An idea started by Marija Markovic, and which I made a contribution to.
The 21st century is a time of unparalleled prosperity for humanity, and millions upon millions of people are being lifted out of absolute poverty. War is much less severe despite the obvious war-related problems we now face. However population growth will strain the planet’s resources like never before. Here are some ways we have thought of to handle this planetary strain:
To begin with, we should stop caring about material things that much. Caring for possessing of material things is never-ending need that only lead to new spending of energy and resources. Whether we desire new cars, houses, clothes or something else, we are mostly controlled by greed and fear of what other people think about us. In addition to that, there is another problem and that is our constant desire to upscale lifestyle norms.
That leads to the bottom line of consumerism problems and that is building the appreciation for what we have. In most of the cases, compulsive buying is our way to compensate something that we are missing in our life, some kind of emptiness we have. We should be focused on improving ourselves instead of surrounding ourselves with unnecessary things. The need to buy more is very often compensation for the lack of satisfaction or happiness in other aspect of our life.
Additionally we as a species are overly reliant on two very popular consumer goods. These are animal agriculture, and fossil fuels which are both putting huge strain on the climate. We should regulate consumption of meat and dairy since animal agriculture is causing considerable strain on the environment, the cause of the most environmental strain, to be quite honest. We should also try to rely on fossil fuels less, as they are indeed fairly detrimental to the planet’s ecosystems.
Another crucial part of trying to preserve the planet is to educate the youngest generations as much as possible, as they are the ones who will live in the world of the future, that we must try our best to preserve. We need to try to educate the younger populations of the challenges they face as a society.
Lastly we should attempt to improve healthcare of developing regions, while trying to ensure that they do not make the same over-consumption based mistakes as the richest nations, to quite the same degree. As has been said, the cycle of increased consumption is not something which the planet can sustain for much longer.
In the world where advertising is constantly shouting at us to buy more, it’s not easy to get away from consumer lifestyle. But is the only way to embrace true freedom, happiness and to reach real fulfillment. It may be difficult at first, but it’s worth it for sure!