Promoting the Role of Women in Community-Based Green Consumption

The Challenge

In recent years, following a remarkable increase in China’s urban household income, the living standard of Chinese citizens has improved significantly. However, such fast-paced development has also led to wasteful patterns of consumption, posing substantive pressure on the urban environment and public health. Although there has been remarkable progress in environmental protection technology, commercial production systems, economic development, and supportive government policies, the positive impacts such progress has on sustainable development will be severely compromised if citizens’ consumption patterns do not fit the standards of sustainable development.

In comparison with other countries, China has significantly lesser volumes of research related to green consumption. Existing research indicates that Chinese people’s awareness of green consumption remains at a very low level. Low-income groups lack the awareness of sustainable consumption or simply adopt the most prudent form of consumption behaviour. High-income groups have higher awareness of environmental protection, but as a group, they tend not to change existing consumption habits for economic reasons. In general, China lacks available information regarding green products and the sense of social responsibility which can raise awareness and encourage behaviours of green consumption. It is essential that green consumption is encouraged to achieve a healthier urban lifestyle and to save depleting natural resources to benefit the future generations.

The Response

The project chose Dongcheng, Changping, and Daxing districts of Beijing to pilot collective solutions through participatory activities in order to influence consumption behaviours in the community, and to encourage program participants to become practitioners and beneficiaries of green consumption themselves. The project aims to promote the concept of green consumption in urban communities and to encourage residents to put green consumption into practice. Also, the project encourages women’s participation in awareness-raising, and thereby promotes female leadership and volunteerism in aspects of green consumption. On the government level, the project facilitates policy-making of the government towards shaping the consumption mentality of the public.

Achievements



The partnership has taken targeted steps towards demonstrating the positive effects of green consumption through public participation and female empowerment; promoting policy development towards green consumption; and gaining more government support to promote green consumption as a daily habit for the people. The project developed a brochure on promoting green consumption, mobilized women to participate in a series of workshops, and formed green consumption initiatives. Also, through public awareness activities, the project promoted communities’ participation in green consumption to facilitate favourable policy exchanges on residents’ consumption mentality in an urban environment.

Who finances it?

Donor Amount
China Women's Development Foundation 1 million RMB

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