How Consumerism Pollutes the Planet

Back during World War II, storage spaces were seldom rented. High fashion belonged in New York. This was the start of fast food places. People rarely ate out. Products were not wrapped in plastic or boxes with the product inside often encased in a plastic bag. Dogs and cats ate scraps and not bought food. The world changed. Politics puts the onus on the planet, to stop polluting the world and the problem goes deeper than that.

The priorities in the 1900s were house and food and food was much different. Today the market is driven by media and making money among many other factors. It is essential the industry makes money. The health community wants to make the products safe and the world of plastic wrap grows and grows as does pollution.

The Problems of Plastics

Fast food serves food in paper and plastic which have no further use and are thrown away sometimes in the environment or in the household garbage. A person is on his way home, tired and anxious to take off the work clothes and get comfortable. He knows there is a fast food place around the corner from his home. He stops. Is it a habit he has become accustomed to stopping off? Will he stop because this pollutes the world? Not likely. Helen Schifter knows what drives the populace, she knows there are many reasons that man stopped at that fast food place and thereby, comes home with paper and plastic maybe some cardboard that fills his garbage can and helps fill the landfill.


It is a circle that goes around and around. Companies need to make a profit and to do that they have to push the product and ship it in colorful boxes to draw in the public with the product wrapped in plastic inside to satisfy health concerns. Companies advertise, hire marketing experts and wrap more and more in plastic to satisfy the need for health and safety.

Years ago someone inserted poison into some over-the-counter medicine. That caused industry to package items more securely, thereby often using more plastic, even to the plastic that encircles bottle tops.

Food and Consumerism

The population is told to stop eating those foods that have too much fat and not enough nutrients. The populace wants to do that. So, why don’t they? Helen Schifter studied the research on this problem and has discovered the many reasons people eat what they eat, choose foods they choose and don’t change eating habits fast, if at all. People might try to plant their own garden, something that is being promoted, but they may fail at this, knowing nothing about gardening. Each of us has behaviors related to what we do at home and to fit in something unusual for us fails.

The problem of polluting our planet will not be an easy fix. Even if people are willing to try, it is more complex than stirring up public interest.