New environmental guide puts accent on youth

(Canscene) — The following is excerpted with permission from the Gallen  Environment Letter:

A new guide called Consume this: Buying that Matters from the Canadian Pollution Prevention Centre is intended to help youth make smart choices for sustainable consumption which is defined as:
•     Satisfaction of human needs
•     Favouring a good quality of life through  acceptable living standards
•     Sharing resources between rich and poor
•     Acting with concern for future generations
•     Looking at the ‘cradle-to-grave’ impact  of consumption
•     Minimizing resource use, waste and pollution  and ensuring everyone has enough for a decent  life.

Youth are encouraged to vote with their dollar including:
•     shopping green by buying from companies  committed to sustainable principles.
•     buying locally to reduce transportation  emissions.
•     Sharing and swapping with friends or renting  instead of buying.
•     Choosing not to buy – for example, sending  an e-card instead of a paper birthday card.
•     Using the least toxic product available.
•     Buying durable, reusable and rechargeable  rather than disposable.
•     Avoiding excess packaging, for example,  litterless lunch
•     Buying used, recycled.
Young people are asked to keep in touch by providing ideas on sustainable consumption and have fun, make smart choices and use “sustainable consumption practices everyday, even on your birthday!”

The Gallen letter commends the authors for producing an informative, even inspiring and unpatronizing guide for the young (and those of us still young at heart) although it is still not so very easy to make informed decisions about green products and green companies.

Cowan, Kady with assistance of Tania Del Matto. Consume this: Buying that Matters. Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention, 2006.

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