by Prof. Liwayway Memije-Cruz
Our view of nature will influence the way we treat nature, and our view of human nature will affect our understanding of human responsibility. -Ian Barbour
The needs and wishes of the world’s population are growing. Resources are being used beyond the earth’s carrying capacity. Excessive waste and emissions are being released into the environment. Societies must change their consumption patterns and move towards cleaner and safer production patterns. We have to think about sustainable consumption if we wanted to leave the future generations the things we are still enjoying now... the vast natural resources... what God created for us to live and enjoy.
Sustainable Consumption is the use of services and related products which respond to the basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as emissions of wastes and pollutants over the life cycle so as not to jeopardize the needs of the future generations (UN CSD International Work Programme adapted in 1995). Meeting the increasing needs of people and at the same time improving environmental outcomes, requires more efficient consumption using fewer resources and causing less pollution will assist human development in all parts of the world. Furthermore, a fundamental shift on how to improve quality of life means that social and cultural elements should be taken into account as well.
Consumption patterns result from the choices and activities of a wide variety of actors including business, government and individual households. Influencing these choices meant stimulating and facilitating new economic opportunities – better products and services and altering the current infrastructure and regulatory framework that lock consumers into sustainable behavior. Sustainable consumption is a groundbreaking concept. It goes beyond “green” consumption and addresses social and equity issues as well. Advertising links, business, policy makers and consumers can stimulate product and service development. As corporate regulation and brand image become increasingly important, advertising agencies will play an influential role in advising their clients how to integrate sustainability. They can bring in-depth knowledge and understanding of consumer behavior and communication skills to help promote sustainable development.
What ever befalls the earth?
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth…
We did not weave the web of life;
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.