Sorry for the long absence ... life got in the way. Also been on Raya mode n went to KL for a short break with the kids. Fun!!
Anyway, the MUET speaking exam is around the corner. I will be writing more tips about that in the next blog post. In the mean time, here is an essay submitted by Chin Hong, a fellow MUET lecturer from Taiping, Perak. Everyone is welcome to submit essays for me to publish but I reserve the right to edit and 'doctor' it for accuracy and fluency. :P
There are important issues relating to consumerism. Discuss the various ways whereby we as consumers leave an impact on the environment, society and our nation. Support your view with examples. You should write at least 350 words.
As a nation progresses, so does the level of consumerism among its citizens. The changing lifestyles of people have increased the market demands for more sophisticated products and lifestyles. All said, such demands have improved our general lifestyles in certain ways but they too do leave behind some negative impacts on the environment, society and the nation.
Firstly, consumerism has affected the environment in such ways that if not resolved will greatly affect the world that we live in. Due to our hectic lifestyles, many people have forsaken their task of cooking and eating at home. Generally, most working people opt to buy ready-prepared food outside and these foods are packed in disposable plastic boxes or bags. As we all know, such boxes are non-biodegradable and thus will cause environmental degradation if they are disposed of and buried in landfills. The overdependence on plastic shopping bags instead of using shopping baskets while shopping by consumers also contributes to the degradation of the environment therefore we must support the ‘No Plastic Bags’ campaigns. The use of aerosol sprays by consumers and CFCs-based products will have a detrimental effect on the environment. It will deplete the ozone layer in the atmosphere exposing mankind to the harmful effects of the ultra-violet rays of the sun. The affluent lifestyle of people nowadays has seen an increase in the ownership of private cars and this has caused air pollution to the environment to increase dramatically.
The changing spending habits of consumers too have an impact on society and the nation as well. The greater demands of consumers for luxury goods such as electric appliances and modern gadgets have caused an artificial demand of such goods and this has pushed up the price of such products. Thus consumers will be at the losing end as they need to pay more for such products causing inflation to rise. The widespread use of plastic money or credit cards too produces a negative impact on our society and the nation. The uncontrollable use of credit cards to purchase products has caused many a person to be heavily indebted to credit companies and banks. This has affected the saving power of the people and the country will be short of money with which to generate its economic growth. There will be a slowdown of the economy of the country as consumers will have no more money to spend or save due to the debts incurred from the overuse of credit facilities.
In short, although the increased level of consumerism has improved our lifestyles to a greater extent but the long term negative effects it has on the environment, society and nation needs to be looked into so that we as consumers can learn to be smart consumers benefitting not only ourselves but the society and nation at large. Our government needs to step up efforts to acquaint consumers with their rights and responsibilities by carrying out more consumer awareness campaigns nationwide. Smart consumers, prosperity for all.