The increase in the production of consumer goods results in damage to the natural environment. Why is this the case? What can be done to solve this problem?
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In recent years, there has been mounting concern over the dire consequences of growing consumerism. Accelerated production of consumer goods has left devastating impacts on the environment and this detrimental trend could only be reversed by coordinated efforts of all parties involved.
Probably, the expansion of consumer industry is damaging the earth in two major ways: overexploitation of natural resources and massive waste generation. The production of food and clothes, for example, not only consumes enormous amounts of water, energy and raw material but also discharges a plethora of hazardous chemicals and emissions into the nature. Furthermore, environment degradation is being exacerbated by the ever-increasing household waste. Greater purchasing power and low-cost production have enabled many to afford an obscene quantity of disposable products, ranging from fast fashion and food wrappings to Hi-tech gadgets and home decor. Excessive consumption is generating a sheer volume of non-biogradable waste that normally ends up in either landfills or oceans, leading to huge environmental hazards such as water and soil contamination.
With regard to viable solutions, this pressing issue can be effectively dealt with by collective efforts of individuals, businesses and the government. The immediate response is for local authorities to run environmental campaigns that help raise public awareness of the strong correlation between overconsumption and ecological deterioration. This would encourage more individuals to pursue a sustainable lifestyle and become a responsible consumer. They can stop buying in excess of their needs, switch to environmentally-friendly products and recycle as much as possible. It is also the government’s responsibility to impose and enforce harsher laws on illegal dumping or poor treatment of industrial waste. Most importantly, manufacturers should take initiatives themselves to not only reduce their fossil fuel dependency but also innovate and utilize eco-friendly materials and energies in their production.
In conclusion, the ever-expanding consumer goods industry has resulted in alarming resource depletion and waste increase which are taking their toll on the planet. This complex challenge can only be addressed if companies, governments and their citizens take immediate actions together to put an end to unsustainable manufacturing and consumption.