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Consumerism, The Dark Side: Why It’s Ruining the Environment


by Alisha Shabnam

Most people don’t like to think about the negative impacts their everyday choices have on the environment. I know I didn’t for a long time. But the truth is, consumerism is bad for the planet. And it’s not just because of all the waste it creates.

The real problem with consumerism is that it’s based on the false idea that more stuff will make us happy. We’re constantly told that we need to buy more things and that if we have more stuff, we’ll be happier and more fulfilled. But that’s not true. In fact, it’s actually making us miserable.

We don’t need more things. We need to rethink our relationship with consumption. We need to find ways to be happy without needing to buy more and more stuff. That’s going to be a challenge, but I think it’s worth it. We have to start somewhere, and I hope this article will help people see the dark side of consumerism and motivate them to make some changes.

What Is Consumerism?

Consumerism is the idea that we should buy more and more stuff. It’s a mentality that’s driven by advertising and the media, and it’s one that’s wreaking havoc on the environment.

Think about it: We’re using up our resources at an alarming rate, and all in the name of keeping up with the Joneses. We’re buying things we don’t need and filling our homes with junk that’s going to end up in a landfill.

It’s time to break free from the chains of consumerism. Let’s focus on quality over quantity and appreciate the things we have instead of always wanting more.

How Does Consumerism Impact the Environment?

If you look around, it’s hard to miss the impact of consumerism on the environment.

Think about all the waste that’s created by people buying and throwing away things they don’t need. The manufacture of those products takes energy and resources, which in turn damages the environment. And then there’s the transportation of all those goods, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Added to that is the fact that we now have a throwaway culture. People buy something, use it for a short time, and then get rid of it. This mindset is terrible for the environment because it means that we’re constantly generating waste that doesn’t biodegrade properly. It’s a vicious circle, and it’s one that we need to break if we want to save our planet.

Related: Greenwashing: Are You Being Fooled By Companies?

What Are the Consequences of Consumerism?

When I was younger, I was all about buying things. New clothes, new gadgets, new this, new that. It was like I couldn’t help myself. And I’m not alone—most people are guilty of this kind of excessive consumerism.

But what few people know is that consumerism is actually bad for the environment. All those new things we’re buying come at a cost, and that cost is the planet. The manufacturing process alone creates a ton of pollution, not to mention the materials used in the products themselves (which often end up in landfills).

Then there’s the issue of transportation. Most of the stuff we buy is shipped from overseas, which creates more pollution and uses up valuable resources. The bottom line is that our obsession with buying things is doing severe damage to the planet. We need to start thinking about ways to reduce our consumption if we want to save the environment.

How Can We Reduce Our Impact?

It’s not hard to see that consumerism is bad for the environment. We’re consuming natural resources at an alarming rate, and all of this consumption is taking a toll on the planet. So, what can we do to reduce our impact?

Well, there are a few things. We can start by evaluating our consumption habits and making changes where necessary. We can also try to buy products that are produced sustainably, and we can support companies that are committed to sustainability.

But most importantly, we need to get involved in the conversation about sustainability. We need to be vocal about the issues affecting our planet, and we need to demand change from our leaders and businesses. If we don’t take action, then nothing is going to change.

Related: Ecological Footprint: What You Need to Know About & How to Reduce it?

What Are Some Sustainable Alternatives to Consumerism?

When it comes to climate change, consumerism is one of the biggest culprits. The way we buy and consume is wreaking havoc on the environment, and it’s time for us to start thinking about sustainable alternatives.

There are a lot of ways we can reduce our impact as consumers. We can buy second-hand instead of new, buy local and organic, and reduce our consumption of plastic and other disposable items.

But these changes require a mindset shift, and that’s not always easy. We’re so conditioned to want more, more, more that it’s hard to break the habit. But if we want to save the planet, we need to try.

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What Companies Are Leading the Way in Sustainable Practices?

There are a lot of great companies out there that are leading the way in sustainable practices. Some of them are Google, Apple, Nike, etc., and I continue to be impressed by their efforts. But there are also a lot of companies who are dragging their heels when it comes to sustainability.

Some of them claim that it’s too expensive or that it’s too difficult to make the switch to more sustainable practices. But I don’t buy that argument. Yes, it’s more costly to produce a product using sustainable methods, but it’s cheaper, in the long run, to produce a product using sustainable practices.

And as for the argument that it’s too difficult to make the switch, I don’t buy that either. It may take a little more effort, but companies can do it if they put their mind to it.


It’s time to wake up and realize that consumerism is bad for the environment. We need to start making choices that are better for the planet, or else we’re going to see some serious consequences down the road.

It’s not enough to just recycle or buy organic products – we need to start changing the way we think about consumerism altogether. If we want to save the planet, we need to be more mindful of the way we shop and spend our money.

So, what can you do? Start by examining your own lifestyle and see where you can make changes. Small changes can add up to a big difference in the long run. Think about ways you can reduce your consumption and make more sustainable choices. It might not be easy, but it’s worth it.


What is a simple definition of consumerism?

Consumerism is the promotion of the consumption of goods and services. It is often associated with materialism, as people who are considered to be “consumers” are often focused on acquiring material goods. Consumerism can also be a social and economic force, as it can drive economic growth by stimulating demand for goods and services.

How does consumerism affect the poor?

For the poor, consumerism can be a trap that is difficult to escape. The cycle of debt and low-wage work can be hard to break, and the constant pressure to spend can be overwhelming. 

Why consumerism is a problem?

Consumerism is a problem because it encourages people to buy things they don’t need and to waste resources. It also contributes to pollution and climate change. Additionally, it can be harmful to our mental and physical health, as it often leads to compulsive buying and debt.

How increasing consumerism is affecting the human Behaviors’?

Increasing consumerism is having a number of negative effects on human behavior. One of the most notable effects is that it is leading to a decrease in empathy. As people become more focused on acquiring material possessions, they are less able to understand and care about the experiences of others.

Alisha Shabnam

Hi! I’m Alisha Shabnam, a freelance Sustainability Consultant and writer working in the field of sustainability education.