14 Jan

Consumerism and Environmentalism


According to Kotler (2008) Consumerism is increasing power of buyers in relation to sellers via organized movement of people and governmental agencies. While Verdant (2011) describing consumerism as: “Consumerism is a pattern of behavior that helps to destroy our environment, personal financial health, the common good of individuals and human institutions.” The critics of marketing and their long-term disadvantages are evidence that personally I think Verdant descriptions of consumerism shows clearly the effects of consumerism on society so that consumerism tries to replace “normal common-sense” with artificial senses that make people to demand their wants.

Consumerism is known by government, all international organization, and unknown number of individuals in every country. Usually, buyers’ rights and sellers’ rights are known and also supported by law in most countries, in regard to all those points, increasing consumptions by providing hundreds of different products in major different types, directly and indirectly changes the behavior of people and impacts on society, and finally, every change in power will result in changing environment during production, and later when the product used (like car, communication devices, etc).


It’s toward protecting people’s lives by protecting environment from pollution or any bad impact on environment that came from products’ life-cycle. Usually, the actual environment is not requiring any improvements, but according to human-made factors that affecting environment, our environment changed, so that, Environmentalism or any other movements that tries to improve environment, are just for rolling-back environment to its natural state not to add any improvements.

In regard to marketing, Environmentalism can affect marketing in more ways, for example: ‘Smoking kills’ is a message that printed on at least one sides on cigarette packet, however, smoking will affect other people that near to smoker in more ways, and current founding of side-effects of smoking shows that: “…his smoke is said to be even more dangerous to the health than the smoke directly…” (Jordon Ministry of Health, n.d.). There are more products that their affects are hidden on environment or not found yet, but production process is still continues and businesses are still growing.

Consumerism vs. environmentalism

I can see that consumerism and environmentalism are totally mutually exclusive for those products that affecting environment, in regard to consumers’ education and knowledge, there might be more individuals that not educated about environmental causes and effects; it’s not a solution to leave the decision to consumers for choosing good products and ignoring bad ones, the hidden affects of products during production must also be considered.

However, for good products, new innovations can consider consumerism and environmentalism at the same time by providing max possible quality without any side effects on environment.


  • Jacob B. Hirsh, Dan Dolderman (2007) Personality predictors of Consumerism and Environmentalism: A preliminary study [Online]. Available from: http://individual.utoronto.ca/jacobhirsh/publications/Hirsh_Dolderman_2007.pdf (Accessed: 12 November 2011)
  • Timothy W. Luke (1997) The (Un)Wise (Ab)Use of Nature: Environmentalism as Globalized Consumerism? [Online]. Available from: http://www.cddc.vt.edu/tim/tims/tim528.pdf  (Accessed: 12 November 2011)
  • Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong (2008) ‘Principles of Marketing’, 12th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN: 0-13-712827-4
  • Philip Kotler (2006) ‘Marketing Management, Millenium Edition’, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0–536–63099-2
  • NET (2011) ANTI-CONSUMERISM; Overcoming Consumerism [Online]. Available from: http://www.verdant.net/  (Accessed: 12 November 2011)
  • NET (2011) Why Overcoming Consumerism? [Online]. Available from: http://verdant.net/society.htm#howaffects/  (Accessed: 12 November 2011)
  • Ministry of Health (n.d.) Negative Smoking…How to Protect Your Family [Online]. Available From: http://www.moh.gov.jo/MOH/En/about.php (Accessed: 12 November 2011)