Planetary resources are limited. On August 1, 2018, according to the Global Footprint Network Organization, we began to be indebted to the planet. This is: we are consuming more resources than the Earth is capable of generating in a year. Our irresponsible and excessive consumption, coupled with uncontrollable population growth, is depleting the Earth’s resources.
For all these reasons, it should not come as a surprise that responsible consumption and production is one of the 17 Global Goals of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development, through which the objective is to reduce the ecological footprint of beings. and sustainable growth and development.
What is responsible and sustainable consumption?
Responsible consumption is that conscious and critical consumption that, guided by social and environmental criteria, contributes to caring for the environment and improving the quality of life of future generations that inhabit the planet and seeking the least possible impact on the environment. Thus, responsible consumption is based on two essential premises:
- Consume less.
- Consume in a sustainable and solidary manner.
In any case, the fundamental characteristics of responsible consumption are the following:
- Conscious and premeditated, putting a good choice before the pressure of fashion and advertising.
- Critical, since the choice is based on social and ecological criteria.
- Ethical, since sustainable consumption encompasses a series of values such as responsibility, austerity, and respect for the product and the rights of producers, banishing practices contrary to them such as waste and consumerism.
- Ecological, since it rejects mass production and opts for a production that makes optimal use of natural resources.
- Healthy, as a healthier lifestyle is encouraged, rejecting processed products and choosing higher quality and more environmentally sustainable products.
- Sustainable, because it rejects consumerism, avoiding the waste of products and significantly reducing the footprint of the human being on the planet.
- Fair, since it protects and respects the rights of the products and of the producers, based on principles such as non-discrimination or non-exploitation.
- Solidarity, because it seeks to leave the best possible planet for future generations, trying to ensure their livelihood.
Why is it important to educate in responsible consumption?
Providing children with conscious and critical attitudes when consuming is essential for the proper preservation of the environment. We are at a critical moment and it is essential that the little ones learn to respect their environment and take care of it by adopting sustainable habits and attitudes.
Undoubtedly, we cannot and should not rely exclusively on the environmental education of our children in the Educational System, since life and consumption habits must begin at home, since this is the place where consumption is truly exercised. However, the public powers are obliged to issue regulations that lead to a responsible and sustainable economy and consumption, so the Educational System has to educate the smallest in these principles.
What is clear is that the planet’s resources are not infinite and that we must change our way of consuming if we want to save the Earth. There is no planet B and it is essential that our children know this reality and are aware that the possibility of changing the future of the planet is only in our hands.
Responsible consumption for children: keys to their learning
Although the theory is simple, putting it into practice is not an easy task. However, there are certain keys that can be put into practice to instill responsible consumption for children. Some tips to take care of the environment for children are the following:
- Teaching to take no for an answer: children should know that not everything they want they can have. For this, it is essential to teach children to deal with their frustration and to differentiate true needs from mere whims.
- Lead by example: educating is, above all, setting an example with one’s own behavior. If the minors see in their parents and in other referents greater respectful behaviors with the environment, they will undoubtedly imitate these behaviors and internalize them.
- Teaching to recycle: recycling can become a fun and simple task, teaching the little ones in which container each piece of waste goes.
- Saving energy and water: children have to be taught actions as simple as choosing the shower instead of the bathtub, turning off the light when leaving a room or turning off the tap when brushing their teeth.
- Buy less and better: opt for better quality products, but buy less. In addition, opt for fair trade, ecological or solidarity products.
By teaching our children responsible consumption habits and minimizing the impact of our time on planet earth, we will achieve a planet that is worth leaving for future generations.
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