Blog Post #6 – How does consumerism affect society and our planet?

Reflection – Metamorphosis

a. What challenges did you overcome throughout this inquiry project? How did you go about
overcoming these challenges?

Throughout this inquiry project, I ran into a few main challenges centred around opinion versus fact. The topic I chose to research, consumerism, is a polarizing topic and the discussion and opinions surrounding it are varied; they often contradict each other. Throughout my research, I had to find resources that allowed me to demonstrate all sides and all arguments pertaining to this topic, while also accounting for information that is released solely to push a certain agenda (ex. Apple defending consumerism). To overcome these challenges, I researched deeper into my sources to determine whether or not they have a hidden agenda or what reasons they have for uploading this information. By knowing whether or not they were biased, I was able to account for skewed data and misleading information, possibly dropping the source from my project and bibliography altogether.

b. How did this inquiry change the way you think?

This inquiry project changed the way I think by shedding light on the impacts that my choices as a person/consumer in our modern world. Before researching this topic, I was unaware of the negative effects consumerism had on people’s mental states and wellbeing, along with my ignorance of the damage my consumerist tendencies were having on the environment, however small. After having completed this inquiry project, I am now aware of the possible detriments consumerism can cause in certain humans’ relationships, happiness, and self-worth, as well as the ways that this practice can endanger ecosystems and pollution around the world.

c. How did this investigation impact your future decisions?

This investigation will impact my future decisions by making me think more critically about my purchasing decisions. Before I buy something, I will think, “Do I really need this?” “Will I actually use this for an extended amount of time?” “Is this product worth the pollution that its manufacture will directly and indirectly cause?” These questions will help me limit the number of purchases I make and in turn lower my overall carbon footprint. On top of this, I now know that I should maintain a clear and consistent focus on my relationships with my family and friends, as that is what maintains happiness, not material items.

d. What impact will this investigation have on others locally and/or globally?

This investigation will have an effect on others locally and globally by educating them on the impacts that their spending habits have on people around the world, particularly in third-world countries. By reading my inquiry posts, they will also have learned that consumerist tendencies around the world have caused catastrophic effects on the environment and that by purchasing high quality items that will last for a long time instead of breaking after a few uses, they can help alleviate the their carbon footprint.

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