A growth-oriented economy leads to a substantial consumption of finite resources and a massive exposure of our nature and environment. Production and consumption result in massive damages which cannot be repaired. The usage of micro plastics in care products leads to the pollution of our seas and the destruction of the habitat of many marine animals, which also has a significant impact on us humans. Our consumption is too high, and we don’t care enough about ecological and social sustainability!
Our idea is based on two principles: create incentives and educate. We decided to directly approach the consumers so that we can influence businesses and companies through a change of demand on the market. Our goal is the change to a more conscious consumption and the promotion of key principles of a steady-state-society. We want to reach this goal by creating a reward system, which gives the user the opportunity to document their consumption.
This reward system is based on an app, which allows the consumer to collect reward points when they buy a sustainable product. This app also includes gaming and competition features. The collected reward points can be redeemed for target group orientated products or sustainable/degrowth products. This app fulfils our first key principle of creating incentives.
Information about the product will be available once the user scans the barcode of a product. This gives the user the opportunity to look at an evaluation of the product based on key criteria like reusability, influence on the seas, or way of production. A traffic light will give the user a quick overlook that indicates whether a product fulfils these criteria or not. This is the implementation of our second key principle: educating the user.
The app should also entertain the user in order to make it more attractive. We want to achieve this by using mini-games, rankings, and milestones which the user can reach. This gives the user the opportunity to compare him to friends or to get a feeling about how he’s doing compared to other people all around the world. Furthermore, mini-games like “Pokemon-Go” should make the search for products easier and give the opportunity to reach milestones in order to receive extra rewards. Our first step is to make this app available for care products. The data necessary in order to give the user an evaluation will be collected through the cooperation with institutions like Greenpeace or the BUND. The user gets an evaluation of the product at the point of sale and alternatives if necessary. This should change the consumption towards a sustainable consumption. The demand for products with better evaluations will rise and companies and stores will have to adapt.
Our target group
Our app targets people less than 40 years of age. We think it`s useful to target this group because they will consume products for many more years. Furthermore, this generation can pass on their knowledge and behavior to the next generation. It’s easier for younger people to adapt and to change their consumption.
In order to reach this target group, the collected reward points can be redeemed for streaming services. Mini-games and competitive rankings also give key factors in order to reach this group of people.
This idea can be spread out on other product types and industries. Electrical appliances can be evaluated based on their reparability and recyclability for example.
FluX – Contact
School: Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium, Stuttgart-Sillenbuch
1. „Wachstum – was soll das?“, Artikel, Autor: Jonathan Widder, gelesen am 10.07.2017, https://enorm-magazin.de/wachstum-was-soll-das
Our economic thinking is focused on permanent growth – which is not sustainable. It overstrains the ecosystems on which we rely: the ability of the oceans, soil and groundwater reserves to regenerate, the stability of the global climate and biodiversity. We have reached the ecological limits of growth.
Without a doubt, an enlightened young generation is indispensable to create a change within the society. Yet, it will take time until this generation will be in a position to have a decision-making power – and time is running out. It is critical to stop the current consumption of resources. In order to provide a living standard like in the industrialised countries to everyone on earth, we would need more resources than our planet can provide.
We must rethink our handling of resources. And the critical question is: How do we reach the older generations? On the one hand, what communication channel would be best with the greatest reach. On the other hand, what is the message? How can we inspire people to consume less? Would a simple appeal to common sense be enough? Is it sufficient just point out the benefit of saving money by consuming less? Or would they spend that money on something non-sustainable?
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The YES! topic “Post-Growth Society: How to Get Everyone on Board?” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES!-teams are supported by the researcher Michael Hellwig.