Examples of responsible consumption

examples of responsible consumption

We know that human beings need to reduce the impact that we cause to the environment with the use of resources and daily consumption. For this, the concept of responsible consumption was born. This responsible consumption tries to cause minimal environmental impacts. There are thousands of examples of responsible consumption that can help us give ideas to incorporate into our lives.

In this article we are going to tell you about the best examples of responsible consumption, what is its origin and how you can apply it in your day to day.

What is responsible consumption

sustainable habits

Responsible consumption is a consumption philosophy that seeks to minimize the negative impact on the environment and society, while promoting personal well-being. It is about making informed and conscious decisions when purchasing products or services, considering its complete life cycle, from its manufacture to its final disposal.

First of all, responsible consumption implies being aware of the effects that our purchasing choices have on the world around us. This means that we have to inform ourselves about how products are produced, if sustainable materials are used, if labor law is respected and if ethical practices are adopted. By being informed, we can opt for brands and companies committed to social and environmental responsibility.

This type of eco-friendly consumption also focuses on reducing the amount of resources we use and the waste we generate. This implies Prioritize the durability and quality of the products, instead of opting for low-quality or disposable items that end up in the trash quickly. It also means looking for more sustainable alternatives, such as products that are recycled, reusable or made from renewable materials. Of course, all this is sometimes difficult to incorporate into our lives, since products with these characteristics usually have a higher price that not all consumers can afford.

To have a responsible consumption it is necessary to acquire a smaller lifestyle. This implies reflecting on our real needs and avoiding excessive consumerism, avoiding falling into the trap of acquiring unnecessary things on impulse. In addition, it implies supporting small local producers and ethical businesses, promoting the local economy and contributing to stronger and more sustainable communities.

With these habits it is easier to adopt recycling and reuse practices, extend the useful life of products and repair them instead of throwing them away. By doing so, we reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and contribute to the conservation of natural resources.

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examples of responsible consumption in the world

Responsible consumption corresponds to the explosion of consumerism in the XNUMXth century and the transnationalization of industry before globalization, phenomena that brought enormous dividends to the big capitalists who they prioritized profitability over social justice and environmental protection.

The effects of this way of doing things become apparent after some time. On the one hand, economic, social and labor inequalities have increased within countries. On the other hand, on a global scale, climate change and the massive loss of the planet's biodiversity are accelerating.

While this was happening, the insular and local claims initially made by groups with little political and media power began to lose prestige. The 1998 UNDP Human Development Report warned that the current model of industrial development was unsustainable both humanly and ecologically over time.

In addition, at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, it was agreed that it was necessary promote consumption initiatives that respect the environment and satisfy basic needs of most people. Since then, the concept of responsible consumption has gained popularity, despite opposition or utopia.

Benefits and advantages

The benefits of this environmentally friendly consumption has the following advantages and benefits:

  • Promote a more equitable distribution of global wealth, given that 1% of the population currently accumulates 82% of the total wealth of the world.
  • Improve a work culture that sees workers as dignified human beingss, empowered, and whose work should reward them and improve their quality of life, rather than simply subject them to exploitation.
  • Promote respect for the delicate environmental balance, allowing renewable resources to be replenished at a sustainable rate and managed within the limits of pollution and development that allow life to survive without threatening global biodiversity.
  • Forcing large multinational capitals to review their business policies and fight ethically to win customers, instead of adopting monopoly standards or simply flooding the market with advertising and unfair competition.
  • Allow construction of models of sustainable development in the short, medium and long term.

Examples of responsible consumption

plastic packaging

As examples of responsible consumption, we are going to tell you some guidelines or practical principles from the perspective of any consumer:

  • Before consuming it, ask yourself if the product or service is really necessary, or if it constitutes a superfluous expense whose product does not compensate for the overall damage that its manufacture may entail.
  • Know the companies well. To do this, you need to find out which companies strive to do business in an environmentally and socially friendly way, and don't buy products from companies that don't.
  • Say no to excess plastic: Minimize plastic bags, straws, utensils, plates, glasses, containers, etc. and, if you have them, opt for biodegradable alternatives.
  • Apply the three R's of ecology whenever possible: reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Separate biodegradable and recyclable waste and prioritizes recyclable packaging over single-use ones.
  • Do not consume products that have been tested on animals or produced through mechanisms of human exploitation or animal cruelty.
  • Choose free software over monopoly variants.

irresponsible consumption

In contrast to responsible consumption, irresponsible consumption is when the individual chooses not to discover or simply ignores the moral implications of purchasing a product or service, rather than simply accepting the fact that the world is just that.

It is a pattern of consumption that favors ephemeral happiness, without interest in what happens in the productive chain of the purchased product: how many people work in subhuman conditions, how many non-renewable natural resources are deprived, being exploited to do so, and the extent of damage caused to the environment by doing so.

Irresponsible consumption may be a happier and more carefree way of consuming, but it is also an unethical and unsustainable way of consuming in the medium term.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the examples of responsible consumption and its benefits for the environment.


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