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Avoiding over-consumption is the first step to protecting the environment

Avoiding over-consumption is the first step to protecting the environment

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The modern college student can buy almost anything without leaving campus. Students can have food delivered directly to their doors, get clean water all over campus, and never have to worry if they have access to electricity or WiFi. Access to basic necessities is a privilege. However, there are unsustainable societal practices due to the increase in accessible goods and services. People are buying more than they actually need.

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Students are known to overconsume. Students are constantly on campus wearing the latest fashion trends, and dorm rooms are stuffed with excessive decorations. These are just a few examples of excessive consumption.

Today’s fastest-growing companies rely on this type of consumer behavior. Shopping, once a necessary function, has become a social activity that is based on excessive consumption. Shoppers walk into stores with no idea what they need and walk out with products they don’t even need. It encourages people listen to their compulsions and not to their needs. It is a common American habit to shop without thinking about the consequences of purchases.

This unconscious consumption is encouraged by advertising. Students are bombarded by advertising and social media, resulting in huge purchases of clothing. IncreasedAmerican meals have large portions. Daily coffee runs are also common. These practices promote overconsumption by promoting shopping without taking into account the consequences. Additionally, excessive purchases of any item can lead to waste. We should ask ourselves if the environment can handle this.



This impulse glorification cannot be continued by the Western consumer. Experts have developed a theory to explain this reality. overshoot dayIt is the place where a nation’s sustainability can be measured in terms its resource consumption.

The U.S. has already surpassed that mark this year. overshoot dayMarch 13, 2022 – We have used more resources in this calendar year than we are likely to be able regenerated in 2022. To ensure ecological sustainability, the American society must reduce its consumption. If we want to avoid the extinction of the species, we must reduce our consumption. Catastrophic effectsThe effects of climate change on our health and the environmental degradation that threatens our society’s health.

To surviveHumans don’t need any material possessions, other than food, water and shelter. Many of the dorm supplies marketed to students for dorm purposes are unnecessary.

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The individual must consider what they value in their materials before making the decision about what they need. It is possible to argue that students don’t require more than two sets or new school supplies each semester. I have decided to reduce my clothing consumption and stick to simple staples like my Converse shoes. I am functional without having to wear ten different shades of the exact same piece of clothing.

The individual must decide what is essential to their lives. Reducing your environmental footprint and avoiding a unsustainable economy is a way to regain self-agency. This is not about what society or advertising thinks is valuable.

Students need to be more aware of the difference between necessity and nonnessentials. This is a step towards reducing overconsumption as well as increasing sustainability in society.

Harrison Vogt, a junior environment sustainability and communication major and dual major in rhetorical and rhetorical studies, is an author. His column appears biweekly. You can reach him at hevogt@syr.edu. You can follow him @VogtHarrison on Twitter.

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