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Responsible consuming

This is meant to be a reflection on various methods to consume in a responsible way, and can lead to workshops, activities, online and offline discussions.


Consuming in a responsible way means taking critical and constructive choices about what you buy and consume. It involves food, clothes, transportation, furniture, energy, services (telephone, bank etc..), enterntainment; and it consists in the general knowledges we need to make responsible choices


Because being a small community implies involving other people living with us in our decision making processes. Because being a social center (are we?) we pay attention in our impact on the local environment. Because being a learning community we are interested in increasing our general knowledges, especially regarding "living together" topics.

Consuming is not only - like the system tries to teach us - an obvious private fact, involving just us, our tastes, our willings, our money and our rights; so paying attention to the simple ratio quality/price is not enough. Our consuming concerns the whole community, and, extensively, the whole umanity, cause behind our choice there are problems with far-reaching social, ambiental and political consequences.

Consuming in a responsible way is not only a series of "correct behaviour" but something involving your entire lifestyle.


Defining the rules of critical/active consumption is rrreally complicated, but we can sketch some general subjects:
- Price/quality ratio: what  we decide to buy should be sustainable for us in first instance, so the first step should be opting for the best relation between quality of the product and price we have to pay
- Sobriety
: everything we buy/get has a cost for the community and for the planet. Reduce our consume to the essential is a way to weigh less against the social and natural environment.
- Waste reduction
: Consuming produces waste. Solid, liquid and gas wastes are polluting our ecosystem and harm life on the planet.
- Local/natural consuming (short chain)
: The longer the production chain is, the more are the disadvantages: more wastes, more chances to exploit, more energy used. Consuming local products encourages the short production chain.
- Fair trade
: Trading has an incredible social cost, that can be contained if trading societies make responsible and respectful choices.
- Societies' behaviours
: Most of the stuff we consume has been produced by multinational societies operating with a big socio-environmental impact. If you know the behaviour of those societies, you can lead your choice in the most sustainable way
- Cruelty free consuming
: Researching the profit - like most of the big companies do - is cruel: for workers, for animals (if there are animals involved in the production), for the nature and the wildlife and sometimes for the final customer. It's our duty to choice products made in the less cruelty way.

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