Day Four: “Consumerism and It’s Flaws”

Are we, as humans, engrossed in novelty items- placing blind faith on innovative technology and its efficiency? Do we really have an “insatiable appetite, driven by a sense of anxiety ….. persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.”1

Tim Jackson’s video brought up a multitude of evident flaws regarding the psyche, attitudes and behaviours of the average consumer in the Western World. I don’t believe that all consumers on a holistic level are unethical and mean to waste materials on new, efficient technology- we are just individuals that love advanced developments that do different things and I think that tends to overpower the negativities (in reference to sustainability). But what’s wrong with that? If you think about it, don’t consumers have the right to be selfish?2 They are the ones with the money and willingness to buy a specific, albeit novelty product for their explicit “needs.” Shouldn’t the designers of these corporate firms aspire and concentrate on providing sustainable products? Partial blame can most certainly be placed on them.

As a result, I believe it has to start with the larger corporations of our world, since there aren’t enough scaling social enterprises, such as Ecosia3, that hope for a more sustainable change.4 The larger corporations are the ones that generate large amounts of profits due to their market share and have the ability to change the world on a larger scale, they must step up and try to be more environmentally friendly- even if that means investing a portion of profits into enhancing their products to work cohesively in a projected sustainable world.

As a collective, civil society, we should aspire to become more meaningful and less materialistic. Companies need to make that move in looking to invest a share of their profits back into our natural resources in order to create a brighter, greener future- therefore replenishing and increasing the longevity of our natural surroundings.

References

  1. Ted/ Tim Jackson. 2010. Economic Reality Check. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_jackson_s_economic_reality_check.html. [Accessed 02 July 12]
  2. Beloved Brands/ Graham Robertson. 2012. Consumers are the Most Selfish animal on the Planet. [ONLINE] Available at: http://beloved-brands.com/2012/04/22/consumers-are-the-most-selfish-animal-on-the-planet/. [Accessed 02 July 12]
  3. Ecosia. 2008. Ecosia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://ecosia.org/. [Accessed 02 July 12]
  4. Ethical Corporation/ Toby Webb. 2012. Alternative capitalism: What’s the big idea? [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ethicalcorp.com/business-strategy/alternative-capitalism-what%E2%80%99s-big-idea. [Accessed 02 July 12]
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