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SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production


SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production


  • 12% of the world’s population lives in North America and Western Europe and accounts for 60% of private consumption spending, but a third of humanity, who live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, account for only 3.2%.

  • Grazing occupies over one-quarter of the Earth’s terrestrial surface and feed crop production requires about one-third of all arable land.

  • To grow one pound of wheat 130 gallons of water is required. To produce meat, depending on the type, that figure can be multiplied 5 to 10 times.

  • The world’s annual consumption of plastic materials has increased from around 5 million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million tonnes today.

  • 1.3 billion tones of food is wasted every year, while almost 2 billion people go hungry or undernourished.

  • Clothing production has helped spur growth in developing economies, but it is not all a good news story. 80% of all apparel is made by young women between the ages of 18 and 24. Garment workers in Bangladesh make about $96 per month.

  • How much of your life is plastic? Will you take the #plasticbacklash challenge? After doing your weekly shopping, we challenge you to photograph the amount of unnecessary plastic you take home as a result of over-packaging. Share with the #SDGchallenge community your photo and your experience of trying to reduce your plastic consumption.*

  • And what about taking a Zero-waste challenge? Could you try to live one day without producing any rubbish? One week? Or maybe you could eliminate one kind of rubbish from your lifestyle? Get inspired by the example of Madeleine Recknagel, shared here.

  • How many miles have your food travelled before reaching your plate? Check it out here.Try to live for one week eating only food which comes from no further than 100 km from your house. Possible?

  • Get inspired by the educational scenarios and exercises listed below and prepare an activity for children, youth or adults based on them:

Check also: Banana Supply Chain exercise on page 94/97-99 here. Debate Fast Fashion exercise on page 39 here.

More inspiration:

  • To read

Responsible fashion

  1. Earth Hair, Malaysia (clothes)

  2. Batik Boutique, Malaysia (clothes)

  3. Risque Designs, Philippines (shoes)

  4. Smateria, Cambodia (accessories)

Zero-waste initiatives

  1. Tonle, Cambodia (zero-waste fashion)

  2. The sustainable self, Thailand (zero-waste lifestyle)

  3. Latin Latas, Colombia (zero-waste music)

Circular economy

  1. EcoMaximus, Sri Lanka (paper from elephant poo)

  2. Forewear, Check Republic (old clothes used to make new products)

  3. Share Toy, Portugal (repairing old toys for donation)

  4. Zeleno, Serbia (connect responsible farmers with customers, zero packaging)

  5. Biji Biji, Malaysia (collaborative work, upcycling and ecologically and socially responsible solutions)

  • To watch

  1. Why do we need to change our food system? The UN Environment provides this shorts video to give you an overview of facts & figures of why we need to change our food system.*

  2. Movies prepared by Story of stuff project. You can start with this one and if you like it, check other movies from the same series.

For more info about other SDGs, have a look here.

* These information and calls to action come from the fantastic Development Perspectives material about SDGs. Have a look here to discover more.

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