The problem of overconsumption of resources in industrial countries

The Problem of Overconsumption
Michael E. Baltz takes into account the problem of overconsumption of resources in industrial countries in his article. The problem of overconsumption, as well as the problem of the growth of population, is the main burning issue in the world economy. The problem of overconsumption needs more attention as far as this problem may cause the ecological disaster. According to Paul Ehrlich, those countries are environmentally unfriendly where the level of technology and economic development is higher than in other countries. That is why the developed countries contribute to the rise of the level of overconsumption and exhaustion of natural resources. For example, an American family consisting of four people has the same environmental impact as 80 Costa Ricans and 280 Bangladeshis. The consumption imbalance makes many people think about this problem. The only decision of this problem seems to be the reduction of the consumer population. Nevertheless, such a decision is not a real solution to the problem. Factually, the solution to the consumption problem is the reduction of the world population and per capita consumption in developed countries.

Factors in Solving the Environmental Problem
The problem of overconsumption belongs to the environmental issues as far as it causes ozone depletion and acid precipitation. John Hannigan provides six factors that may solve the environmental problem. They are the scientific authority for the validation of claims, the existence of popularizes that may connect environmentalism and science, media attention to this problem, a dramatization of this problem in symbolic and visual terms, economic incentives for taking actions and emergence of the sponsor. It should be noted, that the problem of overconsumption is unpopular in society. More than that, economic incentives for reducing consumption such as gasoline taxes are also not accepted by many people. Hannigans six steps are effective only in the case when everyone realizes all the seriousness of the problem and makes the necessary modification of their life. It should be remembered that the problem of overconsumption is directly related to environmental issues and till it is not solved the problem of environmental pollution and ecological catastrophe will be on the agenda. The whole planet is not able to feed 6 billion Western-style consumers.

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The relation between consumer choice and environmental issues is covered in the Greendex survey of 2010. It is stressed that every individual living in an industrial country has a great impact on the environment. The consumers of the developed countries should make more sustainable choices to preserve our planet. The last research testifies to the fact that the level of environmentally friendly consumers has raised during the last three years. It means that peoples transportation means, resource use, consumption of foods, and everyday consumer goods minimize the impact of these activities on the environment. The top-scoring environmentally friendly consumers are in the developing countries such as India, Brazil, and China compared to the less environmentally friendly consumers living in America, France, and Great Britain.

It should be noted, that many developed countries have made certain measures to cut the influence on the environment. Nevertheless, certain factors discourage environmentally friendly behavior. Some companies make false claims about the environmental impact of their products. Although, individual actions are effective to solve the environmental problem they are not worth it if the governments and industries do not take action. But it should be noted, that the environmental issues do not concern many people of industrial countries. More than that, it is necessary much money to solve environmental problems and there are few which are available. Most peoples actions are harmful to the environment. There is not enough environmentally relevant information on the one hand and too much information which makes people confused on the other hand. As far as the solving of environmental issues needs much money it is unprofitable and inconvenient for many people. Some people think that the seriousness of environmental problems is exaggerated.

Questions for Discussion
Are individual efforts for solving the problem of overconsumption effective?

Every individual should realize the seriousness of the problem of overconsumption. It should be remembered that the problem of overconsumption is related to the environmental issues. Although the actions of every individual are effective this actions are not worth it if they are not supported with the governments and industries. Individual actions are like a drop in the bucket. That is why it is necessary to unite the actions of the government, industries and every individual to solve the environmental problem. More than that, this problem concerns not only developed countries but the developing ones. The whole world should take measures to protect our planet. This problem is quite difficult to solve due to its globality and seriousness. But it does not mean that it is impossible to solve. It should be taken into account that global actions have roots in tiny things. That is why the actions of every individual may improve the current situation. If you want to protect our planet, you should be .

How do you understand the notion of environmentally friendly consumer? Do you belong to this category?

Environmentally friendly consumers are those people who use transportation means, resources, foods and everyday consumer goods to minimize the impact of these activities on the environment. For example, people may use alternative sources of energy instead of those which are dangerous for our environment. As for transportation means, consumers may minimize the impact on the environment if they use environmentally friendly means of transportation such as bicycles or . When all people use public transport instead of using automobiles it may reduce the environment pollution. As for foods and goods, consumers may use environmentally friendly products and goods which production does not cause the damage to the environment. Everyone should make efforts to protect our environment. Being environmentally friendly consumer is one of the most valuable sacrifices which people can donate to the environment.

What are the main categories of the to Greendex? What are their impacts on the environment?

The main categories of the consumer behavior include housing, transport, food and goods. Housing deals with the problem of using non-renewable and environmentally unfriendly sources of energy to heat homes. Air conditioning and using coal are very dangerous for the environment as far as air conditioning is ozone-unfriendly and coal firing increases the level of carbon dioxide in the air. As for transportation means, the possession of cars in industrial countries contaminates the air. The main problem of consumption of foods and goods is the abundance of use. People use more than they really need. They buy more food that they really eat, more goods which are not factually necessary for them. Consumers should be sustainable and reasonable in their actions.


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