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"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." - Kamakshi

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  • Date Submitted: 01/26/2016 12:28 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.4 
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eTrading off between Living Standard and the Environmental Quality

As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.” The quote holds very true in today's society, as the awareness about the need to conserve the environment has been growing. This phenomenon could be derived from the rising number of environmental issues over the world. The improvement of living standards in the areas of income level, variety of consumer goods and social development will directly result in damage to the environment.

First of all, higher disposable income may lead to higher levels of waste. When consumers have more disposable income, they may spend more on different kinds of products, such as clothing, electronic devices and brand-name products. According to the article ‘Just 1pc of Hong Kong people recycle their old phones at recycling sites’(2012), ‘a survey revealed the average Hong Kong citizens uses a mobile phone for just over 21 months before replacing it with a newer or more advanced model’. This is example shows how large amounts of electronic waste can be created when consumers choose to upgrade their mobile phones and other mobile devices in a frequent manner. Growing quantities of discarded gadgets in this case would exacerbate the pollution problem and harm the environment. Therefore, increase in consumption can lead to further environmental degradation.

Moreover, the increase in the variety of consumer goods may lead to the decrease of natural resources. Companies will typically attempt to boost their sales and profits by increasing their portfolio of products. Competition and market forces drive companies to adopt various strategies in order to survive. For example, restaurants often create new dishes or provide better quality of food in order to attract new customers. Such operations rely on the supplies of natural resources, and some of these maybe scarce in quantity. According to the article...

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