The world we live in wasn’t designed for how rapidly we’ve become consumers, and you don’t need to be a hippie to realize this. Our Earth's natural resources which took 200 million years to create are being rapidly depleted and rates of recycling aren’t even close to being able to solely rely on the recycling of goods.
When did this start to happen? In the last century sadly. Why? Because corporate America decided what’s best for business is to turn us into consumers, creating marketing and products that we “must” have, despite surviving for thousands of years without them. In one aspect this was a very smart business model, create in consumers a ingrained need to consume more and more stuff, pretty smart eh!
A honest ad? Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
So why do we give in? Because we are told to, the seed has been planted in our minds from very young that we need to keep up with everyone else, and having something which merely works isn’t good enough, we have to have the best of something! We are puppets in a money making game for the corporations.
I bet most of you don’t believe this, you like to see yourself as small consumers and think you don’t partake in it. I challenge that and will make a broad statement that you ARE what they’ve created. How many of us wait until our mobile phones no longer work to replace them? Nobody I know. We “upgrade” because we “need” the faster, better technology.
It’s the same with everything. One major impact to the consumerism culture happened when analogue TVs went out and digital came in. Analogue TVs are fine, all you need is a digital set top box, however when the analogue signal was turned off most people went and bought a new TV instead. As a result analogue TVs are give aways nobody wants. Why do we need a crisper picture? Because we’ve been told we do, fact is we don’t, we were able to see what was going on just fine beforehand!
Cars are another perfect example of this, I’ve known in my life only one family who kept their cars until they completely died to replace them, everyone else seems to “upgrade” or not look after and service their cars so they stop working.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Every week everyone’s bins seem to be overflowing, we throw out so many things because they are so easily replaced and cheap to replace. Not only are we depleting the planet of its resources we are also filling it up with our left over waste. We buy things that break and need replacing regularly, we see a bargain and snap it up full knowing that it will only last a quarter of the use compared to if we spent a little bit more on a better more sturdy product. We consume, consume, consume whether it’s foods or good and services.
So what would happen if we actually took care of our belongings? If we respected them and kept them in good order so they could survive longer? If instead of replacing them we repaired them? We’d save a hell of a lot of money to start with, and we’d consume a whole lot less. You don’t need to be a hippie to believe in it, or even to want to do it, you just have to use common sense and stop being what the corporation has made you to be!