Task2 - Environment >> Consequences of Consumerism

"Consequences of Consumerism"

The majority of countries around the world have economies based on consumerism. However, this economic model has limitations. In fact, consumer societies will eventually fail because of the exploitation of natural resources.

To what extent do you agree?

In both developed, industrialized countries and developing nations, consumerism has formed a basis for the economies. The demands of consumers are met with supply by manufacturers. However, this economic system requires huge quantities of natural resources, and many environmentalists believe that this type of economic development is unsustainable.

Consumer societies depend on an increasing demand for goods and services. This ongoing need for material goods requires the exploitation of natural resources. Many manufactured goods consist of materials that are taken from the natural environment. Unfortunately, consumer appetite has resulted in pressures on the environment that cannot be sustained. A good example would be mobile telephones. Today, the cell phone has become a fashion accessory or a type of status symbol. In fact, many people replace their mobiles every six months which is totally unnecessary and puts a tremendous strain on the limited resources of our environment such as glass, metals and plastic.

There is simply no need for this wasteful consumption. Status symbols serve no real purpose apart from providing a type of self glorification for people in the community desperate for the respect of others. A consumer who feels the need to dispose of a perfectly good product so that he/she can keep up with the latest trends is really committing a crime against the environment.

Societies that are dependent on this kind of vacuous spending on useless and unnecessary manufactured goods will see the day when their environments can no longer support such waste. This will undoubtedly result in their economic decline.