The notion behind “stuff” has plagued the planet for as long as we have been around. The issue derives from our belief in a linear system while we live on a finite planet. Our economy is based on purely resources, while our planet simply cannot keep up.
Waste and recycling are now larger issues than we have seen centuries ago. They have advanced to bruning policy issues as the expansion of factories and landfills take over. Our environment is seen as only one small piece in the bigger picture of producers and consumers.
Addiction can be defined as “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, things, or activity”. Just as we see people battle addictions that consume their physical and mental well-being, the earth experiences its own negative consequences. Waste, pollution, destruction, and scarcity of resources are all direct consequences of addiction.
What has caused this form of irrational thinking? How come no one is viewing the waste crises as our own responsibility? It all begins with our love affair with “stuff”. The particular love affair with stuff is quite literally destroying the planet. The behavior patterns of consumption that urge individuals to desire material items and grow their collections has morphed into an addiction.
The particular strand of overconsumption, where we purchase with hopes of filling voids and making social statements is destroying the planet. The real loss, besides the fact that our environment is limited and suffering due to this tragedy, is that this “stuff” isn’t making us any happier.
The sociological and psychological consequences of our are addicted consumers actually demonstrates that an excessively materialistic outlook creates increased levels of anxiety and depression. Consumer addiction operates in the same way alcohol, drug, and behavioral addictions often harm the mental health of individuals and create more issues than solutions.
A possible contributor to the issue of “stuff” addiction and how it’s ruining our planet, is a lost sense of self. As selves we are corrupted by the reflex to consume. We speak with others from our consumer self and we are equally spoken to as a consumer. Consumption in broader terms does not have a final resolution but rather just a bottom-line. Are you consuming this or this? Which is more important?
In order to make a change to this startling scenario, we need to re-eage so that those in charge of regulating our planet have greater power than those trying to consume the most. We need to change the paradigm that says “more is better”.
Addiction thrives in the same form: attacking a person and using their resources, while they are be limited. So what’s the solution? Change the person’s understanding of addiction from the beginning, starting with their self. If you can understand the root of your addiction and what you desire from it you can eliminate the material factors.
The notion of addiction affects not only planet earth on a broad level but also individuals. Whether the earth is striving to maintain its environment amongst massive consumption or a person is striving to maintain their existence, addiction consumes both models.