We all consume something everyday. But individuals contribute to local and global sustainability when they adopt more responsible patterns of buying and consumption, thereby consuming less energy and fewer resources. It is our responsibility as consumers to search for goods and services, produced by companies with good environmental records. The information is becoming more and more available and there is always a way to assess and reduce resource consumption.
Consumerism has hoodwinked us into gorging on material things because we suffer from social, psychological, and spiritual hungers. The wildfire advance of the consumer lifestyle around the globe marks the most rapid and fundamental change in day-to-day existence the human species has ever experienced. The irony is that while the consumer society has been stunningly effective in harming the environment, it has failed to provide us with a sense of fulfillment.
What level of consumption can the planet support? If the Earth suffers when people have either too little or too much, the questions arise: How much is enough?
Ultimately, the fates of the planet and humanity depend on us, the consumers. Maybe we can start thinking about cultivating the deeper, non-material sources of fulfillment that bring happiness: family and social relationships, meaningful work, and leisure.