In today’s society, we are encouraged to aspire to material possessions as a mark of how successful we are. But many of the things we buy are things that we do not absolutely need, but are objects already present in our homes which are usually perfectly serviceable. We buy another version just because we want the “new’ or “latest model.
Most products have a built-in redundancy so don’t last as long as they used to. They often need to be replaced every couple of years and it is cheaper to do so than to repair. It can also be quite impossible to find someone to repair an item even if we want to; so ingrained is the “throwaway “culture.
We now have many objects which end up in landfill that didn’t previously exist, such as mobile phones and computers, not to mention the excessive amount of plastic waste in landfill and our oceans.
Micro plastic is everywhere and is not only an environmental hazard, but also a health hazard.
It seems everything we buy is over-packaged and so it is really difficult to reduce the amount of packaging we need to discard.
Major supermarkets provide even more waste by promoting small plastic toys as giveaways, and although in Australia, plastic supermarket bags are for the most part “banned” we seem to be using just as many as before.
People like the convenience and the small purchase price doesn’t seem to be a deterrent or effective in changing behaviour.
Given the crisis our climate is undergoing, it is more crucial now than ever before to be aware of what we are buying and consuming and to make better choices. Recycling is being widely practiced already, and is even taught at schools, but how effective our current recycling systems remain to be seen.
Far too much still ends up in landfill and many objects which could be recycled or repurposed are left to degrade and pollute the environment while we purchase more new things to replace them and create more waste.
True change can come about only if everyone commits to improving both shopping habits and reducing the use of plastic and disposable one-use objects. This takes some effort and commitment and being human, we won’t always get it right, but it is important to try.
Every choice we as individuals make is so important because collectively our impact is massive.
There is a huge amount to think about in regard to these issues, which gives us much to explore in future posts!
By recycling discarded objects, reusing what can be reused, and reducing consumption, we help protect our environment and future generations.