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Responsible Consumption And Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

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630  per week · 2  ‑  12  weeks · Age  18+ · Has Wifi

This program gives volunteers an opportunity to experience the Rome countryside while supporting a social integration model and assisting with a range of seasonal tasks.

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Support an Irish charitable organisation by helping in a charity shop and sorting office. A full immersion experience with homestay and a unique way to discover Ireland!

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Responsible Consumption And Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Responsible Consumption And Production

What's the goal here?

To ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Facts & figures

  • Each year, an estimated one third of all food produced - equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion - ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices
  • If people worldwide switched to energy efficient lightbulbs the world would save US$120 billion annually
  • Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles

Water

  • Less than 3 per cent of the world's water is fresh (drinkable), of which 2.5 per cent is frozen in the Antarctica, Arctic and glaciers. Humanity must therefore rely on 0.5 per cent for all of man's ecosystem's and fresh water needs.
  • Man is polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes.
  • More than 1 billion people still do not have access to fresh water.
  • Excessive use of water contributes to the global water stress.
  • Water is free from nature but the infrastructure needed to deliver it is expensive.

Energy

  • Despite technological advances that have promoted energy efficiency gains, energy use in OECD countries will continue to grow another 35 per cent by 2020. Commercial and residential energy use is the second most rapidly growing area of global energy use after transport.
  • In 2002 the motor vehicle stock in OECD countries was 550 million vehicles (75 per cent of which were personal cars). A 32 per cent increase in vehicle ownership is expected by 2020. At the same time, motor vehicle kilometres are projected to increase by 40 per cent and global air travel is projected to triple in the same period.
  • Households consume 29 per cent of global energy and consequently contribute to 21 per cent of resultant CO2 emissions.
  • One-fifth of the world's final energy consumption in 2013 was from renewables.

Food

  • While substantial environmental impacts from food occur in the production phase (agriculture, food processing), households influence these impacts through their dietary choices and habits. This consequently affects the environment through food-related energy consumption and waste generation.
  • 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished and another 1 billion hungry.
  • Overconsumption of food is detrimental to our health and the environment.
  • 2 billion people globally are overweight or obese.
  • Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food.
  • The food sector accounts for around 30 per cent of the world's total energy consumption and accounts for around 22 per cent of total Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Why?

More people globally are expected to join the middle class over the next two decades. This is good for individual prosperity but it will increase demand for already constrained natural resources. If we don't act to change our consumption and production patterns, we will cause irreversible damage to our environment.

What are some of the current consumption and production patterns that need to change?

There are many aspects of consumption that with simple changes can have a big impact on society as a whole. For example, each year about one third of all food produced-equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion-ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices, something that businesses need to address. When it comes to consumers, households consume 29 per cent of global energy and contribute to 21 per cent of resultant CO2 emissions. However, if people worldwide switched to energy efficient lightbulbs the world would save US$120 billion annually. Water pollution is also a pressing issue that needs a sustainable solution. We are polluting water faster than nature can recycle and purify water in rivers and lakes.

How can I help as a business?

It's in businesses' interest to find new solutions that enable sustainable consumption and production patterns. A better understanding of environmental and social impacts of products and services is needed, both of product life cycles and how these are affected by use within lifestyles. Identifying "hot spots" within the value chain where interventions have the greatest potential to improve the environmental and social impact of the system as a whole is a crucial first step. Businesses can also use their innovative power to design solutions that can both enable and inspire individuals to lead more sustainable lifestyles, reducing impacts and improving well-being.

How can I help as a consumer?

There are two main ways to help: 1. Reducing your waste and 2. Being thoughtful about what you buy and choosing a sustainable option whenever possible. Reducing our waste can be done in many ways, from ensuring you don't throw away food to reducing your consumption of plastic-one of the main pollutants of the ocean. Carrying a reusable bag, refusing to use plastic straws, and recycling plastic bottles are good ways to do your part every day. Making informed purchases about what we're buying also helps. For example, the textile industry today is the second largest polluter of clean water after agriculture, and many fashion companies exploit textile workers in the developing world. If you can buy from sustainable and local sources you can make a difference as well as exercising pressure on businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

Where are volunteer projects that need my help?

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. As such, the 17 SDGs and its associated 169 targets do not stand alone, but are are interconnected. The key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another. If you are interested in supporting a cause addressing to the goal {sdg.name}, you might also be interested in the related goals No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Decent Work And Economic Growth, Sustainable Cities And Communities, Life Below Water and Life On Land.

Please visit the website of the United Nations to find out more about Goal 12 Responsible Consumption And Production and other Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: United Nations