Green-sumers Are Doing Their Part to Save the World

기사승인 [402호] 2023.05.09  


   The Earth’s climate has been naturally warming over the past 10,000 years, but the Industrial Revolution has accelerated this phenomenon by emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As a result, the temperature has risen by more than 1℃ in just 260 years, causing visible changes to the seasons. Last April, the cherry blossoms bloomed early due to warming temperatures, showing how climate change is already impacting daily life. In response, more people are acknowledging the reality of climate change and are seeking to address the climate crisis by changing their consumption patterns to focus on sustainability.

▲ Photo of People Plogging (Photo from Visit Seoul)

   This generation of young people is the most directly impacted by unprecedented environmental disasters like abnormal climate and pandemics. As a result, they have a strong will to protect the environment. Many consumers are now looking to adopt eco-friendly consumption habits. These people are known as ‘Green-sumers, ’ a term that blends "green," a color representing nature, with "consumer." Green-sumers have several identifying characteristics.  First, they tend to consume more expensive eco-friendly products to protect the environment . Second, they deeply consider the production method of the products, such as the materials used and how they are produced, and prefer to purchase from companies that pursue eco-friendly management practices. Green consumers also support zero-waste products and when these are not available they prefer using their own containers to prevent over-packaging and waste generation. Some even engage in activities like plogging, which involves picking up trash while jogging, as a way to contribute to environmental protection. This activity allows individuals to improve their health and care for the environment at the same time, and it is easy for anyone to do. The growing interest in plogging can be illustrated by the over 10,000 posts on Instagram listed under the hashtag #plogging.

   Korean companies are now responding to consumer demands for sustainability by engaging in eco-friendly marketing. A prime example is the convenience store CU which is now selling Heyroo Mineral Water, a bottled water product that comes with no label affixed to the face of the bottle. Instead, essential information about the product such as the capacity, water source, and inorganic content is printed on a paper label sealed on the bottle lid. This innovation ensures that consumers are still provided with the product information while reducing packaging waste by improving its ability to be recycled. In addition, cosmetic containers are often discarded without being recycled due to the difficulty of separating labels from the content. To tackle this problem, cosmetics companies like Amore Pacific, L’Occitane, and The Body Shop have implemented recycling services that collect and manage their own cosmetics waste. In addition, Skin Food, a domestic cosmetics company is carrying out a "tapeless delivery box campaign" to minimize packaging waste generated during delivery. Customers who order from their website will receive products in a winged tapeless delivery box that can be 100% recycled thanks to the use of paper buffers instead of plastic packaging. Korean food delivery services are also adopting more sustainable practices. Customers now have the option to choose whether to receive disposable utensils, such as spoons, when using delivery apps. In addition, consumers are now using reusable containers instead of plastic ones making a positive impact on the environment when getting food to go.

▲ Photo of ‘Green in the Soop,’ a Zero-waste Shop Near DKU Jukjeon Campus (Photo from the Dankook Herald)

   The Dankook Herald (DKH) recently visited ‘Green in the Soop,’ a zero-waste shop near Dankook University’s Jukjeon campus. The eco-friendly store offers a diverse range of recycled items, including pencils made from coffee grounds and paper made from elephant waste. The shop owner was encouraged to open the store after taking climate change-related classes. Despite the small profit margins, the owner aims to raise awareness about environmental issues through the shop’s operation. Additionally, the owner has obtained environmental education certificates and now teaches people of all ages about environmental protection. During the DKH’s visit, our reporter Hong tried the toothpaste tablets, which are only one of the many products available for purchase at the store. According to the shop owner, liquid cleaning products are not environmentally friendly because they have been more refined than solid toothpaste. Using toothpaste tablets not only benefits one’s health but also the environment because it is more hygienic. It was refreshing to find a nice place nearby that promotes zero waste living. For our Cheonan campus readers, there is a zero-waste store called ‘Puren Byul’ located near the campus that is definitely worth a visit.

   Climate change is a pressing issue that is rapidly worsening every day. Its adverse effects such as water scarcity, rising temperatures, and melting icebergs are already apparent around the world. However, practicing eco-friendly habits such as reducing waste and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions can go a long way in mitigating the impact of a changing climate. Everyone bears the responsibility for addressing climate change and must take action to protect the environment. By adopting sustainable habits, we all can make a significant contribution to reducing the severity of climate change. Dankookians (Students of Dankook University) have an opportunity to become green consumers and participate in climate actions. DKH encourages our readers to adopt a sustainable lifestyle by recycling and reducing waste to help create a more environmentally friendly campus and world.

김지원, 이은희, 홍채연, 배서연

<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald 무단전재 및 재배포금지>




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