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Climate change: Of advertisement and wasteful consumption

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Climate change: Of advertisement and wasteful consumption

Advertising is a marketing communication that employs persuasive techniques to get the audience or consumers to buy products and services or take specific actions.

As companies mass-produce goods, they resort to advertising to make consumers see their products as necessities. This makes people purchase products that they do not actually need as a result of these advertisements.

In fact, people are, most times, unconscious of how much they keep buying things as a result of adverts on television, radio, magazines, or what they see on the internet.

As people unconsciously move from need-based buying to want-based buying, it then results in wasteful consumption which in turn has an adverse impact on the environment– a clue, climate change!

For one, advertising always puts products in a positive light whether or not it is good for the environment, all for the benefit of selling.

For example, a tech company that continues to churn out the latest models of its products will place adverts that only highlight its product’s features but we all know that the more products it releases, the more consumers ditch their old devices to buy the new ones and this will lead to e-waste which is a greater kind of pollution.

A ripple effect that is detrimental to the environment!

The same applies to fashion items as consumers ditch their out-of-fashion outfits for modern ones because adverts have created this false need for them to always keep up with trends, leading to waste.

The sad part is that the materials that are used to make fabrics as well as accessories, are not biodegradable neither are they recyclable. The majority of them find their way to landfills and even the sea, posing a great threat to aquatic life.

Looking at it from another angle, which is from the production aspect, increased consumption of goods as a result of advertising encourages an increased extraction of the earth’s resources to meet up with production. And it doesn’t just stop there.

These products, at the end of their use, are then discarded, buried, or burnt – polluting the environment.

Wasteful consumption, fueled by advertising, has a climate and ecological impact. That is why it is imperative that the amount we consume drops dramatically in order to confront climate change. Yet, this can only work if the advertising sector makes conscious efforts to put out content that encourages essentials, not luxury.

It is only in doing this that we can truly encourage positive attitudes towards the environment and dissuade people from lifestyle habits that are detrimental to the environment.

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