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We are officially 3 weeks away from the 2022 SEAYouth Festival!
We are certain that your excitement for each session equally matches our excitement to host you during 12-14 August 2022. To get you prepared for them, we have set up this exclusive Newsletter page for you to learn briefly about the topics that will be discussed and share your preliminary inputs in the short survey we prepared.
For this week, we will be sharing with you about Overconsumption, Overproduction, & Green Economy which will be discussed during the first Grand ASEAN Youth Townhall session.
Almost everything we do involves consuming. From buying food and snacks, shopping for those latest fashion trends and buying the coolest gadgets. While seemingly harmless, it can be harmful to the environment when it is overly done. With the technological advancements that our society has to offer, buying anything from anywhere can be done simply with touch of a screen. But have you ever thought to consider the materials needed to produce the item, how it's transported, and most importantly how it all impacts the environment? Let’s look at one example around shoe shopping.
Shoes are made up of rubber, which many producers source from trees across Thailand, Indonesia, China, and West Africa. Those trees are now in fragile supply, but that’s just part of the problem. Shoes stick around in landfills a lot longer than we’d expect. On average, it takes 30 to 40 years for a pair to decompose. One material often used in sneakers—a synthetic chemical composition called ethylene vinyl acetate—can persist for up to 1,000 years in landfills. Shoes are just one of many products we tend to over consume. Overconsumption—using more stuff than the planet can feasibly make—can plague basically any industry. An excessive demand for food, energy, gadgets, clothes, and more are all helping to crush our chance of fighting climate change.
Everything that we own-owned/consume-consumed had to go through a production process. Businesses both controlled by public or private actors will go through all of that and make it easy for us to buy/consume it. Nowadays, the market seems to have it all. Even things you didn’t think you needed or even wanted and there are large quantities of it too especially when items go viral or on trend. Let’s look at one example from the fashion industry.
More clothing is being produced than ever, as retailers and their customers churn through styles at a frenetic pace. Only a fraction of what’s manufactured gets recycled. Eighty-seven percent of the total fiber input used for clothing is ultimately incinerated or sent to a landfill. The pace of apparel production often exceeds demand, begging the question of what happens to the clothing that never gets sold. H&M came under fire in 2018 for disclosing in its annual report that it had accumulated $4.3 billion of unsold inventory.
It takes a lot of water to produce textile, plus land to grow cotton and other fibers. To make a single cotton t-shirt, 2,700 liters of fresh water are required according to estimates, enough to meet one person’s drinking needs for 2.5 years.
One of the ways to address the issues above is to achieve Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and by transitioning into a Green Economy. SCP is about doing more and better with less. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles which can also contribute to alleviating poverty. As for Green Economy, it is a macroeconomic approach that focuses on investments (by both private and public actors) in green economic activities, infrastructure and skills that allow reduced carbon emissions and pollution, enhanced energy and resource efficiency, and prevention of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
SEAYouth Festival is a safe space for youth to voice out their concerns and be connected to each other. The festival has zero tolerance towards hate speech, discrimination, violence, harassment, and any other views and harmful behaviors targeting specific group of people.
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