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Consumer Advice Network
Jago Grahak Jago
Indian Institute of Public Administration

Sustainable Consumption

What is Sustainable Consumption?
Consumption is not a straightforward process. When we buy a commodity we are also responsible for the process it goes through to reach us. Under what conditions was an item has manufactured? Were workers paid fair wages? Were they exposed to harmful substances during the production process? Which products and which companies do the consumers want to support with their purchases? Do they buy the food in a supermarket, around the corner at a local vendor or at a weekly outdoor market? How will the product ultimately perish-will its destruction lead to polluting the earth, water or air?
At this moment there is a need to follow a pattern of consumption that can sustain the environment and its resources without withholding the needs of the future generation. The term ďSustainable ConsumptionĒ refers to selective consumption based on awareness of the environmental, social and economic aspects of consumption.
 
There are four key tenets that help you buy responsibly:
Avoid buying if you donít really NEED it
Each time you buy you MODIFY the environment forever
Find out ALTERNATIVES to goods you buy, pick from among the best ethically and environmentally
Make positive changes to your BUYING BEHAVIOUR, celebrate your good decisions!
SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION CAN BE POCKET FRIENDLY!
Hereís how -
Buy local and seasonal food products.
When you purchase a product make a conscious thought on the usefulness of the product.
Instead of driving, walk or use a bicycle
Sell or donate unwanted goods such as clothes or books. Likewise, buying †††second-hand goods from garage sales is a great way to buy new clothes and save some money.
Reduce meat consumption: Meat products contribute heavily to our ecological footprint.
Turn appliances off instead of leaving them on standby and you can save up to 5 percent from your electricity bill.
  Bring to the fore, the concept of sustainability some labels has been introduced to the consumers, so that they consider the environment before buying any product. Some of the labels are:
 
A label for environment-friendly products Ecomark India is a government operated seal of approval program for environmentally preferable consumer products.
( http://fcamin.nic.in/)
Environment-Friendly Products
India Organic label is a govt. authority which provides national standards for organic products. Products with the India Organic label are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. India Organic
Internationally, the most widely recognized ethical label is the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark. When the consumer product bears the mark it ensures that the product has been traded according to international Fairtade Standards. FAIRTRADE
The BEE Star Energy Efficiency Labels have been created to standardize the energy efficiency ratings of different electrical appliances and indicate energy consumption under standard test conditions. These labels indicate the energy efficiency levels through the number of Stars highlighted in colour on the label. The BEE Star Labels include a Star Rating System that ranges from One Star (least energy efficient, thus least money saved) to Five Stars (most energy efficient, thus most money saved) http://www.beeindia.in/ BEE Star  Energy Efficiency Labels

FURTHER LINKS
ISI mark is used for certification of the standards. It lays down the parameters for the products and services.
http://www.bis.org.in/
ISI Mark
Hallmarking of gold jewellery is the Purity Certification scheme. Hallmarking indicates the caratage or number indicating gold content on a scale of 1000.
http://www.bis.org.in/
Hallmarking
Agmark, it provides a grade to the agricultural commodities, like cereals, pulses, fruits, cotton, oil, spices, etc.  
FPO aims at regulating sanitary and hygienic conditions in manufacture of fruit & vegetable products.  FPO
 
Apart from giving the information about the different labels few tips on Sustainable Consumption can be provided that a consumer can follow during his daily routine.  
Switch the lights off.
Make a list. It is helpful to make a list before you go shopping so that you donít end up buying things you donít really need and thereby produce extra waste.
Do all your shopping locally. If you shop locally- preferably from shops and/or farms that makes or obtain their produce locally- you will cut down on the need for transport and therefore, harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
Consider transport options. If you need to use transport to go to the market, go for the least damaging option.
Make single shopping trips. In order to cut emission and save time itís worth doing all of your shopping at once.
Shop together as a household. If you live with a family or in an apartment block, you can minimize costs and carbon emissions by coordinating your shopping. This will cut on fuel costs and the amount of shopping. This will cut on fuel costs and the amount of shopping you will need to do.
Invest in a sturdy recycled carrier bag for all your shopping trips.
 

Help No.Helplines and Grahak Suvidha kendra(GSK) Nos.

  • ANDHRA PRADESH
    1800-425-0082, 1800-425-2977
  • ARUNACHAL PRADESH
    1800-345-3601
  • ASSAM:
    1800-345-3611
  • BIHAR
    1800-345-6188
    GSK BIHAR
    0612 - 2525222
  • CHHATTISGARH
    1800-233-3663
  • DELHI
    011-23379266
  • GUJARAT
    1800-233-0222,
    079-27489945 / 46
    GSK GUJARAT
    079-27489945 / 46
  • HARYANA
    1800-180-2087
  • HIMACHAL PRADESH
    1800-180-8026
  • JHARKHAND
    1800-3456-598
  • KARNATAKA
    1800-425-9339,
    1967
    GSK KARNATAKA
    080-41127731, 080-41211900
  • KERALA
    1800-425-1550
  • MADHYA PRADESH
    155343,
    0755-2559778,
    0755-2559993
  • MAHARASHTRA
    1800-22-2262
  • MANIPUR
    1800-345-3821,
    0385-2443924
  • MIZORAM
    1800-345-3891
  • NAGALAND
    1800-345-3701
  • ODISHA
    1800-345-6724,
    1800-345-6760,
    0674-2351990,
    0674-2350209
  • PUDUCHERRY
    1800-425-1082,
    1800-425-1083,
    1800-425-1084,
    1800-425-1085
  • RAJASTHAN
    1800-180-6030
    GSK RAJASTHAN
    0141-4015395
  • SIKKIM
    1800-345-3209 / 323
  • TAMIL NADU
    044-28592828
  • TELANGANA
    1800-425-00333
  • TRIPURA
    1800-345-3665
  • UTTAR PRADESH
    1800-1800-300
  • UTTARAKHAND
    1800-180-4188
  • FSSAI
    1800-11-2100
  • West Bengal:
    1800-345-2808
    GSK West Bengal:
    033-23342786,033-23348786