Skip to content

How consumerism affects the environment

Did you know that consumerism, indirectly, is the biggest problem that affects the environment? The more we consume, the more natural resources are extracted from the planet and, in fact, 50% more natural resources are being extracted today than 30 years ago. And it not only increases the use of resources, but also increases the generation of waste and pollution. If we continue with the current rate of consumption, we would need 3 planets like Earth to continue supplying us. It is up to us to direct our lifestyle towards responsible consumption, which conserves natural resources and their quality.

If you want to know how consumerism affects the environment , continue with this reading, because this EcologiaVerde article will show what are the consequences of consumerism on the environment and some examples of consumerism.

  1. What is consumerism and its causes
  2. How consumerism affects the environment – consequences
  3. Loss of water quantity and quality
  4. Soil modification and contamination
  5. Deforestation, one of the most serious consequences of consumerism on the environment
  6. Air pollution
  7. Biodiversity loss
  8. How to be a responsible consumer – tips

What is consumerism and its causes

Consumerism is reflected in the abusive acquisition of products , which are not always necessary to meet the vital needs of the human being. Next, the causes of consumerism will be shown :

  • Policy: policies that do not promote responsible consumption.
  • Economic system : the capitalist system is based on production to offer goods and services in the market.
  • Globalization: allows products to move globally, breaking with territorial limits. This means that we can all obtain products that are manufactured anywhere on the planet, therefore, demand increases and with it production and consumerism. Therefore, globalization has its good side and its bad side, both for society and for the planet.
  • Social causes: the need of the population to acquire products that give a certain social status or to think that acquiring a product is a source of happiness.
  • Marketing and advertising: through marketing and advertising an attempt is made to increase the consumption of products, for this they use advertisements and campaigns that give value to a product, creating the need for the consumer to obtain it to satisfy themselves and this, sometimes, happens even though you don’t really need it.
  • Fashion: for a time a product takes on great value thanks to the marketing and advertising it has, and this product is loved by the entire population. In the end, this value is momentary, because after a certain time another similar product will be sold, but with some improvement or novelty and, as a consequence, the new one will begin to be acquired by the population.
  • Programmed obsolescence: through this, the useful life of a product is programmed so that it loses its functionality and cannot be repaired, with the consequence of having to acquire another. Learn more about What is planned obsolescence in this other post.
  • Financing: the incitement to consumption is so great that the option of financing is chosen so that people who cannot purchase a product at the moment because they cannot pay for it in one go, have the “advantage” of being able to purchase it by paying it in comfortable deadlines. This is a great thing for products that are really necessary to cover vital functions, but the problem is that it has been used in society for a long time to cover the cost of buying products that are not and thereby promotes production. massive.

How consumerism affects the environment – consequences

The abusive consumption in the environment , extracting its resources, is increasing and there are many arguments against consumerism that can be given due to the impact they have on the environment. These are some of the consequences that the environment is suffering.

  • Loss of water quantity and quality.
  • Soil contamination.
  • Alteration of the soil.
  • Deforestation.
  • Air pollution.
  • Biodiversity loss.

These negative consequences of consumerism for the environment are explained below .

Loss of water quantity and quality

There is a loss of quantity and quality of water due to the dumping of waste in the water generated by many of the industries that operate at high levels due to consumerism. Likewise, this loss occurs due to all the garbage that reaches rivers and seas due to the irresponsibility of people when throwing it in places not suitable for it or due to spills of oil and other substances. All this waste is generated in a very large quantity due to the high level of consumerism that exists today.

We recommend you read this other article about the Causes and consequences of water pollution .

Soil modification and contamination

The soil ends up being polluted due to the accumulation of garbage due to not having a good urban garbage collection management, the use of herbicides and pesticides in intensive agriculture or the extraction of minerals to obtain new raw materials that will end up being part of some product. All these are activities related to consumerism that affect the environment, but we cannot leave behind all those constructions that modify the ground to offer new homes or hotels.

In this link you can see more information about Soil Pollution: causes, consequences and solutions .

Deforestation, one of the most serious consequences of consumerism on the environment

The massive deforestation affecting the environment is caused by the need for raw materials in huge quantities , such as wood or soil , to produce more products or build. In addition, it is also done to clear the area to exploit it through livestock and intensive agriculture satisfying the demand at a global level. This means that, for example, soy that is grown intensively in Argentina, reaches Europe.

Learn more about this topic with this other post on the Causes of deforestation .

Air pollution

Air pollution is caused by various pollutants and from different sources, but an example is the increase in CO2 emissions and pollutant particles to produce energy from the burning of fossil fuels, which will serve the production processes of many of the products that will enter the market to supply current levels of consumerism.

We encourage you to read this other article about the Types of air pollution .

Biodiversity loss

Industries are usually built on the outskirts of urban centers, causing this to affect the fauna and flora that inhabit those areas. In addition, the construction of housing for the tourism sector in natural areas is also a threat. In short, consumerism causes us to spend a large amount of natural resources , overexploiting them, and also later we dump more garbage in nature, so this directly affects living beings in different places, causing a serious loss of biodiversity .

We recommend you take a look at this other article to learn more about the Loss of biodiversity, its causes and consequences .

How to be a responsible consumer – tips

To be a responsible consumer , above all, we must be aware of our consumption habits and the impact they have on the environment. Here are some tips to become responsible consumers and alleviate the effects of consumerism:

  • Avoid single-use products, that is, to use and to throw away. These are usually used when we celebrate a birthday, for convenience we resort to this type of product that, in addition, cannot be recycled.
  • Betting on traditional markets, many of the food we consume could be bought in bulk. Buying in bulk reduces the generation of new waste, since this way of buying does not need new packaging, since we can reuse it every time we go to buy.
  • Buy a product really when they are needed.
  • When an object, appliance or technological device breaks, first see if it can be repaired before opting to acquire a new one.
  • Using the waste that can be used to create new products based on design and imagination, this process called Upcycling is increasingly well known, and it is definitely a way to reuse.
  • Stop buying clothes compulsively, thus avoiding CO2 emissions and the waste of water.
  • Reduce meat consumption and opt for locally sourced or organic foods.
  • Make efficient use of water and energy.

Here we leave you more information about What is responsible consumption and below you can see two videos from our YouTube channel about being a responsible consumer and another about the environmental impact of excessive consumption.

If you want to read more articles similar to How consumerism affects the environment , we recommend that you enter our category of Other ecology .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *