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Consumerism, Environmentalism, and Marketing

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Consumerism is the equation of happiness with consumption in the purchase of material possessions (Cross, 2000). In economics, consumerism is the free choice of consumers, which dictates economic structure of society. Consumerism is an international phenomenon. Consumerism also includes the promotion of consumer rights and protection. Changing fashion and planned obsolescence benefit the producer. Twentieth century consumerism shifted from values of community, spirituality, and integrity to more competition, materialism, and disconnection. Upper class consumers are desired targets for marketing campaigns (Miller, 1991). A consumer may derive a great deal of satisfaction from purchasing something that improves their social status.

Generally, consumers seek to emulate those who are above them in the social hierarchy. Environmentalism is a social movement concerned with conservation and improvement of the environment (Luke, 1997). Environmentalism is associated with the color green from dark green to light and bright green. Environmentalism seeks to influence politicians through lobbying, activism, and education. The environment movement, ecology, health, and human rights, advocates for management of natural resources and changes in public policy. Environmentalists try to give the natural world a stronger voice in human consciousness.

In the 20th century, environmentalists gained popularity and recognition. Efforts to save wildlife and the National Park Service founded by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 were in response to environmentalists. In 1962, Houghton Mifflin published Silent Spring by biologist Rachel Carson who raised public concern about DDT and other pesticides that may cause cancer and were a threat to wildlife, especially birds. Groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth focused on air pollution, oil spills, and water contamination.

Free market environmentalism values health and sustainability of the environment. Environmental preservation, chiefly in the United States, concerns prevention of damage to ecosystems caused by human activities, such as logging, mining, hunting, and fishing, replacing them with tourism and recreation. Natural wildlife preserves are advertised as a place to relax and learn about the carrying capacity of the delicate ecosystem.

Pocomoke is minutes from the Ocean City beach resort, the Assateague National Seashore Wildlife Refuge, and Wallops Island, home of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The relaxed family atmosphere, the freshest area seafood year round at reasonable prices, the mild climate, the tranquil Pocomoke River, and abundant wildlife and natural resources make Pocomoke City a great place to live or vacation (Martin, 2008). Cross, Gary (2000). An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won In Modern America. Columbia University Press. Luke, T. (1997). Environmentalism as Globalized Consumerism?


Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 18-22.

Martin, P. (2008). E. James Tull, Shipbuilder on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Nautical

Research Guild Journal 53(2), 67-76.

Miller, E. (1991). Attracting the affluent: the first guide to America’s changing ultimate market, Naperville, Ill.: Financial Sourcebooks.

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