The cracks in the myth of consumption and happiness

Marketing executives want you to believe that by buying their product your life will be better in some way.

That is their job after all.

But what they neglect to tell you is that buying new stuff also means finding a way to dispose of it once you no longer need or want it. And buying new stuff uses up the earths resources (renewable or not) and has environmentally damaging consequences.

In order to fully consider all aspects of a new purchase there are 5 questions to ask yourself before you buy that new thing:

  1. How long will this product last before it needs to be disposed of?
  2. Can I repair the product if it gets damaged?
  3. Does the company offer a take-back scheme for me to return the product after use?
  4. How am I going to dispose of this item when I no longer need it? Will it become a waste ‘burden’ for me or others?
  5. Will this product become environmentally dangerous once I dispose of it?

Asking these questions to yourself and to the company who is trying to sell you something will create a shift in your pre-purchase thought process.

Over time you will start to question your purchasing habits and think about the trade off between the momentary happiness that a new purchase will give you and the lifetime of waste and environmental damage that the item could inflict on the world after you are done with it.


The happiness that you are expecting from a product should outlast the

burden of disposing of it for it to be truly valuable to your life.


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