Changing lifestyles – Where are we heading?
Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Over a period of time we have seen a lot of changes in the generations and lifestyle change is the most prominent one.
Let us look at how lifestyle change has impacted the environment. Let us go back 2 generations to understand how they lived & how much of waste they generated. If we observe how our parents & grandparents lived, they always used less, wasted less, reused and upcycled.
From storing milk packets to sell, exchanging old sarees for steel utensils, storing & exchanging small metal items for snacks & candies etc., There was very less waste sent to dump yards.
Compared to our busy lifestyles now where we order online, one family owns more than one car, we buy things that we don’t need but just out of affordability or sometimes due to peer pressure, too many toys for kids either to pamper them or to get away with the guilt of not spending time with them. Due to which, we are creating a manufacturer demand of objects very often leading to creation of waste faster than it can be handled.
Items that at one point in time were considered luxuries—televisions, cell phones, computers, air conditioning—are now viewed as necessities.
The goal is to focus and not to sacrifice, by trying to provide a higher quality of life using the lowest amount of raw materials
It is obvious that we need to reduce consumerism and change our current lifestyles, otherwise the planet we know will cease to exist for us.
We are currently consuming resources at an unsustainable rate, which is causing mass environmental destruction and social problems across the world
Many of us buy items we don’t need. The more things you own, the greater the size of your carbon footprint.
Why is Waste Management important for us?
80% of the urban waste ends up in Landfills. This is the second largest cause of Greenhouse gas emissions.
Recycling Industry also lets toxins into water bodies, the atmosphere and land - though recycling helps, there are limitations.
What stops us from changing our lifestyles?
Convenience - Grabbing the nearest item without thinking about the consequences is often just the easiest thing to do. Carrying reusable items around can feel tedious. We prioritise the choices that require less time and effort so we don’t have to sacrifice aspects of our lifestyles
Availability - A lot of the time we just don’t have a choice available to us. The vast majority of items in the average supermarket are sold in unsustainable packaging.
Consumerism - In our society, it has become the norm to buy more than you need, in fact it’s often seen as a symbol of success. In addition, companies use advertising to convince us we need their product, continuing the consumer cycle.
Is this luxury.. But luxury should not come at the cost of depriving our future generations with basic needs like water, quality air and healthy food and atmosphere. Do we need that kind of luxury? THINK