When we talk about Over Consumption, the first thing that comes to our mind is consuming desserts or fast foods, but there is a broader and greater meaning when we use Overconsumption which is directly linked with the damage to the environment.
Since childhood, we have been learning the importance of the 3 R’s (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse) and how it is vital for the overall conservation of the environment. But this blog is more about the importance of first R i.e. REDUCE, which means reducing the resources that we consume to protect the planet and overall conservation of natural resources.
Why is Overconsumption of anything bad?
There’s a day called Earth Overshoot Day which marks the date when the demand of humans for Earth’s resources in a given particular year exceeds its regeneration capacity. Last year this day fell on 29th July, and surprisingly this has moved way earlier than expected. 2016’s date was marked on the 3rd of August and if you took close notice, the date fell on the 3rd of September way back in 2003. It means something is wrong and we are overconsuming the resources at a faster pace.
We are engulfing enough resources for 1.7 Earths. It means we are gobbling up resources at a rate 1.7 times faster than the Earth can regenerate. That’s pretty much summed up that One Earth won’t be able to satisfy the needs of humanity if we continue to consume like this.
Fast Fashion Spending Habits
For us, the stress of Covid-19 combined with the monotony of lockdown has stirred up a perfect storm for fast fashion retail therapy. Yes, you heard it right. Global e-commerce has grown steadily over the past decade, especially with the tremendous growth of apps like Amazon and Flipkart and its penetration in tier two and three cities.
With massive discount offerings on these apps during the Sale season and faster delivery service (One-day delivery promise) along with a return and replace guarantee, consumers are getting spoilt for the choices available in front of them. This results in Spending Habits and leads to the overconsumption of resources. Consumption of fast Fashion, and Black Friday discounted gadgets — have become the primary driver of the ecological crisis.
From the production and packaging to the shipping of goods all over the world, e-commerce is now responsible for a massive portion of global emissions. Packaging of products contributes in large part to CO2 emissions, ranging from producing plastics, polluting ecosystems as well as adding an enormous amount of waste to our landfills. Near about 3 billion trees are pulped yearly to produce 241 million tons of shipping cartons. And that carton received by the customer is also likely to get wasted if the product doesn’t suit the customer and he/she is going for the replacement.
As much as big corporations are easily blamed for this crisis, we are equally responsible. Shopping from the comfort of our homes might be the best alternative to therapy for many people during the lockdown. But between plastic packaging, massive carbon emissions, and returns — all three are headed straight for landfill, resulting in devastating consequences and damage to the environment.
The more we consume, the more logistical journeys tend to happen, and more fossil fuels are being burnt up. The more fossil fuels are being burnt, the more mining is done to get more fossil fuels, overall resulting in the planet becoming warmer than ever before.
What We Can Do?
We are now well aware of the fact that the effects of Over Consumption are now co-related. Therefore by consuming less, buying fewer things, and using only the essential things that we truly need, all these steps can help to reduce the damage to the environment and help us to conserve resources for future generations. It’s important to empower people to think differently about their consumption. We refer to ourselves as consumers, but could we redefine our value as citizens, or better, creators?
As the fashion conveyor belt inevitably slows and shifts, shopping will never be the same again.