Minimal Consumerism: A Possible Solution, but Could it Work?

Buy when you need something, but only what you need. Buy better quality products that can be repaired and last a long time. Eschew throw away consumerism. Repurpose products when these products are no longer needed. With these rules, people will buy less but better, putting much less pressure on Mother Earth. It is a possible solution to reducing the effects of climate change.

This movement is radically against our current society. Consumerism runs our markets today, buying more is always better. Capitalism, and marketing all entice us to buy newer, buy more and throw away when something newer comes along. This is over-consumerism, Overconsumption and the environment: should we all stop shopping? This puts great strain on Mother Earth, as we throw serviceable products in landfills in order to buy the newer products. Electronic devices, fast fashion, cars all entice us with their new products.

It is increasingly difficult to repair products, especially electronic products. Newer smartphones are not meant to be opened and repaired. Some brands, such as John Deere, don’t even want consumers to repair their own purchases. This is not sustainable.

I don’t think we can completely stop rampant and throwaway consumerism, but even if we can reduce by 50%, much progress will be made. China, India and other countries cannot follow the rampant consumerism of the West, or the Earth will not be able to cope.

It will not be easy, and will certainly be economically difficult. I have no doubt that progress will be slow, and possibly not at all. It is possible that the pandemic will shift society’s norms enough to allow minimal consumerism to flourish. I have my doubts. While the pandemic has shook up the world greatly, I do not think it will be sufficiently ground breaking enough for the minimal consumerism movement to flourish. Still, I hope it will.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *