CONNETION BETWEEN EDUCATION level and source of 3R knowledge WITH THE PRACTICAL USE OF 3R PRINCIPLES
Assist. Prof., PhD, Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb, Croatia, email@example.com
Modern economic and technological developments have long been recognised as drivers of intense impact on the future potential of our planet and its sustainability for the long term. In recent decades the scientists and a society as a whole have been trying to find a solution for minimizing the impact on the planet and the people. Some answers seem to emerge in recent developments of technology which enables transformation of the old ways and implementation of the new economic concepts such as social entrepreneurship, doughnut economy, circular economy, sharing economy etc. The practical implications are reflected in accepting the principles (the pillars) of sustainability known as the 3R: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Applying these in practice, leads to decrease in the usage of energy and resources thus lessening the impact on the environment. To achieve the results, the societies should take twofold actions, on the producers’ side, as well as on the side of the consumers.
In this paper the author focuses on the consumers’ side of the equation trying to identify what motivates the consumers to engage in responsible and sustainable consumption and could the education be the key factor that enables turning the “green” concepts into their everyday practice. The consumers play an extremely important role where the waste would go, thus giving the companies to recollect the items that can be used as a new input. On the other hand, the consumers, who apply responsible and green choices when buying products and services, can also convince the producers to shift towards more sustainable resources and ways of doing their business, due to the economic motivation.
After the literature review of the latest research in this area, the authors present a part of a larger research project which explores the Croatian consumers’ awareness and their engagement in reducing the waste, reusing the items that still can be used and separating the waste before the disposal to make the recycling possible in their everyday life. This preliminary communication seeks the connection between the sources of knowledge about the circular economy and the 3R concepts and the consumers practicing such a behavior. On the other hand, it also tries to check if the education level can be the important channel to create more aware and responsible consumers that apply the 3R principles in practice.
Keywords: education, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, circular economy, reduce, reuse, recycle.
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