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August 20, 2021

Let’s Put a Lid on Consumerism to save ourselves & the Planet. 

 

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When surfing the web, you have most definitely come across way too many quotes on consumerism. To a point where you think you’ve read enough to actually start making changes in your lifestyle.

Probably not!

You failed yourself again and the planet as well by falling into the pit of capitalism.

You may have good intentions, but so many of us are failing ourselves and the planet by falling into the pit of capitalism.”)

Before you make your decision of hitting that “X” button on this article, stick a little longer and read what I have to say. Thank you.

It’s not like I’m telling you to pack whatever light stuff you own, pack it in a small backpack, and join me into an adventure to go back in time and live in the wild. This is the thing, I’m not telling you to abandon modern society, ditch electricity and your phone, and forget about air conditioning and the fancy SUV that you own.

Humankind evolved in the past two centuries to a point where everything you need is just a few clicks away on your smartphone.

Feeling hungry? Hold your phone. Need a lift? Get your phone. Want to visit outer space? Tap tap tap on your touch screen and get it done.

Okay, not precisely this last choice, but you got my idea.

I’m writing this article on my eight-year-old laptop, while I’m charging my phone using the socket on my right. I’m sitting in front of my trustworthy fan since we’re in August, and where I live, the heat is unbearable, let alone the fact that we have a huge electricity problem, which means that the AC is a commodity that I cannot use.

I do own a car as well, and honestly, I am attached to it because we do not have a reliable transportation system. Owning a car is essential for me to go to work and commute.

Therefore, as you clearly see, I helped oil up the capitalism machine like everybody else.

Fortunately for the planet and for my budget, I take good care of the things that I buy, so I can use them for as long as possible. The biggest example is my laptop. Sure, I can go and buy a newer and faster model, but this purchase would be a waste of my money and valuable resources.

I use my laptop mainly for writing and surfing the internet. I do not use it for playing games nor mining cryptocurrency. This is why I will not buy a new one until this one has served its purpose in full. Therefore, I’m asking you to do likewise with your old laptops, or give them to me so I can give them a long, warm hug and thank them for their years of service.

I came across something that the United States’ advisor on climate change and Yale professor, Gus Speth, said:

“I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation, and we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

I am not a scientist, but I see myself for who I am, an inhabitant of this planet, and I do not live alone. I have to coexist with people who are not living to the standards of my lifestyle. But guess what? This is life, and I learned to understand other people and respect their way of doing things. I share this place with more than seven billion other people, and we have to learn what to buy and how to buy it.

We simply cannot keep living this way for much longer.

We are suffocating the planet with all the pollution that our consuming habits are causing. Not only that, but we all want new things, faster things, bigger, louder, more colorful products, and this is where the problem resides.

Due to the rapidly evolving demand for new stuff and the non-ending greed of corporations, the products that we are buying are becoming less and less durable, unintentionally and intentionally (I invite you to read about the Phoebus cartel that engineered a shorter-lived light bulb around the globe) to keep us hooked on buying and consuming.

This wrong consuming behavior does not end here.

The food industry is an equal problem that our planet is facing. The problem is not just with the impact that we are forcing on the climate by consuming meat and dairy products, but with how we eat them as well.

While plenty of people around the world are malnourished, the rest of us are throwing away food. Why? Because we are consuming more than what our bodies need. Unhealthy eating habits are a health problem that we need to address, and we need to address it now. We have to accept that enough is enough. We should stop shoving our faces with sugary, non-healthy products just because they give us a momentary rush of happiness and energy.

We need to have this conversation outside all prejudgments and focus the debate on finding solutions that are viable and yet definitive as well.

When I say that the clock is ticking and we need to start changing our habits of endless shopping and unstoppable consumption to help the planet, what I actually mean is to help ourselves. Why? Because the planet simply does not care about us as a species.

For Earth, we are simply one group of an evolved life form that—if it continues with this behavior—might have overstayed its visit.

We have to understand that the planet can do just fine without us, but we cannot. We have to rethink everything that we believe in, we have to think about future generations and our lives as well. With all that in mind, we still have a fighting chance to overcome this problem and let the planet breathe while we use its resources more sustainably.

It is a long journey, but fortunately, we can make it happen.

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