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The rise of the 18TH–20TH LATE 20TH conscious consumer CENTURY: THE RISE CENTURY: OF CONSPICUOUS INTRODUCING CONSUMPTION ENVIRONMENTAL AND PHILANTHROPIC CONSUMERS “Consumption The Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries 20M Americans Environmental Consumers is the sole end participated in and purpose of brought the technological power for mass production the first ever In the 1960s the environmental conversation among (18) all production.” Earth Day on through a shift in manufacturing processes across Europe April 22, 1970.(19) consumers was ignited in large part thanks to Rachel Carson’s ―Adam Smith, The Wealth of and the United States. In the U.S., the Great Depression, ―Earth publication of Silent Spring in 1962 – a startling book that Nations 1776 followed by World War II, created conditions in which people portrayed the effects of chemicals on the natural environment. could support the “American Way” by buying goods. The This book helped rally an already civically-minded group of production boom in the U.S. following the war, coupled with citizens around the world, particularly in the U.S., to start the eventual advancement in chemicals and other inputs into asking questions about corporate behavior particularly as the production process — as well as the increase in marketing it relates to its impact on the environment and humans. For efforts — resulted in an American way of life that was heavily decades, booming mass manufacturing had been providing focused on buying the latest, greatest, and biggest. This era goods and services to the conspicuous consumer, but now created a consumption mentality of “more is better” and set questions were being raised as to how their operations in the tone for what’s come to be known as Keeping Up with the making all of those products and services were actually Joneses. impacting the planet. 30 31

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