Marketing companies love to refer to us as a ‘consumer’. It’s telling. In their minds we only exist to consume what companies produce. That’s our role in society – apparently. So it’s little wonder they create these ‘consumer’ moments where we get to ‘consume’ more of their new stuff. What no-one seems to think about is that new stuff is consuming the world’s resources at an alarming rate. It consumes energy, it consumes materials. It’s well documented that to produce ‘consumables’ at a cheap enough rate to be sold at half price, it consumes lives too.
They pull the levers
Marketing companies know how to pull the levers. They appeal to our fear of missing out. They know how to ramp up the excitement, drive interest and force an action. It’s you against an entire industry who wants you to part with your money – and this in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
We all have a choice.
As ‘consumers’ we have the power to choose not to buy new, to demand better, to put the environment first. The biggest difference we can make to Net Zero individually is to keep things in circulation for as long as possible, and then to make sure it gets recycled. That means buying second hand.
The question is, ‘do I really really need the very very latest playstation when last year’s model is available, professionally refurbished. Which means you keep a perfectly good one in circulation, you’re reducing the demand for a new one and saving the planet – all while grabbing yourself a bargain.
If we all adopted a different attitude to shopping, chose rentals or second hand, or simply bought nothing at all unless we really really need it, we’d make real progress to end society’s reliance on cheap goods, fast fashion, and the throw-away culture that is so damaging. Remember 25th November is also Buy Nothing Day and you can read our article about it!