The choices we make

I wrote this article as a sequel to my entry for UNEP/Treehugger World Environment Day Campaign, and it’s also been published on Living Green Mag.

. . .

In recent years there have been louder and wider warnings about energy conservation, urging everyone to minimize consumption of resources by reducing the need for excessive energy use. Still, we consume. Still, we demand.

We shop mindlessly, rampantly, grabbing sales items because they’re on sale, or seasonal items because they are ‘limited time only’ (these are all, by the way, marketing ploys). All that without stopping to ask ourselves ‘do I need this’? And it’s done without care or concern about the consequences of those purchases – personal, social, economic or environmental..

We create market demand for products, driving up the supply and the resources necessary for production, thus affecting the goods offered for trade and sale. Producing more and more means that we are using up more and more of non-renewable resources.

Our choices – consumer choices – have a significant impact on the environment.

Unfortunately, not nearly as enough attention is paid to environmental issues as it is to, say, entertainment or fashion. Entertainment industry is in your face all the time, and so people see money and things as an example of success. Most celebrities are living lives manifested by all ‘the bling’, and the fans idolize not only their status, but everything they’re wearing, carrying and driving, and everywhere they’re dining, partying and sleeping. If half of all the Lady Gaga fans drove less, re-used grocery bags or ate less meat products, we’d be on to something really positive in the long run.
Instead, there was that dreaded meat dress. Whatever its message, it was misinterpreted.

photo © Goran Jovic

On the other hand, green consumerism and eco-conscious movements are becoming more trendy and a belief in their ability to improve environmental outcomes is becoming more widely shared. From climate change and the poverty-environment link, to ethical consumerism, there are top celebrities who use their status to direct necessary awareness and support towards these issues.

The aim of conscious consumerism is to encourage the public to be more aware of the environmental impact of their consumption patterns and to encourage manufacturers and retailers to provide ‘environmentally friendly’ alternatives, with the idea that businesses will respond more readily and creatively to positive market signals.

The aim of ethical consumerism is about buying products that do not harm or exploit the environment, people and animals.

Sustainable consumption means consuming (and manufacturing) just as much as we need, using an intended portion of natural resources. However, what we are doing now is using up our quota, as well as tapping into the future rations, while hoping that they will renew themselves in time for the future generations’ intended use.

Not only awareness and understanding, but also willingness on the part of the consumer of goods and services, as well as providers of goods are services, means that the preservation of finite earth resources can be sustainable.


Part of a series on consumerism and identity and conscious consumption, inspired by UNEP’s World Environment Day campaign.

In developed and developing countries, people are acquiring much more than what they actually need and therefore producing an enormous amount of waste.

Orient your action for World Environment Day this year to an activity that promotes sustainable consumption and be the one to reshape our future!

World Environment Day is June 5th.

UNEP will host the conference in Mongolia, and the theme this year is Think.Eat.Save, raising awareness and offering solutions for less waste.

More info: and

5 thoughts on “The choices we make

  1. That is due to solar weather the 9. Eric Gottlieb Stephens Inc Okay, very helpful.
    The system was always meant to include annual payments or subsidies as well as the economic potential of other Solar Weathers.
    It was said that 3, 000, 46 kilowatt solar
    power system for a secondary school.

  2. The topic is huge, tapped and more to be tapped in. I guess it will modify itself into something new, altered, and face us in some different way, with possibly reduced consumerism. Or it will get another name. But the economies can not be stopped, therefore consumerism will continue to be here, unless we go back to the old system of in kind contributions.

  3. Pingback: The science of Consumerism | Coffee Table Science

  4. immense subject – consumerism. I always want to side post “pollution” for any consumerism. Also that every time we spend a dollar or a peso or a euro we are casting a tiny vote for eco system damage

    Good writing beauty. Hang in there, besos, ashley

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