Consumption awareness raising to fight environmental pollution
Which are the tools and practices applied in Europe to fight pollution and to increase sustainable consumption?
The purpose of the study was to identify at a local level practices and initiatives of European citizens and institutions in the responsible consumption field. This study is presented to the public in a synthesis which gives a brief overview about the practices undertaken in the EU countries (Belgium, France, Italy and Latvia).
It was carried on in 2010 and it is interesting to see how the awareness and practices have been changing and increasing in these years.
The study was conducted in the frame of the City Zen project, and consisted in local researches done on the 7 main areas of responsible consumption: transport, food, energies, eco and solidarity tourism, clothes footwear, house and office goods and cosmetics.
The researches were carried one by the City Zen project partners, with the active involvement of local experts, students and citizens interested on the project thematic. Thanks to their different social/professional background the researches were carried on with different methodologies and perspectives.
The aim of these researches was to see what was done in terms of responsible consumption, what are the good existing practices, the restrictions and problems in the 4 partner countries.
The main idea was to contribute to build sustainable European society around the topic of responsible consumption, and this study represented the first step towards this objective. In fact, the study was taken as a basis (in terms of awareness and knowledge) to develop the “Otesha Action Plan” which collects together commitments made by civil society and proposed actions for institutions at local and EU level.
Concerning the research of Good existing practices the main results are the following:
In all the four partner countries there are existing good practices in most of the 7 fields of sustainable consumption taking into consideration. The field that has the most number of practices is the one of “House and Office goods” especially concerning the recycling process. In the field of Food, even if most of good existing practices are carried on by citizens, public resources are needed to give more emphasis and competitiveness to the biological products. Concerning the Eco Solidarity Tourism and Cosmetic field we registered few practices and not in all four partner countries. The rising of practices in the field of Energies and Transport is stick related to the financial support of institutions.
Concerning the restrictions the main conclusions are the following:
In all four partner countries we registered an high price of bio products that dissuade their consumption and an intensive use of cars /non green energies, encouraged by a massive production of goods which are not “green” (plastic, cars, etc.).
We think that these restrictions could decrease thanks to rising awareness campaigns promoting responsible consumption in all its aspects. Moreover, public policies and investments should increase for encouraging responsible consumption, as in the field of public transportation and in the production of green energy and bio food.
- To inform, make aware and involve European citizens on the theme of responsible consumption
- To use the technique of Forum Theatre to face the thematic of responsible consumption
- To develop the “Otesha Action Plan” to be distributed to stakeholders, politicians and citizens
- Research about Sustainable Consumption at national and local level, looking for actors/associations working for its promotion
- Training on Forum Theatre technique
- Implementation of three local events to make aware citizens about sustainable consumption importance (Festival, Cinema debate, Forum Theatre)
- Dissemination of a Quiz to guide citizens to think about this issue
- Transnational meeting with local stakeholders and actors working on this field
- Development of “Otesha Action Plan”, that collect suggestion in order to facilitate Sustainable Consumption
- Coordinator: Pistes Solidaires (France)
- Wervel (Belgium)
- Fekete Sereg (Hungary)
- Gulbene District Council (Latvia)