Often, the harmful things we do to the planet are blamed on individuals. It was the person who started the fire in the first place or the individual who littered. Although they are contributing factors, it seems as if consumerism never gets a mention. The drive to buy and sell goods and make money in the process is clearly hurting the planet. Areas are destroyed (logging) and pollutants spread (oil) for the sake of the market.
Stopping consumerism isn’t the answer because it’s an immovable object. Still, there is no reason to let it hurt Mother Nature and destroy the earth for our grandchildren. Having the latest things and keeping up with trends is one thing, yet it doesn’t have to come at the expense of the planet.
We can do our bit to make sure our shopping bags are full and our consciences clear. These are the tips which will prevent humanity from destroying the environment at the expense of the almighty dollar.
North America is the biggest producer of beef with over 11 million tons sourced in 2014. As a whole, the world produces 68 million tons per year to keep carnivores happy. Relatively speaking, this is an increase of more than 100% since the 1960s. And, meat isn’t the only foodstuff which is at the mercy of the market because dairy products are too.
The reasons above are why veganism is on the rise. 3.2% of the adult population in the States consider themselves vegans, which is around 8 million people. The importance of cutting down on meat production is two-fold. Firstly, it will reduce the need to slaughter animals to sell in supermarkets. Secondly, there won’t be any reason to waste food on cattle which end up dying while humans starve. Finally, the level of methane production will drop rapidly.
All it takes is for us to resist the urge to eat a steak or a fillet of chicken and to opt for Quorn instead.
Stop Relying On Plastics
There will be some sort of plastic in use everywhere you look. Supermarkets are the main offenders as they use them in bulk. Think of the packaging of products. Without polymers, they wouldn’t keep as well and you wouldn’t be able to buy your favorite foods out of season. This is a complicated process, which is why we’ll leave it for now. However, only buying organic products is an excellent way to reduce demand.
There are other ways to do your bit consumerism-wise. For example, you can buy a bag-for-life rather than using throwaway carriers. Even though they charge, the couple of cents it costs isn’t enough to discourage people. Spend a buck on a thick plastic number and you’ll never have to worry about plastic pollution again.
Also, think about your habits in bars and restaurants. Do you like a straw? If you do, try and make it a reinforced paper one.
Join A Cause
The wildfires in California are big news because of the environmental impacts. There are 100+ million dead trees in the state which act as readymade kindling. Due to record high temperatures, fires are catching and spreading like a plague. Lawyers such as the ones at Walkup Melodia are trying to get the people responsible to accept liability.
Granted, you’re not an attorney and can’t fight the battle in the courtroom, but you can jump on the bandwagon. Lay people who raise awareness of negligence help experts hold businesses to account. The thing they hate more than anything is negative PR.
So, anybody with a blog or a Twitter account can teach the pushers of consumerism that there are consequences. They might want to destroy the planet to make a quick buck yet they’ll have to do it through the courts.
Think Before You Click
One quick click of a button and a product will be at your door within 24 hours. To get it there, companies need to unleash tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Without shipping companies, airliners and a team of drivers, there is no way to keep up with the level of demand.
Shoppers can do their part by thinking their purchase through. Because it’s a simple process, it’s tempting to trivialize it yet don’t forget the big picture. Increased consumerism leads to an unhealthy environment.
A basic but effective way to deal with consumerism is to ask: “Do you need these items or are you indulging?”