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Friday, May 20, 2011

An increase in production of consumer goods results in damage of the natural environment. What are the causes and possible solutions?




Today we live in an era of continuously increasing consumer demand. This rate of consumption is increasing at an alarming rate. This essay shall deal with the causes of increase in production goods and how it affects the environment and suggest some ways forward.

The first and foremost reason for the increase in production of consumer goods is the burgeoning population of today. More people lead to more demand. Secondly, because of globalization people are flooded with choices. When they see a new product they want that too. What is more, the buying capacity of people has gone up because of developing economies. Finally, the manufacturing industries are producing cheaper consumer goods by compromising with quality. These are affordable by the common man but the quality is so bad that they cannot be repaired. Mostly they have to be discarded after some time of use.

The most serious effect of this phenomenon is on the environment. Our landfill sites are filling up with non bio-degradable wastes. It is also leading to pollution. Destroying used plastic is becoming a major problem everywhere. Even the recycling of plastic needs a lot of electricity. Conventional methods of generating electricity add to pollution. Disposing of a lot of waste materials such as heavy metals like lead and mercury and poisonous gases also adds to pollution. It is said that the earth can satisfy everybody’s need but not everybody’s greed. The amount of energy used in manufacturing and disposal of consumer goods is also leading us to a brink of energy crises.

The solutions are not easy. Steps have to be taken on a war footing. People have to be made aware of the disastrous consequences of consumerism. People should buy only what is absolutely necessary. As far as possible biodegradable materials should be used as raw materials and excessive packaging should be avoided. Industries should be encouraged to use alternative sources of energy during production. Quality should not be compromised with. This would definitely help in reducing the use-and-throw culture. Finally, waste disposal methods should be very good. Strict action should be taken against those industries which dump their effluents indiscriminately.

To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, consumerism is rampant nowadays and it is having a detrimental effect on our environment but steps can be taken to minimize the bad effects of excessive consumerism.

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