11th Hour clip
Impact of Unsustainable Consumer Behavior
As highlighted in the 11th Hour, there is an urgent need to be aware of the current problem that we are facing as human species – the grave state of our natural environment. The repercussions of human development have caused us to reach this state and faced with different environmental challenges.
Amidst the myriad of different contributors, it is important to acknowledge that we also have a part to play as consumers in the degradation of the natural environment. Consumers’ demand for products and services drive the cycle of production for of goods. This is the beginning of various environmental problems such as pollution and depletion of natural resources. As such, there is a need to bring greater awareness to the active role played by consumer as one of the driving force to global environmental problems so that appropriate restorative actions can be taken. The lack of acknowledgement may further aggravate the negative impact on the environment contributed by unsustainable consumer behavior.
Singapore’s impact to the environment
Since the 1990s, Singapore have heightened environmental awareness and various government agencies and non-government organizations (NGO) became more active in the promotion of environmentalism to the people through different means. One of such ways was the Singapore green labeling scheme (SGLS) that was in place since 1992.
Ironically, despite these focused efforts to encourage pro-environmental behavior, a recent study reported that Singapore tops the rank in negative proportional environmental impact out of 179 countries (Bradshaw et al., 2010). In National Environment Agency’s waste report for last year, the waste generated in Singapore is on an increasing trend since 2001.
The statistics showed that each person contributed to 1330kg of waste. It is important to acknowledge that part of the waste generated is the result from consumerism. With increase spending power of Singaporeans, there is a greater demand for different products due to increase capability of consumption among individuals. As consumers continue to engage in unsustainable consumption patterns, the amount of consumer waste generated also increases immensely, further contributing to the negative impact on our planet.
This draws our attention to understand the reasons behind the lack of participation from the people to engage in more sustainable consumption as consumers.
Therefore, this blog seeks to examine various psychological factors that serve as barriers for consumers to engage in green purchase behavior. Also, information with regards to practical changes in consumer behavior that is beneficial to the environment is provided.
Credits to the 11th hour documentary and zerowastesg.com for the above image.