By Christabel - posted on February 23, 2022

Consumerism

Did you know that the UK has an invisible carbon footprint from the goods made and transported from overseas for us to use? This is the same size as the carbon footprint of our activities within the UK, which effectively doubles our footprint and makes us responsible for carbon emitted by other countries, including the EU, China, Africa, Middle East, USA and Russia. 

Cheaper items are often not built to last and have a shorter life-cycle. This results in more demand on natural resources, more carbon and more waste.  

Advertising encourages us to buy the latest version of an item, disposing of a perfectly good product long before it is worn out. This pressure to constantly buy new and better items can also impact our mental health and wellbeing, especially amongst children and young people. 

The way we spend our money can help to change the world. Choosing products with sustainable or ethical labels, such as carbon neutral, recycled, organic, Fairtrade, cruelty free, slave free, conflict free etc. shows companies that these issues are important to us. 

Reduce your impact 

  • Avoid buying and buy less  
  • Reuse and repair items 
  • Buy pre-loved items or borrow instead, and donate or sell items you don’t need anymore 
  • Buy local, ethical and independent products and services  
  • Buy items to last  
  • Gift your time instead of a present 

Find out more