Overconsumption and how it affects the environment

Via FIU Flickr.

Ariana Rodriguez | Contributing Writer

Influencers promoting “useful” gadgets run rampant on social media. However, overconsumption has always been a problem. 

We can stop this epidemic without complication. But we must be mindful of our purchases.

Many of us tend to purchase products we’ll realistically use once in our lives. As a junior who has lived at FIU’s dorms, the move-out season is always unsettling. The trash rooms are overflowing with abandoned furniture, from shelves to mini-fridges. I’ve even seen flat-screen TVs, chairs, tables and mattress toppers. This excessive purchasing, as well as feeding into fast fashion, contributes to the rapid trash buildup.

With every swipe on TikTok or scroll on Instagram, we see a paid partnership of life-changing products you must purchase right now. And sometimes we give in to the temptation, especially now since it’s just a click away. There is no longer a hassle to drive to the store. You can install apps like Temu and buy products for even less than your local Target. 

We have to be part of the solution, not the problem. We must step back, evaluate our purchases, and ask ourselves if we’ll use it six months from now.

However, it’s understandably easier said than done. It’s easy to grab the first thing on the shelf for the aesthetic. But in reality, it’s thrown away when it’s time to move out.

Throughout every season and every trend, I see the same patterns. Hydro-flasks were popular, so everyone bought it. Now it’s Stanley cups, so Hydro-flasks are thrown out and replaced. Realistically, there is no need for the latest since that same Hydro-flask from a couple of months ago is still perfectly usable. 

Obsessive purchases hurt your pockets and the environment since the package on its way to you pollutes air, soil, and water. It also contributes to climate change by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. 

A famous alternative would be thrifting or buying second-hand from shops or estate sales. With every season change, we also tend to buy new wardrobes. Be wary of the seasonal shifts and combat the temptation to purchase a new wardrobe. 

Though it’s hard to shift from buying into mega-corporations, and eco-friendly or ethical brands tend to be expensive, the small changes we make in our daily lives will be worthwhile.

Make sustainable swaps, avoid overconsumption, and, most importantly, stay informed. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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