Feature Report: Focus on Responsible Consumption Learning pathway: Ages 11-14

3 items of content in this feature report



What Is Responsible Consumption ?

Responsible consumption is a way to reduce our carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. It involves saving energy, improving energy efficiency, enhancing device performance and promoting the circular economy.

Qu'est-ce que la consommation responsable ?

Everyone agrees that we need to consume energy more “responsibly”. But what exactly does that mean?

Energy Consumption: Here, There and Everywhere!

Energy is the basis of all human activity. You have to consume energy to get around by scooter (gasoline) or by plane (kerosene), for heating and cooking (gas, electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... or wood) and to download a music video onto your cellphone (electricity).

In this last example, energy is used for many different purposes. It’s needed to make the phone and its plastic packaging, advertise the device, build the 4G antennas and data centers and record the song. Energy is also used to recycle the phone at the end of its useful life.

Energy: A Precious and Scarce Resource

In many countries, life itself depends on energy. Without energy, you couldn’t pump or purify water, or make fertilizer to help crops grow. We wouldn’t have hospitals, let alone cars to get to them. And there’d be no light at night in African villages, meaning no way to study at home.

Energy consumption is increasing worldwide (rising 50% since 2000), but that’s necessary to guarantee the well-being of our planet’s 7.7 billion inhabitants.

However, there are two problems:

Because of this, we need to make an “energy transition”, shifting first from the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels (such as coal and oil) to low-carbon ones (like gas), and then to renewable energies (wind, solar and marine energy, for example).

Responsible Consumption

There are three main rules for reducing our carbon footprintThe carbon footprint (also known as greenhouse gas inventory) of a good or service measures the impact human activities have on the environment ... and pollution:

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