5 ways to continue sustainable consumption
after World Consumer Rights Day

This year, the theme of World Consumer Rights Day is ‘The Sustainable Consumer’.

Green Action Week campaigns for sustainable consumption by supporting groups across the world who are trying to provide equal access to goods and services by bringing back local cultures of collaborating and sharing – a sharing community.

Here are five ways that Green Action Week partners are already showing the way by promoting sharing community. Green Action Week is a year-round campaign, if you are interested in continuing activities to support sustainable consumers after World Consumer Rights Day, why not join us?

1: Connect different kinds of sustainability

Centro Ecológico helped Brazilians push back against unsustainable consumerism by creating “sharing and solidarity networks” that linked:

  • Farmers in the fields to produce organic food without pesticides…
  • ….which were sold in a cooperative cafe to shoppers in town….
  • …who collected spare toys to share between children at school…
  • …who debated in class how they could be the next generation of sustainable consumers. 

Find out more in this short film about their activities.

2: Look to the future, inspired by the past

SAFCEI held a Seed Swap event to claim back practices of sharing diverse seed varieties and discuss some of the injustices within the seed system.

“Humans have spent generations caring, saving and sharing seeds to ensure that there is enough diversity for both themselves and the natural world on which they depend. However, today the practice of sharing and swapping seeds is increasingly becoming illegal. Recent seed laws have put agribusiness profit over practices that people, who live close to the land, know are essential for long-term sustainable food production and security.”

Read more about how SAFCEI are taking back ownership of our seeds.

3: Taste the difference

Every event organiser knows that providing tasty treats is essential to attracting and keeping your participants energised. But what about helping your participants make the treats themselves, and learn about sustainable purchasing decisions at the same time?

At Lembaga Konsumen Yogyakarta (LKY) workshops on alternative food sources, they use processed Mocaf Flour to bring the community together through delicious cooking. They then followed this with workshops where participants kept diaries of everything they had bought that week, and discussed how it could become more sustainable.

Why not try their recipe for brownies made from Mocaf Flour yourself?

4: Make something new from something old

When we talk about sharing community, we emphasise it is about providing more equal access to goods and services for more people, and about benefiting people as well as the planet.

The Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group (CAG) took on both challenges at the same time by providing workshops where people learned how to creatively upcycle old clothes into something new. Then these skills could help provide an additional steady source of income.

Follow CAG on Facebook for regular updates on how they tackle these social and environmental challenges at the same time.

5: Swap for sustainability

Textile production requires lots of resources – and is detrimental to the environment and the lives of people who work in the production.

In Sweden, an average of 7.5 kilos of textiles per person are discarded annually – often fully functional clothes.

Many people are getting tired of the ‘buy-and-throw away’ situation. A clothes swap is a fun, social and totally free activity, where clothes you have gotten tired of or that no longer fit will be new and fun for someone else.

Every spring a ‘Nordic Swap Day’ is arranged in Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, benefiting people and the environment.

Check this page for updates on Nordic Swap Day.