As the world steps into the new year, many people aim to leave behind bad habits and adopt healthier choices. Making these resolutions comes off the heels of the biggest season for spending, and it’s a time that can put a lot of strain on the environment. For 2023, choosing to cut down on consumption and shop responsibly can be a resolution that is better for both you and the planet. Out of all the major events in the United States, Americans spend the most money during the holidays. In 2017, A report published by Statistica estimated that 796 billion dollars were spent during the holiday season. In second place was back-to-school shopping, which came in at only 83 billion dollars by comparison. Consumerism has been integrated into American culture for generations. People are encouraged to constantly buy new instead of repairing what breaks and keeping what still works. When consumers stop buying things, uneasiness settles over economists and business owners alike as they anticipate how lower consumption rates will affect the economy. Americans are taught that a healthy economy is one where goods are continually produced, and money is spent on purchasing them.
Unfortunately, the current rate of global consumption has placed a burden on Earth’s resources. Many existing infrastructures and industries rely on consumption, and yet, it has caused a host of environmental issues, from excessive waste to greenhouse gas pollution. Some look to eco-consumerism as a way to combat mindless spending. Adopting the habits of an eco-conscious shopper may be hard to instill for some, but it could be a crucial ingredient to fixing excessive consumption. Despite the temptations of two-day delivery and endless retail sales, there is still a way for everyone to successfully shift their shopping patterns.