Introduction:Humans have always evolved and developed ways to usenatural resources. With the ever increasing the population the rate of usingthese resources has always increased and this has led to scarcity and pollutionof the environment. Over consumption or conspicuous consumption andsustainability are two ideas that run parallelly and are debated worldwide.While conspicuous consumption is justified on the grounds that display of moneyand consumption is a sign of power and it is necessary when nations deal witheach other or have an ongoing cold war, like that of USA and USSR in 1950s. Butin the long run, it leads to a over consumption behaviour which is notself-sustainable.
Each idea has its own perspective which we willexplore by talking in detail what are the pros and cons of each and how thesetwo ideas have coexisted and present the point of view from each perspective.In the end we’ll see what the overall picture speaks and what is more suitablehuman civilization in the short as well as the long run. It will also tell uswhat immediate actions and behaviours humans need to adapt for their survival.Sustainability:On 20 August 2013, we observed Earth Overshoot Day,the day every year humans exceed the ecological limit of India and pollute theEarth more than it can endure. The future seems even darker. It is estimatedthat in the next 15 years the global supply of oil, fresh water will not beable to meet the global demand.
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There are many other domains where ourconsumption behaviour is unfair and excessive. This is where the idea ofsustainability jumps in. Sustainability is not just about Recycle, Reuse, Reduce,its also about consuming renewable energy sources, adopting measures which areless harmful to environment. It talks about shifting to a self-sufficientsystem of consumption. But environment has to be seen holistically andsustainability needs inclusion. All the stakeholders need to understand thatthey have to do it not for someone else, but for themselves. Many corporatesare doing huge contributions in this direction and are creating value forthemselves and other stakeholders as well.
“Sadly, right now, sustainability has become a trendyobsession. Perhaps the only thing that most politicians, economists and manybusiness leaders crave even more foolishly is constant economic growth. Inplain survival terms, the latter is as ludicrous a proposition as the former.It is therefore not surprising that spin-doctors and marketers have conflatedthe two concepts into the preposterous notion of “sustainable economic growth”. The idea of sustainability needs to deconstruct theconsumption behaviour and focus on consuming less and valuing the resourcesmore. We have stopped buying things which can last for a lifetime and the mostdurable of products have started coming with a very short shelf life ordurability.
This has increased the consumption of basic raw materials likemetals, water, oil exponentially.Conclusion-Although the idea of sustainability is a littledangerous in terms of its practicability. But our human civilization has nobetter option rather than adopt it for the time being so as to extend the lifeof our civilization on this planet unless we invent of ways of how to use the resources self sufficientlyor develop an infinite source of the same.