Embracing responsible consumption to combat climate change

responsible consumption - climateaction

Embracing responsible consumption to combat climate change

According to a UN report, about one-third of all food produced either ends up in bins or goes bad.

It further estimates that if the world’s population switched to energy-efficient light bulbs, it would save about US$120 billion annually, stating that the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles (with the global population reaching 9.6 billion by 2050) if the current pace of consumption and production continues.

For the world to achieve sustainable development, there needs to be a transition to responsible consumption and production of goods and services as it is necessary to reduce their negative impact on human health, the climate, and the environment.

According to the UN Environment Programme, sustainable or responsible consumption refers to “the use of services and related products, which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as the emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle of the service or product so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations.”

Responsible consumption entails doing more and better with less and decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency, and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 already calls for responsible consumption and production patterns, acknowledging that consumption and production have destructive impacts on natural resources despite being drivers of the economy.

To achieve this goal, the world must efficiently manage natural resources and waste by encouraging industries, businesses, and consumers to reduce waste and recycle. This will not only severe economic growth linked with environmental and natural resources stressors but also ensure better utilization of waste.

This differentiation of the various categories of waste at their sources is important so that they can be gotten at their purest and in substantial volumes to generate useful products and energy from it. This will, by extension, conserve natural resources, reduce wastage, and pollution.

We all have a part to play in mitigating climate change and the good part is that we can do this through little actions like the choices we make each day (what we eat, wear, buy, etc). We must also learn to recycle unwanted items and make sure we know where they end up and what they will be transformed into.

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