However, consumerism is not so much a behavior as an attitude and extends to other areas of life. It exists in art, sex, and pretty much anything you can imagine. The following facts also prove this gluttony.
It is estimated that by 2050 there will be about 9.6 billion people in the world. If they continue to consume as they have so far, Earth will become unlivable and humanity will need three more planets of the same size to maintain its supply.
In fact, according to Greenpeace, almost 50 percent more natural resources are being extracted and used today than 30 years ago. In addition, around 12 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year. At least 40 percent are disposable items. For example, it is alarming that people only use plastic bags for 15 minutes on average before throwing them away.
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In addition, 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually and consumers are buying 60% more clothes on average than 15 years ago. However, if they actually carried it, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 24 percent.
Consumption bordering on absurdity
Consumption also creates situations that border on absolute absurdity. For example, the most expensive hot dog in the world costs 169 dollars (approx. 3,700 CZK), while some Czech families have to live on this amount for food for a whole month, others don’t even have that much. However, only a few of those who need to buy an overpriced hot dog think about it.
The company’s consumer mindset is also reflected in the number of shopping centers. Not only are they almost everywhere, but they have also become the center of social life, especially now in winter. For example, the second largest shopping center in the world, Dubai Mall, has a total area of nine square kilometers and contains about 1,200 shops and 120 restaurants.
Not only do people not need most of the things they buy today, they often don’t even use them properly. It’s like children and toys. Most of them are influenced by advertising and desire the often very expensive things that appear daily on TV and on the Internet. But the joy they evoke afterwards is often very short-lived.
An endless trap
What has made people slaves to consumerism is marketing. Ads target emotions and their purpose is to make us irrational consumers. It’s clear that when a product evokes feelings of desire, nostalgia, curiosity or fascination in us, we’re quick to pull out the credit card.
But as we all know, purchases rarely fully satisfy our wants or real needs, so through manipulation and the art of persuasion, we find ourselves in an endless consumer trap.
But if we realize all this and start looking at advertisements and their game with different eyes, it will soon be reflected not only in our wallets.
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