The Effects of Mass Consumption
The costs of excessive consumption of the world’s resources are huge. Some resources are in finite supply and could simply run out. The vast amounts of energy required to drive the consumerist lifestyle of the developed world is producing large amounts of carbon dioxide which is having, and will continue to have, an extremely detrimental impact on the earth. Our constant demand for more is damaging the planet in countless ways. Precious agricultural land in the developing world is being used to grown so called cash crops such as coffee, tea, cotton and cocoa for the developed world, instead of being used sustainably to feed the local communities. The mass production of all our materialistic desires is using large amounts of energy, creating large amounts of pollution, and in many cases, exploiting many of the world’s poorest workers.
Towns and cities in the developed world generate huge amounts of waste. An increasing amount of this waste comprises of unnecessary packaging, which we have all become accustomed to, as well as items that we now consider to de disposable. Our evolving throw away society creates the perfect consumerist market. Everything is temporary and we constantly seek to replace items with ones that are bigger, better, faster, or even just newer. Interestingly, we seem to have lost all sense of where things come from and just where things are going when we throw them “away”. This “away” is a real place, probably not too far from where you live.
An additional cost of consumerism is that more and more people are becoming trapped on a vicious cycle. They are working increasingly long hours to earn more money to buy more things, which ultimately aren’t making them feel any happier. By demanding less and renouncing the materialistic society we would not have to work nearly as hard and so would have more time to enjoy life and more freedom to be happy.