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  • Writer's pictureWill Hedrick

It’s Time to Communicate the Environmental Footprint of Consumer Products

Updated: May 26, 2023

This article is written by The Hedrick Project Contributor, Bikramjit Singh. Interested in becoming a contributor and having your work featured? Click here.

Skyline with trees in front

Earth is currently facing a triple planetary crisis, including climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. These environmental issues have their own causes and effects but are also interconnected. Resolving these issues is crucial if we want to ensure a sustainable future on this planet.

The impact of human developmental activities over the past 100 years on the environment is well-known. Although numerous programs have been initiated at both global and local levels, and some positive changes have occurred, we are still far from achieving our goals. The COVID-19 pandemic and international conflicts have further delayed our progress, as highlighted in the latest report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which is actively working on 17 sustainable development goals aimed at addressing the triple crisis and its associated effects.

This serves as a resounding call for a radical reevaluation of our strategies and integrate environmental considerations more inclusively into our daily lives. Countless organizations, including governmental, non-governmental, charity trusts, and corporate houses, are diligently working in this direction, exerting influence on policymakers to formulate supportive environmental policies.

Individual can play a significant role in this journey through their right to choose superior products. However, the challenge lies in the fact that, despite widespread awareness of environmental issues, a large number of individuals are unable to comprehend the extent of their own contributions.

We know that when it comes to their own health, people are conscious of making informed choices, such as monitoring calorie intake or considering macro/micro nutrients through the information provided on food packaging. A similar approach could be applied to emphasize the environmental impact of consumer products. Key environmental indicators, such as the product's contribution to carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases, water pollutants, deforestation or trees needed to make that product, could serve as a starting point. This approach would empower environmentally conscious consumers to make well-informed decisions while also motivating companies to further innovate sustainable technologies.

Similarly, towns could also emphasize the amount of waste we generate and its burden on the environment. These small changes would consistently remind individuals of their environmental impact and guide them to make conscious decisions. Hopefully, such measures would accelerate progress toward making our planet a better place.


 


Written by: Bikramjit Singh, Ph. D. Bikramjit is a researcher with experience in sustainable consumer product technologies.

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