The Christmas season is fraught with moments in which we all want to share and for many, this implies having to invest in the purchase of gifts or details for our relatives, co-workers or acquaintances. However, throughout this last article of the year, we want to share some points to consider before making purchasing decisions …
The social and environmental impact of your purchases
Today our modern industrial economy presents us with all challenges: it does not work unless the consumer buys consistently. Because of this phenomenon, we are continually bombarded with publicity. A person is interrupted by some kind of information every eight minutes and an average American is exposed to 247 commercial messages and 3.000 advertising messages each day. What will be the impact of all this?
Today there is an index to measure the happiness levels of the world’s populations. A relevant fact is that several studies show that happiness and wellbeing are not linked to the consumption of goods and services. In the book called “The High price of materialism”, its author Kasser, describes how people who organize their lives around extrinsic goals as the acquisition of products have reported higher levels of unhappiness in their relationships, worse states Mood and major psychological problems. In another study by the University of Missouri, social psychologist Marsha Richins found that people with a high sense of materialism place unrealistic expectations that material goods can influence the relationships, autonomy and happiness of the Individual. It is clear that if the basic needs of a person have not been met, he will not be happy or be well. However, once someone has food, roof, health and education; Happiness and wellbeing are determined by the degree of social interactivity and not by the amount of things they possess.
On the other hand, consumerism is also having effects, not only on the social level, but on the planet. Only in the last three decades has the human being completely finished with a third of all the natural resources available on the planet; This is due to the unsustainable levels of consumption we carry. For example, despite the fact that the United States has only 5% of the world’s population, its inhabitants consume 30% of global and general resources 30% of the world’s waste.
In an article of the Universal reported the impact that consumerism has during these dates for our country. In Mexico City alone, from 12 December to 7 January each year, between 15500 and 16000 tonnes of waste per day are produced, according to data from the Ministry of Works and Services of the capital Government; Which means between 3500 and 4000 tonnes more than the rest of the year between packaging, packaging, glass bottles, plastic and Styrofoam which are the most increasing.
This phenomenon has a direct impact on the environment and health. According to Belem Mendez, biologist of UNAM, the first element to suffer the impact is the air because the waste is not separated properly causing the garbage to mix and generate greenhouse gases such as methane. Similarly, the soil is affected as many residues end up in uncoated sites and leaches seep into the soil, making it sterile, causing a direct impact on food production; While all this also manages to filter the mantles water polluting the water of current use.
Some suggestions for the time
However, to not remove the joy at this time, we offer some suggestions for these days:
1. Give time. Although it may seem like a strange gift, you will find that many times your family, friends, etc. prefer to spend more time with you than a bottle of wine or a sweater. Remember that happiness is more influenced by the degree of social interactivity.
2. Look for locally-made products. Many of the products we consume come from the other side of the world, contributing to the generation of large amounts of emissions and global warming. Better supports local artisans; Thus you will be collaborating with the economic and social development of your region while reducing your environmental impact in terms of transportation.
3. Choose gifts made from recycled materials. There are already many products in the market that make use of recycled materials and have excellent quality standards; Buying this kind of products will reduce your impact on
waste generation and promoting better use of resources.
4. Give away items that do not use batteries. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 40% of battery sales happen in the Christmas season. Please note that all discarded batteries are a source of contamination.
Remember that all our actions are connected with the rest of the world in which we live, in our hands we have a powerful vote to exert on where and how to invest our resources. Stentus invites you to make conscious purchases this Christmas and do a thorough research on companies, their products and the value they give to people and the planet.