As a society we have passed normal levels of consumption, we are hyper-consuming. Making the chain of production and creating more sustainable product designs is extremely important. However, it is not enough, we have to realise that our personal choices have the power to influence the economy and make the world more sustainable. For example, a drill – this household appliance on average is used from 12 to 13 minutes in its entire lifespan. An average household is filled with USD 3,000 worth of unused items, according to Business Innovation Observatory.
Camila Carvalho, a founder of Tem Açúcar and a member of Red Bull Amaphiko, was eager to change this. In 2015 she founded Tem Açúcar? (Portuguese for “do you have sugar?”), a social network for neighbors focused on the sharing economy model. What started as a project in a hallway of a building in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 3 years became one of the biggest platforms in Latin America for neighbours.
The word about the project is rapidly spreading, it has been featured by the main media outlets all over the world. And recently, Camila has introduced her idea at TEDxDonauinselSalon: Circular Economy event held at UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) in Vienna, Austria.
A big change and people behind it
Impactful decisions are no longer only made by a selected group of influential people, they are also made in our homes, streets and neighborhoods by regular people. This change is powered by the millennials and Z generation. Their lifestyle, values and consumer choices are shaping the cities and industries of the future whether we recognize it or not. The old ways no longer serve them, these generations do not have the consuming aspirations of the previous ones. For them consuming is a social and political act.
This creates amazing new opportunities for resilient industries and governments that have the ability to adapt, and listen to consumers and individuals. Public and private initiatives can collaborate with these regenerative movements and foster them. The future depends on people, industries and governments that come together to act as a force for good in the world.