DON’T BUY THE STUFF YOU DON’T NEED

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'The end of consumerism and accumulation is the beginning of the joy of living '

Vandana Shiva
sneakerhead

We have heard the story many times, “consumers are king,” “What you want is what we’ll do,” and sure enough, production companies play that role well enough for the public eye. The question, however, is to what extent and how much effort are they putting?

In many parts of the world where production is a major player, many wrongs are being done on a daily basis, yet nothing is done to correct them. Take, for instance, the movement for eco-friendly living. How many companies are truly committed to this? And I’m talking about those companies that have come out to claim eco-friendly advocates and give empty platitudes. Times again and again, companies use harmful products or opt for an environmentally harmful way of operation and turned a blind eye because it’s a cheaper, less stressful way to do it?

You could say, ‘but there is so much to be done, and you can’t change it all in a day.’ That is true; there is so much being done truly; however, very little has been done in the broader view of tackling inordinate consumerism. Now don’t get it wrong, it is a great step to reduce your carbon footprint and say no to plastic and Styrofoam, but that isn’t enough. This truth isn’t something people want to hear because that alone is a great bother to the more comfortable choices available. So asking for more is a stretch in every way.

The era of slavery might be a thing of the past, but that is far from true. The chain of production and services is much longer than you are made to believe. Thousands of people have to work in inhospitable and demeaning conditions for practically nothing just to produce “cheaper and more pocket-friendly goods.” We know about this, and the fact we know how much conscious consumerism is contributing to this should drive us to end this as soon as possible.

Organizations stand behind the lie of a dwindling global economy to refuse acceptance of better pay for their overburdened workforce because they gain so much from so little, and since people know that if organizations do increase pay, they could pass it off on the cost of the goods, or are just apathetic to a situation they see irremediable, the advocacy is weakening.

We want to look good, use fashionable products, get the best skincare products, and more at the lowest price while keeping to eco-friendly practices. Having more is all that matters! Unfortunately, as long as staying in trend, being fashionable, and cutting costs are things we all generally desire, somewhere someplace in some third world country, people will have to labor hours on end for a meager pay just so you can keep in trend. As long as consumers and investors want a company to thrive and rise in its stock value, cheaper, quicker, and potentially more harmful ways of production will continue to keep the prices favorable for more consumers. Your green-based outfits, non-toxic nail polish, and sustainable lifestyle needs to be more than that.

So, What Can You Do?

The situation may look bleak, but we cannot give up. We must continue to make small positive decisions as responsible humans. However,  in combating climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, what we need to do is spend more of our money and resources in this that actually make a meaning.

  • Buy less and donate more money to organizations doing something to prevent agricultural runoffs from destroying aquatic life.
  • You can forgo the drive to that organic orchard and volunteer for an organization working to combat food deserts.
  • A $200 air purifier is great, but donating to politicians fighting for cleaner air and water maybe even better
  • While you are calling out organizations that use obscure materials and don’t pay workers well locally, call up your representatives to demand that these organizations clean up and increase worker remuneration.

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