The relentless linear cycle of, extraction, manufacture and disposal is inherently unustainable.
THE LINEAR STATUS QUO
The economic model currently at large in the outdoor industry is the linear economy.
Here's how it works:
Raw materials are collected
Transformed into products
Products discarded as waste at end of life
The linear model places an enormous burden on the ecological balance of our planet. All three steps of the “take-make-dispose” mentality affect ecosystem services in different ways. The collection of raw materials leads to...
high energy and water consumption, emissions of toxic substances and disruption of natural capital
...such as forests and lakes. Product formation is also often accompanied by high energy and water consumption and toxic emissions. Eventually, when these products are discarded, space is taken up from natural areas and toxic substances are often also emitted. (PBL Netherlands, ‘Using planetary boundaries to support national implementation of environment-related sustainable development goals’)
CONSUMERISM: AT WHAT COST?
The linear economy also fuels consumerism. We are trapped in a cycle where outdoor brands are continually producing more products year upon year which they then have to flog on to the consumer. It's no wonder we are constantly bombarded to buy new outdoor products everywhere we look, the linear economy model depends on us buying stuff!
But do we really know the true cost of our addiction to consumerism? As outdoor enthusiasts we have a unique relationship with the natural world so we can no longer ignore the environmental impacts of what we buy.