Did you ever hear about the sustainable consumption concept and its effect on the environment? Why is sustainable consumption important in our path to eco-friendly living?
Don’t worry…. it’s not a sophisticated concept…
Sustainable consumption is using products and services that have the least amount of effect on the environment, are socially fair, and are economically viable while fulfilling the fundamental requirements of people all over the globe that is known as sustainable consumption.
Everybody, from individuals to governments and multinational corporations, is targeted by sustainable consumption, and it cuts across all industries and all countries.
What is the concept of Sustainable consumption?
Sustainable consumption is defined as the use of goods and services that meet basic needs and improve people’s quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources, toxic materials, as well as waste and pollution emissions over their whole life cycle, in order to avoid jeopardizing the requirements of future generations.
This define is made by The Oslo Symposium on Sustainable Consumption, which took place in 1994, came up with this common concept.
Sustainable Consumption and Production may mean various things to different individuals, but there are certain overarching ideas that tie together large areas of agreement to create a holistic approach that spans geographical boundaries and industry sectors.
In order to achieve systemic change, divorcing economic development from environmental degradation and using a lifecycle thinking approach, which takes into consideration all stages of resource usage in order to accomplish more and better with less, sustainable consumption and production must be implemented.
Let’s check our understand for the concept: what is sustainable consumption?
Sustainable consumption is the use of material goods, resources, and immaterial services in such a manner that their usage has the least negative effect on the environment, allowing for the satisfaction of people’s needs not only in the present but also for upcoming generations.
What do you mean by sustainable consumption?
There is no agreement on a single definition of sustainable consumption, which is frustrating. The report ‘Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 is one that is often cited as an example. The concept of sustainable development, which is defined as ‘development that satisfies the demands of the present without jeopardizing future generations’ capacity to meet their own needs, is founded on the principle of equity.
The UN Environment Programme defines sustainable consumption:
Doing more and better with less, by decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting
Types of Sustainable consumption
There are many different aspects to sustainable consumption. One of the most often taken into consideration is environmental sustainability.
- Environmental sustainability. which focuses on the consequences of decisions on the environment and is the subject of this briefing.
- Social sustainability is concerned with problems like labor practices, living circumstances, and the effect on local communities that are known as social sustainability.
- Economic sustainability is concerned with ensuring that markets remain afloat and that businesses continue to operate successfully.
Why Do We Need Sustainable Consumption?
The environment in which we live is under severe stress. If the world’s population grows to 9.6 billion by 2050, we would need three piles of earth to support present lifestyles for everyone on the planet. A third of all food produced each year (equal to about 1.3 billion tonnes valued at approximately USD 1 trillion) is projected to rot in the dumpsters of consumers and merchants, or deteriorate owing to poor transportation and harvesting methods.
Additionally, in the world today, more than one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water. In the world’s overall groundwater resources, freshwater makes for less than 3% of the total, with 2.5 percent frozen in glaciers, the Antarctic, the Arctic, and other parts of the world’s climate.
As a result, humanity must depend on a 0.5 percent share of the planet’s total ecosystem and freshwater requirements. Despite technical advancements that have resulted in increased energy efficiency improvements, energy consumption in OECD nations is expected to rise by another 35% by 2020.
Why is Sustainable Consumption and Production Important?
Sustainable consumption and production aspire to do more and better with less, boosting net welfare benefits from economic activities while simultaneously decreasing resource usage, degradation, and pollution, and improving the overall quality of life for all people.
Accordingly, sustainable development will be accomplished not only via the expansion of our economies but also through the reduction of waste generated in the process. The growth that pollutes the environment puts the development process on hold.
Environmentally friendly consumption is concerned with encouraging resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and ensuring that everyone has access to essential services, green and good employment, and a higher standard of living.
why is responsible consumption and production important?
Because in generally responsible behavior, rational and planned consumption and production help humans to save the planet from burning out and stopping using natural resources in an unaccountable way.
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How Can We Achieve Sustainable Consumption?
Our own consumption is a major contributor to many of the environmental issues we face today. We must alter our consumption habits and habits of consuming in order to minimize the negative climatic and environmental effects of our consumption.
The governments’ policies for sustainable consumption focuses on what the state can do, in collaboration with municipalities, the corporate sector, and civil society, to make it simpler for consumers to make environmentally friendly purchasing decisions.
Knowledge of the effect of consumption on the environment must be improved, and collaboration at all levels of society must be strengthened in order to achieve this.
1. Increasing knowledge awareness
To bring together actors who, in a variety of ways, can contribute to more environmentally friendly consumption and lifestyles, the governments should create a new way like platform or forum in order to increase knowledge and cooperation.
The forum’s goal is to disseminate examples of excellent behavior and develop solutions for more environmentally friendly consumption.
A forum was organized by the Swedish Consumer Agency, which will work in collaboration with other relevant government organizations. In the 2017 Budget Bill, the government proposes an investment of SEK 43 million through to 2020, followed by an annual investment of SEK 9 million for the Agency’s work on ecologically friendly consumption after that.
A network will be established in conjunction with the event to encourage active collaboration among academics, corporate leaders, county administrative boards, municipalities, and county councils, as well as civil society organizations.
2. Strengthening the role of school in sustainable consumption
In order to increase children’s and young people’s understanding of consumption and its effect on the environment and planet. Schools must play a significant part in this process.
According to the Swedish Consumer Agency, it is the government’s goal to collaborate with other relevant players in order to ease education about the environmental effect of consumption, for example, by making school resources and lesson plan ideas readily available.
3. Transportation that is environmentally friendly
A variety of initiatives are being undertaken to encourage people to commute by public transportation, bicycle, or on foot instead of driving. Investments are being made to enhance public transportation in rural regions, while the state is providing assistance to municipalities in their efforts to create more sustainable cities and improve public transportation in metropolitan areas.
4. Housing that is environmentally friendly
The operation and maintenance of housing, as well as the building and restoration of housing, have a significant effect on the environment, health, and financial well-being of households. The choice of goods and the manner in which they are utilized have an impact on the amount of energy used in a home.
5. Food that is environmentally friendly
The consumption of food accounts for a significant portion of the climatic effect caused by consumers. The government is presently putting up a food policy plan. In addition, the government would want to have meat sold in restaurants and institutional catering labeled with the place of origin.
6. Varied situations of different consumers
Certain customers are more susceptible than others to aggressive corporate tactics, and this should be taken into consideration to a larger degree in the development of national and European Union laws on the subject.
This problem may be important in conjunction with the forthcoming review of EU consumer protection law as well as with efforts to encourage more environmentally friendly consumption practices in the future. In conjunction with the general consumer assistance program’s follow-ups, particular attention will be given to problems pertaining to customers’ varying financial situations.
7. Phasing out potentially hazardous substances
Measures to guarantee a toxin-free environment and minimize the dangers connected with chemicals in our daily life are among the environmental initiatives undertaken by the government. Children are especially susceptible to the effects of toxic substances, and as a result, they get special attention.
8. Environment that is devoid of toxins
It has been decided to extend the mandate of the Swedish Chemicals Agency, which will continue to work on the action plan for a toxin-free daily environment, which will include contributing to more effective chemical regulation at the EU level.
The government is urging the European Union to guarantee that dangerous chemicals are phased out of the circular eco cycle as soon as possible in order to protect public health. The government has suggested a special tax on dangerous substances found in some electronic goods, which would be implemented in the near future.
Special steps are also being taken, among other things, to combat the use of microplastics in products. A proposal to create a knowledge center to develop environmentally friendly alternatives to dangerous chemicals is presently being researched and evaluated.
9. Positive changes are taking place in the sharing economy
It is possible that the sharing economy, which includes products and services being shared in a variety of ways, would offer more freedom of choice and lower costs, thus increasing possibilities to consume in a more environmentally friendly manner.
To map out the sharing economy, analyze the legal status of various users, and determine whether or not policies are needed to encourage good developments in the sharing economy, the government has commissioned an investigation to do just that.
10. Travel in a Sustainable Way
Traveling is an unavoidable part of life: lengthy car journeys, bus and rail excursions, and flights are all things that we must do. It’s essential to go away from the city and into the great outdoors.
In order to counterbalance the pollution caused by these journeys and to mitigate its impact, several automobile rental businesses, bus routes, rail lines, and airlines enable customers to purchase carbon offsets.
Even though these steps look official and need the government’s role, they are very crucial to save our resources and move us to sustainable mode.
We will write about sustainable actions that may be performed at home in our future article, which will be published shortly.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to attaining economic growth, the sustainable development strategy requires global leaders to strike a balance between economic, social, and environmental considerations.
Climate change, global warming, environmental degradation, and the rapid depletion of natural resources are issues that both developed and developing nations have been concerned about for a very long time.
Thud, we have answered the post question: Why is sustainable consumption important. What do you think about this topic? Which steps will be a part of our sustainable consumption goals?
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