Quebecers, responsible consumers?

Photo: Graham Hughes The canadian Press
The Observatory on responsible consumption (OCR) has taken advantage of the excitement of “Black Friday” to reveal its eighth barometer on the way in which consume the Québécois.

Buy local, sorting waste, avoid unnecessary costs : the responsible consumption has penetrated into the habits of Quebec, these last few years. If 85.9% of them consider it essential to review their modes of life and consumption, remains to be done to ensure that these practices are integrated in everyday life.


“Do as I say but not as I do” : the willingness is there, but actions do not follow. The index of responsible consumption (RCM) in Quebec demonstrates the following : it has lost 1.3 percentage points between 2016 and 2017. The ICR has been calculated based on a survey conducted among a Web panel of 1002 respondents, from 15 September to 3 October.


The Observatory on responsible consumption (OCR), affiliated to the School of management sciences of UQAM took advantage Wednesday of the excitation room to the approach of the “Friday mad” (” Black Friday “) — as stores placardaient their shop windows, posters of balances tempting — to unveil his eighth barometer on the way in which consume the Québécois.


If the numbers have anything to do batting an eyelid, the director of the Observatory, Fabien Durif, wants to be reassuring, reminding us that it is necessary to consider the IRC over several years for a trend to the upside or to the downside.


Thus, since 2010, it has instead increased by 0.8 of a point. “There are variations, but they are lightweight, so it is more reminiscent of a stagnation,” analysis, recognizing that these green practices are struggling to move to the higher speed.


The researchers, who have closely scrutinized many habits of consumption, consider some of the still “fragile” in the province, in a test phase with the population, sometimes even ignored.


Two of them are still firmly entrenched in the routine of Quebec : recycling, exercised by 90.1% of participants, as well as the local consumption (72 %), increase compared to 2016 2.1 and 0.7 percentage points respectively.


The action seems slower in terms of déconsommation (68.4 per cent), protection of the environment (67.6 percent) and animals (66 %), composting (48 %) or use sustainable transport (43.2%) are all down compared to the previous year.


“It depends on the fashions and trends of the moment, but also the treatment of these subjects by the media, or the communication of information,” says Mr. Durif to explain the different levels of success of a way of doing business to the other.


Policy framework


“Some practices require more effort, sometimes they require facilities, such as composting, for example. This is not all the world, which has its own compost bin donated by the City, ” he argued.


In this respect, the discourse and the policy actions have a critical role in the adoption of these modes of consumption more responsible.


“There is a coaching box in the recycling, does it for example. The cities have adopted an entire organization for that, and the awareness is made on the side of businesses and citizens .”


The same goes for buying local, which is advised by both the economists and the politicians as by the small traders of the area, and praised to encourage the local economy.


If it was a few years ago yet this way of consuming is basically about the food, but now it is spreading all tradable sectors, including manufacturing.


According to the Observatory, the “made in Quebec” and the “made in Canada” on the side in the mansions, one-in-two who indicated the place of manufacture is a very important criterion when purchasing a piece of furniture.


“Is it going to last ? It is difficult to predict, but I have the impression that, yes, that this is not a trend. “


And more and more governments, regardless of the political level, mentor and encourage such practices, the more they will be likely to gain a foothold in the habits of life of all.


“The important thing in this approach is to never feel guilty about the consumers, unlike businesses, with which one can be more challenging, said Mr. Durif. It is normal that citizens do not have necessarily the time and the desire to be as responsible in their behaviour. It is especially necessary to inform them and encourage them with incentives. “

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