Changing consumers’ attitudes to climate change by challenging the industry to place ‘overconsumption warnings’ on their carrier bags.
As foreseen by the Club of Rome, 45 years ago, there is a limit to growth. Currently the world is heading for major environmental crises as a result of the economic growth, with the problem of climate change at its forefront. Are we really aware of the disasters we are facing and their relation with economic growth? Do we realize that it has been estimated that millions will suffer from the consequences of climate change, or are we too blurred by our Western time-space perspective; ‘not in my lifetime’ and ‘not in my backyard’?
With our proposal we want to raise public awareness regarding the harmful effects of economic growth with overconsumption in its streamline. We propose to place warnings, similar to the tobacco package health warnings, on consumables and their carriers, to inform consumers about the consequences of overconsumption. With this, we aim to change consumers’ attitudes towards overconsumption as well as their behavior.
However charming this proposal might seem, it will surely be denoted as unrealistic. The industry itself will not be willing to provide restraints on their urge for expansion. Also our governments will be reluctant to introduce policies for mandatory warnings, as economic growth has become a necessary condition for the flourishing of the Western world. But might there be a catch to it, since consumers are increasingly becoming the key figures in this issue? What if we appeal to the industry’s self-proclaimed sustainability and challenge them with ads and campaigns, to show their sincere involvement in a sustainable society? Would that convince them to put our warnings on their products voluntarily?