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Consumerism and it’s Environmental Impacts

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Consumerism and it’s Environmental Impacts

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Name:

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Institution

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Consumerism and it’s Environmental Impacts

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The environment may be one of the most important thing that we have on earth. However, we as human beings have almost forgotten about this fact. We have often treated our environment in ways that suggest we do not really care about it. This is despite the warnings that have been given by the scientists on the negative impact that the human activity has on the environment. Most of us do not really worry about the small things such as throwing candy wrappers or bottles anyhow. Although, at times we look at our surrounding and see that it is really clean, do we ever wonder where the waste goes once we have gotten rid of? Most of us no, this question has never crossed our minds because a long as the dirt is not in our environment then whichever location it lands we really don’t care. In this paper, we will get to examine how the environment is affected in the modern consumer theory. Realism theory as wealthier countries are taking advantage of the poorer countries through exploitation of their resources in order to make themselves more powerful.

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An Urban planner, William Rees, From University of Colombia estimated that we would require approximately six hectares of land in order to maintain consumption level of an average person in a high-consumption country (Luinstra, 2007). He uttered this statement to show the great effect consumerism had on our environment. In 1990, it was approximated that there was approximately 1.7ha of ecologically productive land for a single individual this is not even half of what is the approximated land needed in order to be able to maintain consumption. William Rees pointed out that the deficit was a major problem in core countries due to the drawing down of natural resources in these countries as well as the expropriation of resources through trade of peripheral countries. Basically, what this meant was that someone somehow had to pay for the high consumption levels.

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Consumption of goods is what we mainly do as human beings and it has almost become our culture. Capitalism currently works through consumerism as we get to produce and later sell things as well as provide services (Speth, 2008). It is basic knowledge that the more the production and the more the purchase then there is a high likelihood of prosperity. Gross National Product (GNP) is used in measuring the economic growth. GNP refers to the addition of the total number of goods as well as the services that have been provided in a society within a year. This is able to measure the success of a consumer society to consume products. In every single society, thousands of goods and services are often manufactured on a daily basis as the consumer level is quite very high.

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