Climate Early: discussing climate change and consumerism

Climate Early: discussing climate change and consumerism

Last week we hosted the third session of the Climate Early Erasmus+ Teacher Training. We discussed how much stuff we really need, to buy less and the myth of continuous growth that our economy relies on.

Consumerism is a belief that when people buy things, it makes them happier and helps the economy grow. It works by creating a system that convinces people to buy more through social pressure, advertising, tricks, and the idea that owning specific things will bring joy. Understanding where consumerism came from helps us understand how it works.

Consumerism and climate change are interconnected in many ways. Consumerism involves the excessive buying and consumption of goods, often driven by a culture that encourages people to constantly acquire new products. This leads to increased production, which often relies on the burning of fossil fuels and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, contribute to climate change by trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to rising temperatures, changes in weather patterns, and other adverse effects.

The production of goods for consumerism requires significant amounts of energy, often sourced from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. The extraction, processing, and transportation of these fossil fuels release greenhouse gases, further exacerbating climate change. Additionally, the manufacturing process itself can produce waste and pollution, contributing to environmental degradation.

Moreover, consumerism drives a “throwaway culture,” where products are quickly discarded and replaced with new ones. This leads to an increase in waste generation, including non-biodegradable materials that end up in landfills or pollute ecosystems, contributing to environmental harm.

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We also spoke about Renewable Energy Projects and how any infrastructural renewable energy project has to be done with previous consultation with the community, based on democratic decision-making. Renewable energy refers to energy sources that can be replenished naturally and sustainably over time. For example, in Malta, some examples of renewable energy sources include:

  1. Solar Energy: Given Malta’s abundant sunshine, solar panels are widely used to harness solar energy for electricity generation and water heating. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are installed on rooftops and in solar farms.
  2. Wind Energy: Malta has also been exploring wind energy as a renewable

We also painted banners for the upcoming National Protest #Xebbajtuna! Don’t forget to join the National environment protest on Saturday 27 May 2023, starting from the Triton Fountain at 10.30am.

Read more about the protest here.

About the project

The CLIMATE EARLY project, is a small scale project that aims to merge the varying expertise of the consortium to advance knowledge on the environment among primary educators and students, raise awareness on issues that impact the environment upon which we all depend, as well as deliver actions to improve and sustain it.

The project objectives are to enhance the quality of early education teaching in deprived areas in environmentally conscientious ways and in the context of sustainable development. Considering there is a need to provide information and experiential experiences to children on important environmental issues, the project is being proposed at the right time, inspiring educators and students to become responsibly equipped for a better tomorrow, with greater environmental awareness.

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