Often, it’s easy to lose sight of the impact that societal influences have on the current climate situation; one such societal influence is consumerism.
What is consumerism and how did society drift to this?
Consumerism refers to the desire to increase the acquisition and promotion of goods to consumers, and participating in consumerism can no longer be viewed in a vacuum.
Consumerism isn’t limited to simply buying household needs or investing in appliances. It’s vital to understand how it’s infiltrated itself into society and added to the idea of individualism.
Consuming goods can now be justified as an expression of individual preferences, style, or social status. Some of our prized possessions can be considered an extension of the self. For example, mobile phones are undoubtedly a useful tool, but it can be argued that they have grown into a personal item that represents who we are as individuals.
In addition, society has expanded its participation in “binge” culture. Disposable income fuels spending culture and consumerism, and the wealth of a nation typically affects its spending culture. Consumerism has grown also due to the convenience and accessibility of shopping, and this has facilitated the idea of impulse buying.
Buying objects for the sake of fulfilling trends can also explain how consuming goods can be connected to the idea of remaining in touch with social status.
How does consumerism contribute to the carbon footprint?
Although consumerism has infiltrated itself into society, it is by no means an innocent trend. Consuming goods at the all-time high rate as we now do negatively impacts the environment.
Everything that is purchased, starting from their resource extraction to their final disposal, impacts the environment. Consumerism contributes to the carbon footprint due to the carbon dioxide emissions that are involved in the production and distribution of goods. In addition, a large percentage of the goods purchased contain plastics, which are immensely difficult to recycle.
Online ordering, for example, involves increased packaging and fossil fuel burning for mail deliveries and order transports. Purchasing an item and having it delivered to your home can be done in just a few clicks.
This ease in ordering means that the significance of the environmental impact is easily shadowed by its convenience.
In order to lead more sustainable lifestyles, it’s important to not get swept up in the convenience and influence of consumerism.