuels.
Did you know that automobiles account for nearly 30 per cent of the world’s energy consumption and 95 per cent of global oil consumption? That just shows that an increase in cars means an increase in valuable resource consumption and pollution.
Effects Of Consumerism On The Environment: Solution
A solution that anyone can do to minimise the effects of consumerism on the environment would be to live a simple life.
Buy only what you need in healthy amounts. Do not overspend and overconsume on resources. Additionally, know that happiness does not come from mere possessions and consumptions.
Also, keep in mind that fewer resources consumed means reducing pollution in the environment.
As the population of Earth grows, it is a must to find ways on how to make the Earth more sustainable. By doing so, we give ourselves a more comfortable Earth to live in our lifetime and maintain it for our children to live in.
Waster On Consumerism Effects On The Environment
Here at Waster, we are advocates of a sustainable Earth. As a result, we provide waste management services to divert recyclable waste from going to landfill.
Take a look at our waste recycling shop and learn our pricing and services offered.
Read more: See blog on landfill Australia.