EC urges consumers to buy sustainably

17th October 2011


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IEMA

The European Commission (EC) has launched a campaign to encourage the public to consider the environmental impacts of their shopping habits.

The “Generation Awake” campaign forms part of the bloc’s approach to improving resource efficiency and aims to get Europeans to “consume differently” by making them aware of the scarcity of resources and advising them on how to make more sustainable choices.

“With our economy in difficulty and our resources dwindling, it's time to start rethinking some of our habits,” said environment commissioner Janez Potočnik.

“Using resources more carefully not only helps protect the environment, but saves money and reduces business costs. It's about using less to do more. Everyone can do their bit. We just need to wake up!”

The project’s website (www.generationawake.eu) includes information on the impact of consuming resources such as water, wood and food, alongside tips on reducing waste and making smarter consumer choices.

At the heart of the campaign is a consumption guide that covers a broad range of sustainability issues from energy efficiency and recycling, to biodiversity and transport. Consumers are also being encouraged to sign up to specific sustainable challenges such as using only public transport for a month.

The launch of the campaign coincided with a report from the Green Alliance urging the UK government to do more to encourage energy efficiency in homes. According to the environmental think tank, introducing a feed-in-tariff rewarding energy efficiency could cut energy bills by £35 billion by 2025.

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