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  People throw things away and buy new ones instead of repairing them and using again. What do you think may be the reasons for this? What problems might this cause in society?


  Ours is a throw-away society strongly influenced by consumerism as we value convenience over environmental protection. Even though we are environmentally conscious to some extent, we do not appear to be serious enough in taking measures to reduce consumption, let alone repairing and re-using old things instead of buying new ones. Much is known about what is happening whereas little is being done to effectively prevent the serious situation from becoming worse.


  The causes of the development of the "throw-away society" are clear, so are its effects on the environment. We throw away out of convenience because societal conventions have us constantly move on to the next new fad or technology. For example, we are dumping large quantities of thrash, such as plastic bags and diapers that can pollute the environment. Likewise, we are discarding televisions, cell phones, computers and other plastics in exchange of new ones that unsurprisingly will become our future garbage. It is as if a product were designed or intended on purpose to fail or become less desirable over time, only to be thrown away after a certain amount of use. So much so, we are filling the environment with more rubbish than we can possibly dispose of, and as a result pollution is the price we are paying for the popular culture of consumerism in the age of mass production.


  Nevertheless, there are no ready solutions to consumerism-related problems due mainly to the fact that the "throw-away" habits die hard, especially when often it could be more costly to repair old products than to buy new ones. Consequently, although many people have a critical view of over-consumption and excessive production of short-lived items, few people are actually able to resist the systematic attempts of business to make us wasteful as well as debt-ridden and permanently discontented individuals. To relieve the environmental impacts, we pretend to believe that one ideal solution should rest on educating consumers to voluntarily do "positive" buying--recycled and re-used. Without a doubt, this might be nothing but wishful thinking since such a measure is easier said than done in a well-to-do society, imagining that only extreme poverty could perhaps stop the "throw-away" trend. Fortunately, the good news is that there exist some kinds of technological know-how that may kindle the hope of finding a "green" solution, commonly called Waste-To-Energy (WTE) plants. Of course, it remains to be seen how efficiently those WTE plants can reduce waste volume and also contribute to resource recovery, thereby protecting the environment.


  What with education and what with technology, it is expected that more could be done to combat the key problems in the "throw-away society". To be sure, environmental awareness alone is not enough to spare our planet from being further damaged if we do not change that consumer lifestyle which is not doing any favor to the environment. In a society gradually being used to obsessive consumerism, the cruel reality is that too many people now prefer convenience to environmental protection, while too few measures are likely to become effective anytime soon.


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