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European Commission - Press release

Commission launches a campaign on resource efficiency

Warsaw, 17 October 2011 – Today saw the launch of "Generation Awake. Your choices make a world of difference!" an EU campaign designed to encourage consumers to make resource efficiency habit. The campaign was unveiled in Poland by European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Polish Environment Minister Andrzej Kraszewski. Its aim is to raise awareness about the need to use scarce natural resources wisely, and to encourage citizens to think about their impact on the planet when making purchasing decisions.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "With our economy in difficulty and our resources dwindling, it's time to start rethinking some of our habits. Using resources more carefully not only helps protect the environment, but saves money and reduces business costs. It's about using less to do more. Everyone can do their bit. We just need to wake up!"

Generation awake

The key message is 'consume differently, and think before you choose'. By making the right choices we can all help preserve natural resources, save money, reduce our impact on the environment and make our future more sustainable.

The main tools are a viral clip, a dedicated website and a Facebook page where visitors are encouraged to join "Generation awake'' and accept challenges, like using only public transport for a month or reducing showering time to save water.

The Europe-wide campaign is being launched in Poland, which currently holds the rotating EU Council Presidency. The launch event in Warsaw features a stand where visitors will be given tips on sustainable cooking, fashion, and efficient energy use, and a public debate on "Your choices make a world of difference", featuring Janez Potočnik, Minister Kraszewski, and representatives of NGOs and the private sector.

Other launch events will also be organised this year in the Czech Republic, Hungary and the United Kingdom.

Background to the campaign: why resource efficiency?

Resource efficiency is about using resources sustainably – doing more with less and minimising impacts on the environment. It is about making the right choices to ensure a good quality of life, not just for now, but for generations to come.

Using natural resources more efficiently is the only way to achieve the health, wealth and well-being we all aspire to within the limitations of the planet. Becoming resource-efficient means changing our way of thinking and patterns of behaviour and taking account of how our choices affect natural resources. It's not about consuming less – it's about consuming differently.

Our future depends on how we use resources now. In our eagerness to improve our standard of living, we tend to consume without thinking about the consequences. We forget the impact of our behaviour on natural resources such as water, fertile soils, clean air and biodiversity. And this has a price: as these resources become more scarce, we put our future welfare at risk.

Businesses can use this opportunity to their advantage. Increasing efficiency can save costs. Sustainable products and new services open up new markets. Innovation can increase competitiveness and create new jobs.

Full details on the campaign's multilingual website: www.generationawake.eu

Video clip "generation awake": http://www.youtube.com/user/GenerationAwake

See also http://ec.europa.eu/environment/resource_efficiency/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)


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