The consumer philosophy of the modern world makes us buy more things than we actually need. There is an obvious tendency in the human society to gain status and respect with the help of the material things and the amount of them. However, as the state of environment worsens while our wardrobes become more clogged with unnecessary stuff, the necessity to give this problem our thorough attention arises.
Let’s take, for instance, the process of production of one of the most popular things we all possess – jeans. First, the cotton is collected, and the conditions of this work are half-slavish as it is done almost manually. Usually, this first stage is performed in India or China. The population of these countries is big, the work is not enough for everybody, and people agree to work hard for minor salaries. Then, in the conditions of completely ineffective and great use of water, cotton is processed on the simple machinery. After that the cloth is delivered to India, China, Venezuela, Vietnam or Uzbekistan where the process of coloration is performed. Thus, in China there are the whole towns the inhabitants of which are occupied with this task only. All water reservoirs surrounding these towns have turned practically in waste containers where the chemicals left after the production of jeans are thrown. Some jeans are made with the help of acid, and it is easy to guess where the life story of this acid ends. This is the way we receive a pair of nice jeans not giving a thought to the fact that something should be doe with work conditions and consumer preferences or after another several thousands of jeans our planet will be turned into a huge waste container as well.
Of course, it is not only jeans which are to blame for the poor state of the environment. Lots of products are made in unreasonably great amounts and in horrible conditions. To buy as much as you can afford has become the essence of public conscience. Some manufactures deliberately decrease the period of service of their products to make people buy again and again. This method is called “planned aging”. For instance, there are cell phones which should be replaced when there battery runs down as it is soldered in them. So, the period of service of these devices is approximately two years and then the new ones should be purchased. Besides, there is “deliberate aging” which can be also called fashion. Fashion makes us buy things not to get improved things but just to remain in trend.
It is high time to change this situation with over consumption. One possible solution is to recycle the products we do not need any more. It will save the materials and make the planet less polluted. Besides, there is a new trend which has appeared recently to solve this problem – the co-using of things. You can present the things you do not need or just give them away to somebody who wants them, or exchange them. People buy products and services together, promoting this new trend in special Internet communities and social networks. Everybody can join this movement and contribute to the saving of the planet. All in all, happiness is not in the material things.