Proposal Paper for the 21 century: Ethical Consumption
This Proposal Paper is a summary of the work by the Ethical Consumption Workshop.
Flavia Soares, November 2001
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The acceleration of the production cycle and the use of natural raw materials, added to the enormous amount of waste generated throughout the process, is leading the system toward a growing entropy, which in the long term represents an « ecocide, » the gradual destruction of the environment, which is the basis for human life. This is the violent, negligent, and irresponsible side of the vicious circle of production and consumption with regard to the environment and to human beings themselves, particularly the future generations. Consumption is good for society providing that it is environmentally sustainable and socially fair, and tends to improve the quality of life. We examine the field of ethics with a view to suggesting alternatives to the commercialization of life as submitted to the market rationale. Such alternatives should become a development model based on sustainable criteria and be applicable to most of the world’s population, which is in an extremely vulnerable situation. This means reconsidering values such as health, personal happiness, and environmental conservation as part of the economy. Ethics must be a key concept and require a completely new approach.