I No Longer Can Stand Hyper-Consumerism: A Zero Waste Rant

We live in a society that is measured in likes, shares, and comments, where instant gratification is expected with everything we do. Hyper-consumerism is at an all time high, and you can see it all over the internet, from massive video unboxings, to influencer brand deals for products that are just barely relevant to not be pointless.

I began to notice hyper-consumerism a lot more once I became a minimalist. At that point, I had made it a point to own less and buy less, but I was still able to buy things that were really good quality and that I truly needed in my life. When I walked into a store, I saw a lot of cool new products, but in my head I went, “Does a person really need that?”

Then I went zero waste and found a love for sustainability, and not only did I notice all of the things that people were buying that they didn’t need, but I noticed all of the waste that came with it.

In around the 4 years that I have been actively living a more minimal lifestyle, I noticed all these things, but I felt like I wasn’t someone in a place to lecture or be “that person.”

However, this all really came to a head at the end of 2020, when one of the people I noticed on my Instagram became a buying influencer.

Basically, her job is to buy the crap out of anything and everything, give her opinion on it and, show it off to all her followers, and give them referral links to use so that she makes money when they buy those things. So not only is she herself a hyper-consumer, but she is encouraging her thousands of followers to do the same.

Just yesterday, she posted on her Instagram story about how her favorite pair of Nike shoes would be dropping tomorrow in three new colors, and how she was going to buy them all to add to her collection. Get this: she has two pairs of those shoes already.

It blows my mind how people get it in their heads that they have to have 6 pairs of the same shoe in different colors “just because.” I get that with impulse buying that your brain releases dopamine that makes you feel good, but I wish that there was a way that we could educate the masses that all of those impulse buys are literally killing our planet! I’ve seen more stupid 1 minute videos on TikTok that includes filling bathtubs with goldfish crackers, to trying to create the largest pyramid of red solo cups, all jus to go viral.

And the main problem here is that the internet and the people on it reward these wasteful behaviors, which in turn causes more of that same wasteful behavior in others.

Know that what you do and what you buy on this planet leaves a footprint. Be mindful about what you are buying and bringing into your home. Check yourself before you buy something. Ask if you really truly need that thing in your life. Walk away from it and see if you can go one without it in your life. Shop secondhand first if at all possible. Shop responsibly.

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