Consumerism and Environment

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HOW CONSUMERISM AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT
1. Firstly, I will give an introduction about consumerism and its evolution throughout time and, to get a general picture of the subject, I will try to present different views on consumption, that is to say, advantages /disadvantages or pros and cons of consumerism 2. Afterwards, Ill focus on problems of over-consumption, concerning the environment… 3. And finally, I´ll give some ideas about what we can do (these are…solutions) as well as some conclusions 1.

Consumerism is a phenomenon that was always immanent in the relatively developed societies, where people purchased goods and consumed resources excessive to their needs. However, there was a major change after the Industrial Revolution, when the scarcity of resources was overcome and a huge variety of goods in unlimited amounts became available to a wide range of people. The Industrial Revolution and several other factors created capitalism - a new type of economy that resulted in a rapid growth of a middle class in developed countries. Middle class started to have money not only to cover their basic needs but also more. In 1899 Thorstein Veblen called it the “leisure class” Billions of people worldwide now belong to the “consumer class”. Items that at one point in time were considered luxuries- televisions, mobile phones, computers, air conditioning- are now viewed as necessities. We are essentially basing our happiness around material possessions and demanding the best and biggest items (like houses, cars…) money can buy, and our lifestyles are devoted to the accumulation of non-essential goods. As we are constantly exposed to mass media and popular culture in our modern society, consumerism has penetrated into every aspect of our lives, dictating our own beliefs, values and wants. Regarding pros and cons:

On the one hand, we can state that rising consumption has helped meet basic needs and create jobs. There is no doubt whatever about this:...
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