ART BY ESTELLE ZHOU
By CAROL LI
If one were to look back a hundred years ago, values would have been drastically different. From the quantity to the best quality of possessions, our society has become extremely consumeristic.
Because Americans are constantly consuming and demanding goods, the gap between supply and demand is consequently becoming wider. As a result, we must change our ways of living because of diminishing amount of resources, food waste and unreasonableness.
To begin, many possess a surplus of items in their household that they do not need, yet constantly proceed to buy more unnecessary household items.
For example, people buy a season’s closet of clothes, only for the clothes to be thrown out when the next season comes. When eating at a restaurant, it is very rare to glance around and see customers with zero food waste. As a matter of fact, it is common for people to order much more than they can eat, and simply throw the remainder away.
Furthermore, there are many dilemmas that are caused by diminishing resources. Natural gas is being pumped out of the ground exponentially slower than the past decades, but our usage has gone anywhere but down. Sooner or later, we will meet a point where natural gases run out, and will not be able to power luxuries such as air conditioning and heat.
Moreover, natural gas is only one of the numerous resources we are using haphazardly. While half of the population is starving, the other half is obese. This demands a question to be asked: Why is this happening?
On average, food portion of Americans are larger compared to different countries. Fast food beverage containers and meal sizes are exaggerated in this society to allow us to believe that we got the ‘bang for our buck’.
The superfluous meals we are given causes an recurring theme of greater demand for food and is unhealthy as well. Obesity has become more common in many individuals, because many people consume too much food.
Clearly, this lifestyle is unreasonable. People around the world suffer to be able to have the resources that we simply take for granted. This could have been prevented if people stopped hoarding and eating so much just for the sake of consuming excessive goods.
Although food seems surplus in developed countries like America, people living in third world countries are starving while we are being wasteful here. This is a huge issue because we are trashing important necessities that others need, but have not yet realized surplus amounts that Americans have squandered that could be used to feed starving children in developing countries.
In addition, our society’s greediness has come to haunt us with its negative consequences. Because of the food demand, scientists began to use genetically modified foods. However, after countless studies, genetically modified foods were discovered to contain certain chemicals that were unhealthy to consume. Also, genetically modified foods contained DDT, a harmful chemical that prevents insects from eating.
As a society, we need to take a step back and change our consumer culture. We need to realize that the cons to our self-indulgence are heavier than the pros that it offers. As an alternative, we should stop wasting precious materials and instead donate and give back to the community.