Consumerism is a threat to the planet. By making informed and responsible decisions as consumers, we can make a change
By Thais Lopez Vogel
Consumerism has become a characteristic of the world we live in. However, behind the fascination with shopping and the acquisition of goods lies a problem that directly affects our present and future well-being: climate change.
When we produce consumer goods, we must remember this has an impact on our natural resources and greenhouse gases are emitted. Producing and consuming responsibly is a crucial goal.
One example is the fast fashion industry, which produces clothes at a dizzying pace to meet market demands.
In an interview for our website, fashion designer Mila Miskovic of Syrena Swimwear explained the problem. According to her, younger generations like to change their clothes daily and weekly. “They take a few quick photos for social media and then move on to the next thing. Fast fashion is the new way of living a fast-paced life with rapid changes.”
This translates to large quantities of products, more factories producing, and consequently, a greater negative environmental impact. The fast obsolescence of fashion leads to the disposal of tons of clothing, which ends up in landfills.
In an article signed by journalist Johani Carolina Ponce for the climate news website Huella Zero, a warning is raised about the issue of athletic footwear: they contain up to 65 components, many of which are plastics, petroleum derivatives, and chemicals. Additionally, disassembling them for recycling their parts is challenging, and their second-hand usage is minimal due to hygiene reasons.
In situations such as these shoes, it is recommended to take care of them by seeking repairs to prolong their lifespan and supporting brands that manufacture quality products designed to last a long time. Also, choose those that use recycled or sustainable materials.
Another example is the Stanley containers for carrying drinks. These handy containers help eliminate single-use plastic beverage bottles. Moreover, they have a long lifespan, making them a very useful item for a practical and sustainable routine.
However, buying numerous units of the product contradicts these advantages. Its manufacturing and distribution, like any commodity, has an impact on the environment. And like any other consumer good, we must be aware of this, so as not to acquire more than necessary.
The same goes for vehicles. While the growing market for electric cars is starting to make a significant difference, it’s also unnecessary to make an impulsive decision to trade in your ride. This could, in a way, contribute to unnecessary consumption as well.
If you are a conscientious consumer and also concerned about the environment, you have likely made a good decision when purchasing the car you currently own. The automotive industry has made great strides in recent years to manufacture vehicles with increasingly efficient fuel consumption.
So, if your car is relatively new and in good condition, you can probably keep it for a while longer while you plan a future purchase of an electric or hybrid car.
In short, addressing the issue of excessive consumerism is key to tackling the climate crisis. This involves a fundamental shift in our mindset and habits.
Consumers play a vital role in making informed decisions about their purchases, opting for products that are durable, recyclable, and manufactured using responsible practices.
The choice is in our hands, let’s exercise our power as aware consumers.