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Overconsumption: The Downfall of our Planet

How changing purchasing habits can have a positive impact on the environment.


Consumerism is particularly rife amongst influencers on social media making 'haul' videos of their recent purchases at cheap fast fashion companies and encouraging others to use their code to receive money off on their order.

So how can we help reduce our impact on the environment?

Buying less using less

Consumption of unnecessary products influenced by social media creators such as fast fashion brands is considered the primary cause of the ecological crisis.

How do we stop this?

This answer is a simple concept, but hard to achieve for some, stop buying so much 'stuff'. By consuming fewer resources, we will reduce our impact on the Earth. Statistics show we are currently using the planet's resources at a rate 1.7 times faster than it can regenerate.

"When people buy less stuff, you get immediate drops in emissions, resource consumption and pollution." - JB MacKinnon

Buying less may be hard for some due to the impact materialism has on our mental health, particularly the younger generation, who feel pressured to stay up to date with the latest fashion and beauty trends.

However, it is important to consider what we buy that we may not use, compared to what happens to the empty packaging of the product we have used. Becoming aware of where your products and clothes are made, and where they go once they've been used is the first step into buying less as a consumer.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

A very common saying that appears to have lost its meaning throughout the years, as consumption and demand has risen significantly.

After focusing on reducing the number of products you purchase, it is important to consider reusable alternatives. These range from travel mugs, and metal straws, to washable nappies and water bottles. One of the major benefits of investing in reusable products is that it will save you money in the long run. This is because they are designed to be long-lasting, to increase the reusability of the product.

Think that is all?

From personal experience, carrying a reusable travel mug with me to my local coffee shop saves me 50p on my order, which may not be much but as everyone knows ‘every little helps’ right?

With water bottles, it is simply hydration on the go! And saves you from purchasing plastic bottled water to keep on top of your water intake.

There are many benefits to living a reusable lifestyle. So why not try it? It’s the little things that we can do that will make an impact and make us feel good about ourselves. As everyone says, ‘There is no Planet B!'

Thinking before you purchase

When it comes to reducing the amount, you consume it is important to ask yourself several questions before purchasing:

1.)Where is the product made and shipped from?

If you’re purchasing online, the further the distance the product must travel, the higher your carbon footprint will be. To reduce this, ordering products closer to you means it needs to travel less distance and encourages support for local businesses.

2.)Will you use the product often?

It’s an important question to ask since overconsumption is often caused by consumers purchasing products they may not need, thanks to influence from friends or influencers on social media.

3.)Do I really NEED this product?

It is good to treat yourself occasionally, however, for some products, it is important to consider whether you require the product to go about your day-to-day life and if it is a necessity or a luxury.

4.)Could I buy this second-hand?

Particularly with clothing items, it is important to consider whether you could buy them second-hand from a local charity shop it is likely to be cheaper, and there would be less impact on the environment as you are reusing an item of clothing as well as ensuring your money goes towards a good cause.

Key takeaways

Overall, the process of becoming a conscious consumer is relatively easy if you have the motivation to reduce your impact on the environment. Although most of the climate crisis revolves around large companies and the factories that produce their products, all we can do as consumers begin to endorse climate-friendly brands and products, so brands are forced to become more transparent and sustainable.


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