Shopping Consciously

Call the water crises a storm in a teaspoon. Today, as waters flood villages in the Bangladesh, we fill up our swimming pools at home; as whole islands disappear in the North, we load our SUV tanks with petrol and go driving through man-made woods; as droughts come over whole countries in the South we build bigger lawns and golf courses and keep them sprinkled all night; as forests catch fire in our neighbourhoods we convert our natural oil to plastic bottles. There are a few things we can increase with technology, but landmass and freshwater sources are not some of them.
As the number of visitors and the intensity of activity on the Sziget Festival island increase, so are the environmental effects and concerns about the carrying capacity of the niche island.

Active Citizenship and the Power of Consumers

The WHO faced the power of big advertisers last year when the results of a research it published showed the negative effects on children of some food industry giants’ products. The report showed the adverse effect of heavy marketing of energy-dense foods and fast-food outlets; the adverse effect of high intake of energy-dense, low-nutrient foods; the adverse effect of high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
In the market economy, our social, cultural and political habits are influenced by economic conquest. It is therefore fair to say that nothing drives the pop lifestyle more than advertisement, the corporate tool that relays their brand presence to us.
Living an ecologically friendly life does not have to be hard or self-sacrificing. Nor should it be tainted with guilt, labels and self-defence.
In 1962 former US President John F Kennedy put forward four basic consumer rights - safety; information; choice; and representation. This created a charter for the world's consumer organisations worldwide and were expanded in order to reflect the comprehensive needs of consumers.
In a democratic market economy the consumer has power over the choice of what he buys or doesn’t. Does he want or need a cool drink on a hot summer day? Can he choose it not to be a coke?
"We’re a generation that is raised on patience thinner than a condom: the morning-after pill, microwave ovens, instant messenger, real-time download, breaking news, gym muscles, 150 km/h highways, low-cost airlines, fast cash, bullets, 12-year-old pregnant girls, executive summaries. Instant coffee, instant sex, instant riches, instant abortion, instant fame….we want it all, and we want it NOW."
“Industry has persistently used its deep pockets to downplay the consequences of accumulation of synthetic chemical cocktails in humans, manoeuvring policy processes while driving volumes of consumption through massive marketing campaigns. But as more and more chemicals are released on the market, consumers’ health and the environment are beginning to pay the price of such corporate and political gangbanging.”

  • Nemzeti Fejlesztési Minisztérium,
    a fogyasztók érdekében