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We live in a world that is interconnected. How people live on the other side of the world will impact how we live here in North America. Though we may not share the same land space, we share the same air and water. So any actions and behaviour that affects the shared space will ultimately impact everyone on earth.

The health of our planet is changing because of human behaviour. Atmospheric temperature is rising, the population of many species are decreasing, pollution is influencing human health and biological systems. The human race is now facing new risks of food security, extreme weather conditions and new types of diseases that we can’t fight – like the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Human Behaviours are causing Harm to the Environment

Our attitudes and behaviour influence the activities we choose to do like choosing plastic over fabric bags because plastic bags are more convenient, hassle free and readily accessible. Unfortunately, these types of attitudes and choices change the planet’s ecosystem and its natural balance. Our activities are causing harm. Whether directly or indirectly, the types of environmental issues that we have created come from large scale deforestation, overconsumption, pollution, overexploitation, overfishing, fossil fuel burning, and population bomb.

Our attitudes and behaviour influence the activities we choose to do like choosing plastic over fabric bags because plastic bags are more convenient, hassle free and readily accessible.

Conscious Awareness

Those living in less developed countries are typically less aware about the impact of waste pollution on earth than those living in First World countries. Because of their lack of awareness, there are typically less government regulation on waste management, less education implemented to change behaviour around garbage disposal and no particular interest in recycling. In developing countries, 400,000 to 1 million people die every year due to diseases caused by garbage mismanagement. But still, for attitude to change, it needs to come from government policies and regulation and unless this happens in the developing countries, unfortunately, we, in the developed countries, will also be affected by their mismanagement of waste and the pollution cause by the lack of proactive changes

The Harm Caused by Non-biodegradable Products

Many of us are completely unaware of the harm caused by the products we buy in market. We trust that anything we buy from the store is government approved and safe for us and for the environment. After all, wouldn’t the government have people who review the integrity of products they approve for sale? Unfortunately, not all products are examined for their long term impact on humans or the planet. Like cigarettes, no one knew it caused lung cancer. Just like we didn’t know about the negative impact of plastics and other toxic synthetics until it was widely proliferated and integrated into millions of products we use daily. 

These harmful chemicals and substances are in many products now and they are non-biodegradable. For example, we buy plastic toothbrushes and combs unaware of the impact it would have on the environment when we dispose of it. Plastics, when disposed, stay in our landfill for centuries and during the decomposition process they emit toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium and mercury as well as cancer causing carcinogens like diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) that pose health dangers. The chemicals it produces contaminate our soil which makes its way into our water systems which humans and animals ingest. 

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Choices based on Market Availability and Price

Sometimes the choices we make when we buy products has nothing to do with our attitude or knowledge about its impact on the environment. We can only choose from the product selection presented to us as dictated by manufacturers. In pharmacies or grocery stores, we look at the personal hygiene section and noticed that there is a large selection of different toothbrushes and combs but 95% of them are made of the same materials – man-made synthetic plastic.

If manufacturers produce only plastic, that’s what we have available to buy. So as consumers, we are making a choice based on product selection. What we don’t know is that there are other alternatives available in the market, like bamboo toothbrushes and combs, which are made of natural organic material easily decomposed. Instead we choose the cheaper plastic alternative readily available in the market without thinking about the impact it would have on the earth once it is disposed. Every plastic comb and toothbrush disposed, will take 1,000 years to decompose and some scientists say plastic actually never decomposes.

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The Emergence of Eco-friendly Products

As a result of the increasing awareness and evidence that non-biodegradable products are harmful to the environment, many choose consciously to buy natural, organic, biodegradable products. Products made of renewable resources like bamboo have less carbon footprint on earth, they decompose and integrate back into the earth (assuming they are purely natural with no additional toxins).

The Price Challenge with Switching to Eco-friendly Products 

If we were to educate everyone about the negative impact of non-biodegradable products, many would choose responsibly (if price were not an issue). However, eco-friendly products often come with a higher price tag. They tend to be more expensive than the mass produced man-made, synthetic alternatives. So how do you change people’s habits, attitudes and purchasing behavior? Most of us make choices based on price. So the value proposition of these eco-friendly products must overcome the buyer’s price sensitivity. Some have made the conscious switch but others have yet to change their attitude. The bigger responsibility is for manufacturers to start offering eco-friendly alternatives at competitive prices so consumers don’t have to break their piggy bank to make responsible choices.

Importance of Green Products in the Environment

We can seek out green alternatives to almost all the things we buy and even make new things out of old used products – upcycling. When we purchase or reuse products, we are saving the planet from toxic chemicals, air pollution, climate change and potential environmental dangers.

Information alone would not change the behaviour of people. We need to educate everyone about the negative direct impact their choices make on their health, family and community. Once they learn about the immediate effect this has on them, they will appreciate the necessity to preserve our planet at any cost. The choice of using eco-friendly products is yours. To minimize the impact, start by substituting non-biodegradable products with eco-friendly ones.



Let's Hear from You

2 thoughts on “Consumer Attitudes have Harmful Impact on the Environment

  • Dashia OliverFebruary 2, 2021 at 5:15 am

    It is good to see that you have thoroughly researched your topic. People from around the globe indeed have to work together to sustain our planet. After all, we live here, and everyone must promote biodegradable plastics or better fabric materials for the protection of our environment.
    Good luck with your work.

  • Whalan McDewMay 20, 2021 at 4:51 am

    It was a good read.

    The government should become stricter in implementing eco-friendly substitutes of non-biodegradable plastics. Also, the price ranges must be maintained by the governments. Only then the people will oblige to their duty.

    Keep sharing the good environmental-friendly articles!

Comments are closed.