Stanley cups are taking the internet by storm. Videos of people showing off their newest Quencher have flooded the internet, but it’s undeniable that this reusable water bottle is just another trend contributing to mass overconsumption.
In 2022, Stanley made $402 million and as of 2023, that number jumped to $750 million, showing the company’s sales revenue nearly doubled.
The “built for life” water bottle is nothing short of amazing due to its innovative shape that fits perfectly in cup holders and its array of limited-edition colors.
As a Stanley owner myself, it’s great and I couldn’t agree on its practicality more. However, how much longer do we have until this “perfect” water bottle is replaced by a new water vessel and faces the inevitable doom of joining the others in the back of the kitchen cupboard?
For years, people have fallen into a cycle of greed where items that are meant to last years are being replaced at a rapid pace. Before the Stanley, it was the Hydro Flask and before that, everyone was in search of a Yeti.
Water bottles are not the only items being unnecessarily cycled through. We pick up and put down new fashion trends every month and anxiously await the seasonal Baggu drop to add to the collection.
As consumerism is constantly on the rise, I believe that it is crucial that we cut down on overconsumption for the sake of the environment and our sanity.
What happens to the not-so-old items that we are consistently replacing with the coolest new version? It ends up in the landfill. Maybe we will hold onto it for a while until it takes up too much space, but whether it’s now or years from now, those items will all turn into waste.
According to a study done by the Climate & Clean Air Coalition, 20% of global methane emissions are caused by waste produced by humans. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is a heavy contributor to climate change.
By replacing items at an accelerated rate, we are contributing to a climate crisis that is affecting the environment, food supply and our health. But what sparked this insatiable desire to always have the newest items?
We live in a social media-driven society where we are always looking to put our best foot forward. We study our favorite influencers to mimic their trendy lifestyle and keep our shopping carts up-to-date. With the innovation of platforms such as TikTok Shop and targeted ads, online shopping has never been simpler.
According to Frontiers in Psychology, “buying motivation is raised as a result of interactions between people with strong links and increased exposure to product recommendations through electronic word-of-mouth.”
We’ve begun to look towards social media to learn what’s “in” and have allowed it to fuel our materialistic desires. While purchasing items is fun, this constant pursuit to find happiness in goods is not ideal in the long run.
The American Psychological Association said research has shown that people with increased levels of consumerism tend to have higher chances of being unhappy in the long run. The saying “you can’t buy happiness” has been around for a long time and it’s time we take it seriously.
Overconsumption is impacting our way of life far more than we can imagine. If we want to start prioritizing the environment and our health, we must stop falling into the trap of constant consumerism. Before we reach for the newest reusable water bottle in the market, we should stop and consider how much life our new Stanley still has.