Individual Learning Journal
During our first lecture today we were shown a video about a system in crisis concerning the materials' economy. This video explains the life cycle of our consumption: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. It explains the effects these have on the people and also the hierarchy associated with each group of people namely but not respectively: government and corporations (of the people, by the people, for the people).
The truly enlightening part of the video was where the narrator discussed the Golden Arrow of Consumption. The video states that the priority of government and corporations has been to develop a nation of consumers. Consumerism was designed to happen to boost the economy after the second World War. It discusses the concepts of planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence. Furthermore, it goes on to denote the effects and goals of advertisements and media: to make consumers unhappy with our lives and show them how the fix to all their sorrows is shopping. A work-watch-spend treadmill is shown to best describe the situation.
During a group discussion, after class, the topic of sustainability came up and the concept of "green and sustainable marketing" was elaborated upon. We discussed packaging as an example of a problem.
The video watched in class today was eye opening as it successfully put into perspective the materials' economy clearly explaining each aspect of the consumption cycle. A point that kept brewing in my mind and surfaced in my conversations all day was the Golden Arrow of Consumption. It was a bitter sweet realization about our consumption cycle. The trend of advertising and media is geared towards instilling consumerism as a way of life. While discussing the video with a fellow classmate, we arrived at the juice packaging subject. Why is it not made simpler for recycling purposes? For example, instead of the plastic - why not use a