Is Tom’s of Maine toothpaste really green if consumers leave the water running while they brush their teeth? Is an ENERGY STAR-rated light bulb really green if it remains on after everyone leaves the room?
It is one thing to design a product to be greener, but the negative environmental impact made throughout a product’s life cycle cannot be minimized unless the consumer uses (and disposes of it) responsibly.
“Responsible consumption” is about conserving resources associated with using products. That includes encouraging consumers to use only what is needed and consciously reduce waste.
Sustainability leaders are striving for the ideal goals of zero waste and zero energy, but we will never get to zero until people learn to responsibly consume and properly dispose of the products they buy.