The most prominent threats to our environment (climate change, loss of biodiversity, toxic contamination, etc) are evidence of a much greater problem. Our societal emphasis on economic growth and success has excluded the cost of environmental damage from the profit equation. Economic growth has been given precedence over the external implications of such development.
It is essential now, in having a profound knowledge of the "true cost" of many industrial actions, that we move towards a more sustainable economy. Consumers hold a great deal of power in influencing corporate decisions, and it is therefore necessary that consumers become educated in reducing the ecological impact of their purchases.