The Theory of Externalities

what makes consumption unsustainable?

Sustainability through the theory of externalities

Nestled between the price a store pays for an item and the final purchase price is the culprit behind our unsustainable system, external costs and their resulting externalities.

The following articles illustrate how the theory of externalities can be used to give individual consumer actions power to influence systemic change, moving the needle that much closer to sustainable.

NBCs The Good Place Point System from The Book of Dougs episode showing the externalities of our consumption

Quick overview

A simple overview of externalities using a clip from NBC’s The Good Place

Estimated reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

unintended consequences
The Active Consumer philosophy created from the theory of externalities

The basics

Here, you’ll get some visuals to help explain externalities and how we can use them to move the needle towards sustainable

Estimated reading time: – 5 minutes

Open book, hardback books on wooden table. Back to school. Copy space.

A guide to sustainable living

For those wanting an in-depth guide for sustainable living using the theory of externalities

Estimated reading time: 10 – 15 minutes

sustainable living

Exploring externalities

The Theory of Externalities is starting to make some sense and now you’re curious about the implications of externalities on the real world.

Externalities like rising health care costs for everyone due to unhealthy diets, increasingly sick populations due to antibiotic use at factory farms, and more.

In the following sections we tie the environmental and societal implications of consumption together using a common purchase, fast food.

Environmental impact

In this section we will cover the impacts on our agricultural system, our natural resources, and waste.

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massive protest, protesters walking down streets

Societal impact

In this section we will cover the impacts on our communities, healthcare system, and human rights.

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Engage with your externalities using Econus!

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