Environment Pollution and Consumerism in Society

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What a person buys has a much greater effect on the world than what they might think. For instance, Europeans spend $11 billion on ice cream (Greentumble, 2018, para. 4). With this much money every person can get an education, twice. (Greentumble, 2018, para. 4). Big houses, brand-name clothes, the latest technology, and luxury vehicles. These are all examples of what a person in our society might want. It is also an example of over consumerism. Over consumerism is owning an excess of products that an individual wants but does not need (Becker, 2017, para. 3). This is a problem that negatively affects not only the environment, but each individual person and the world as a whole.

Societies over consuming spending habits are negatively affecting the environment. One way societies spending habits are affecting the environment is by polluting the air. For instance, in the United States of America there are more cars than licensed drivers (Mayell, 2018, para.10). Most people in today’s society have a car, but it is the over consuming that is the issue as cars and other transportation systems use only 30% of the world’s energy, but create 95% of world’s oil consumption (Mayell, 2018, para.11).

Pollution, caused by over consuming can then lead to other problems such as climate change. In fact, CO2 levels are higher than in the past 800 000 years starting this year, 2018, with the warmest year on record (Lu, 2018, para.8). Due to the over consuming in our society the demand for goods and services increase. In order to meet the demands, more fossil fuels will have to be burned and therefore more pollution will be created by companies that supply the goods and services to meet the demands.

Societies spending habits are also wasting, and damaging earth’s waters and the animals and plants living in the waters. For instance, farmers use 12 000 liters of water just to provide enough burgers for a family meal (Mayell, 2018, para.3). This is because water is needed to feed the livestock, grow their food, bathe them, wash the the blood, urine and faeces out of the flesh, and it is used as ice to keep meat cool (Mayell, 2018, para.2 ). Due to society’s spending habits products such as meat are high in demand, so we are starting to over use earth’s water supply. Water is also being affected by pollution.

In fact, 12 million tons of plastic enters the oceans each year (Greentumble, 2018, para. 15). Pollution from the air also leads to climate change which cause all sorts of problems. One major problem of climate change is that sea levels are starting to rise. This then creates flooding, water contamination, and waterborne diseases (Lu, 2018, para.7). Because of society’s spending habits people have a lot more than they need and the waste has nowhere to go, causing waters to become a landfill.

Society’s over consuming spending habits are not just affecting the earth’s air and water but also the land and the animals and plants living on them. For instance, 100 billion plastic bags are thrown away each year which kills about one billion birds and mammals (Lu, 2018, para. 9). Over consumerism also causes deforestation and drought. In fact, deforestation can kill up to 18 million acres of trees each year (Lu, 2018, para. 12). In addition, 80 percent of all animals’ habitats are being affected by deforestation (Nationalgeographic.com, 2018, para.6).

Deforestation also damages earth’s soil . This is because there would be no trees left to filter the soil leaving it to become filled with dangerous chemicals and pollutants (Naseem, 2011, para.4). Due to society’s spending habits, there is a large demand for goods and services. To meet the demands of goods and services, companies are using more of earth’s resources than we are able to replenish them which causes issues like those stated above and it leads to large amounts of waste.

Society’s spending habits and over consumerism can also affect an individual’s overall well being in many ways. One way a person’s spending habits can affect them is by damaging their physical health. For instance, over consumerism can affect your physical health by causing obesity. In fact, in the United States of America alone, obese people spend 250 dollars more on medical care than the average person (10 Facts On Obesity, 2017, para.1). Obesity then leads to other problems such as heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, diabetes, ect.

Obesity is a symptom of consumerism because consumerism leads to long work hours and when a person has long work hours they tend to eat out more or eat fast food or quickly make frozen food (Is Consumerism Making Us Unhappy, 2012, page 1). Due to over consumerism, companies will use cheaper and unhealthy ingredients to meet the high demand of frozen or fast food that can be quickly made causing obesity and other health problems.

Spending habits can also have a negative effect on an individual’s financial well being. For instance, the average American has 15 799 in credit card debt and owns 3.5 credit card (Becker, 2017, para 8). This is because of the idea that a person has to live an ideal lifestyle and try to fit in. People learn these ideals from the internet, peers and the media. In fact,“Individuals are spending about 10 percent of their income each month paying non mortgage debts including auto loans, credit cards, personal and student loans.” (Konish, 2018, para.8). Because of over consumerism people start comparing what they have to what others have and try to gain new goods to fit ideals even if it is out of their financial reach.

Over consumerism can affect a person’s mental health. For instance, 20 million people in the United States of America are addicted to shopping (Gaita, 2015, para.1). Addiction is an example of a mental disorder an individual might have but there are also other ones such as depression, stress, anxiety, and self esteem issues (Is Consumerism Making Us Unhappy, 2012, page 1). The physical and financial effects of over consumerism can then lead to a negative mental health because being in debt can cause stress and being overweight can cause self esteem issues. Due to over consumerism people compare what they have to what others have, creating these mental disorders such as self esteem issues and depression.

Over consuming is affecting people all around the world. For instance, over consumerism is creating a larger gap between the rich and poor (Greentumble, 2018, para.3). For instance, in 2005, 59 percent of the world resources were consumed by the richest ten percent and 0.5 percent of the world’s resources were consumed by the poorest 10 percent (Greentumble, 2018, para.3). Because we are consuming more than we need the richer are getting richer but the poor aren’t gaining anything. According to Greentumble, “Just US $6 billion would provide basic education worldwide. Another $22 billion would give every person on the planet access to clean water, basic health services, and sufficient nutrition” (2018, para.4).

Over consumerism is also preventing us from reducing child labour in our world. In fact, 152 million children are in child labour industries (Child Labour, n.d. para.6). Some of the major products that use child labour are products that are often used in our society. An example of this is chocolate. This is because cocoa farmers make about $2 each day so as result, they use child labour to make there prices cheaper for competition. (Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry. (n.d.) para.3). Due to over consumerism companies look for cheaper and faster ways to make their products because of the high demand.

In conclusion, the environment your overall well being and the world are all being affected because of society’s over consuming spending habits. Society’s spending habits will negatively impact your physical and mental health, earth’s air ,water and land, and people all over the world. People in today’s society can help the environment, the world and each individual by reducing, reusing, and recycling. We can also start by bringing awareness to this issue of over consumerism in our world.

Cite this paper

Environment Pollution and Consumerism in Society. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/environment-pollution-and-consumerism-in-society/



How are consumerism and environmentalism related?
Consumerism and environmentalism are related in that consumer choices can have a significant impact on the environment, and environmental concerns can influence consumer behavior and purchasing decisions.
How does consumerism affect society negatively?
Consumerism can have negative effects on society, such as encouraging people to spend beyond their means, creating a throw-away culture, and contributing to environmental damage.
How much does consumerism affect the environment?
Consumerism has a significant impact on the environment. It is responsible for the pollution of air, water, and land, and the depletion of natural resources.
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