Consumer Society

And its Impact on the Environment

What is Consumerism? And When Does it Become Too Much?

Consumerism is the social and economic ideology that increasing consumption of goods in the market benefits the wellbeing of every individual and that happiness depends on the acquisition of material possessions and services.

Of course, a consumer society is not in itself a bad thing, however, when the production of these goods becomes unsustainable for the environment, it is important to consider its harmful effects.

The advertising market has been steadily increasing over the last decade, showing no signs of slowing or stopping.

Worldwide digital advertisement spending is expected to reach

$375 Billion

by 2021

In the US in 2020, ad spending is expected to reach close to 246 billion dollars.

The average American spends nearly


a year on nonessentials

The average adult in the US spends $1,497 a month on items they don’t need

Nonessentials and Their Average Cost Each Month

Takeout and Delivery


Online Shopping


Subscription Boxes


Movie Streaming


Purchased Apps


Impulse Buying


If everyone consumed as much resources as the average U.S. citizen, we would need 4 Earths to sustain us


Over half of the plastic produced every year is meant for single use. As soon as a product fulfills its one-time purpose, it ends up in either a landfill or the environment.

12 million tons

of plastic is dumped into the ocean

Every year


As demand increases, production also increases, which leads to more pollutant emissions.

The transportation of goods also greatly contributes to worldwide CO2 emissions.

Electrical and industrial factories produce

more than


of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.


Many household goods and cosmetics contain palm oil, which is derived from the tropical forests of South-east Asia.

The process of obtaining palm oil has led to serious deforestation and threatens the lives of numerous endangered species.



of Indonesia’s rainforests have been destroyed and replaced with palm oil plantations.

Between 60% and 80% of household consumption negatively impacts the environment

What can you do?

Start being conscious of how products are made and where they come from.

Make sustainable choices by choosing alternative products and buying locally.

Limit impulse purchases and ask yourself: Do I really need this?