Consumption and Finance

What criteria do you take into account when looking for goods, food, property or services?

Besides buying, there are other ways of getting things and food. And things are made and food is grown under different conditions. Via consumer choice, we can reinforce what we think is right with regard to the environment and the working conditions of the people who grow food or produce things for us.

Discuss the questions and evaluate your unit: name what you already do, evaluate it on the scale 1-6 (1=just by accident, 6=systematicaly and frequently). Based on your answers, Compass will offer you some tips on how to improve.

Print the form to work off-line with your unit.

Do you try to minimize your consumption?

Our current consumption patterns mean we are using up our natural resources quicker than they can be replaced. Every year, the speed at which this is happening increases. Modeling our choices encourages awareness of the impact of our lifestyle and consumption patterns on the environment, and can help young people to make informed and better choices.

This section encourages the competence

Scout and Guide leaders appreciate how we share and use the earth’s resources affects the health of the planet and everyone with who we share it – now and in the future. They recognise the inequality of the ecological footprint between different regions of the world. They appreciate that our relationships with the earth needs to acknowledge the limits of finite resources and human rights of all. They actively support a sustainable lifestyle which preserves a healthy planet for future generations.

Does your unit look for alternative ways to acquire things other than buying them new?

Borrowing, using second hand items, or ‘trading’ services are all alternative ways of sourcing the things we need. This both minimizes our ecological footprint and develops out cooperation and participation skills.

This section encourages the competence

Scout and Guide leaders appreciate how we share and use the earth’s resources affects the health of the planet and everyone with who we share it – now and in the future. They recognise the inequality of the ecological footprint between different regions of the world. They appreciate that our relationships with the earth needs to acknowledge the limits of finite resources and human rights of all. They actively support a sustainable lifestyle which preserves a healthy planet for future generations.

Do you think about the social and environmental impact of how things are made before you buy them?

We make choices about what we buy and we should try to make these choices as consciously and responsibly as possible. Things to think about are: the environment, fair trade, and the working conditions of the workers in the supply chain.

This section encourages the competence

Scout and Guide leaders are aware of injustice and inequality present in both behaviour and systems. This includes access to and unequal distribution of power, wealth and natural resources both within countries and between countries. They should understand some of the causes of inequality and reflect on how past events have impacted on current local and global problems. They should be aware of the impacts of inequality on the dignity and quality of people’s lives and the health of the planet.

Do you consider the environmental and social impact of your unit‘s activities, eg. transport, waste management?

If we keep in mind our water footprint, carbon footprint, and ecological footprint, we can make informed decisions about our unit’s activities.

This section encourages the competence

Scout and Guide leaders appreciate how we share and use the earth’s resources affects the health of the planet and everyone with who we share it – now and in the future. They recognise the inequality of the ecological footprint between different regions of the world. They appreciate that our relationships with the earth needs to acknowledge the limits of finite resources and human rights of all. They actively support a sustainable lifestyle which preserves a healthy planet for future generations.

Do you use ethical criteria when looking for potential partners, sponsors, and donors?

When we find other organisations to work with, we learn about their values and whether they are compatible with those of our unit. There are no strict rules for ethical decisions regarding sponsors and partners; what is important here is discussing our priorities and maintaining our integrity.

This section encourages the competence

Scout and Guide leaders recognise that people, places, economies and environments are interconnected and mutually dependent. They understand that these interdependencies impact on relationships locally, globally, have been shaped by history and will shape the future. They are aware that everyday choices and actions have intended and unintended impacts on the lives of others and the environment both locally and globally.

These tasks are awaiting you

  • The obsolescence of things

    Talk about concepts such as planned obsolescence, perceived obsolescence and see how they connect with our consumption habits.

  • Experience a shortage

    Expose your unit to some discomfort such as hunger, cold, lack of sleep, etc. Reflect on this: how much of the thing you are missing would be enough for you? What would be too much? What is the difference between your need – i.e. your current situation where you lack something - and your normal state ? How much do you really need?

  • Global problems behind our food

    Learn what other global problems are hidden behind our food and what we can do about it.

  • Reduce waste

    Regularly ask yourselves - especially at summer camps and events - where does our waste end up? How can we create less waste? Eg. use reusable cups rather than plastic or paper when you are organizing an event. Each of you can bring his/her favorite cup so you will always know which one is yours and you will take extra good care of it.