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Have you ever heard of the term sustainable consumption and production (SCP)? SCP is one of the main goals of SDG (Sustainable development goals), which is responsible production and consumption that aims to create sustainable consumption and production (SCP). According to UNEP (2011), SCP is “a holistic approach to reduce the negative impact on the environment caused by consumption and production systems while developing the quality of life for all” (Akenji et al., 2015). One of the important components of the SCP is sustainable consumption issues.

Sustainable consumption, especially in developing countries such as Indonesia, has two (2) important aspects, namely the need to pay attention to underconsumption and at the same time, overconsumption of some consumers. The lifestyle and overconsumption patterns of millions of consumers in developing countries are now similar to those in developed countries, especially for the young and educated elite. Following consumer patterns in developing countries, the consumption transition patterns will lead to larger houses and apartments equipped with new equipment, new modes of transportation as well as increased private vehicle ownership, increased flights, new diets, and new goods and lifestyles. This increased consumption leads to higher resources consumption.

Guidance on the transition of consumption patterns to be more responsible can be made through the application of policies and frameworks that benefit environmentally and socially friendly products and services. This can be achieved through labeling, subsidies and information campaigns. However, studies related to trends in sustainable consumption patterns in Indonesian society are still very limited. Therefore, the Greeneration Foundation (GF) conducted a small research related to the sustainable consumption patterns of the Indonesian people, especially in big cities. Furthermore, this data is expected to be used by GF to conduct education with information that is preferred, needed, and has a greater impact on the public.

About the Study of Trends in Consumption Patterns in Indonesia

This study was conducted through a survey on February 14th-28th in 2021. The survey form was created using Google Forms and shared through WhatsApp groups and the Greeneration Foundation Instagram. At the end of the study, data was obtained from 120 people. The survey contains questions using a Likert scale and essay questions targeting urban communities. From demographic data, it is known that as many as 62% of respondents are women and are aged 19-25 years (45%) and 26-35 years (38%). More than 50% of the respondents have no educational background or work in the environmental sector and 25% of the respondents have never joined an environmental organization at all. The respondents are still dominated by respondents from Java Island as much as nearly 60% (one-third even came from West Java). As many as 60% have an undergraduate education and 20% of them have a high school level education.

The survey related to the issue of public consumption patterns was asked using a Likert scale to ask how much respondents agreed with a statement. The statements in this survey can be grouped into three categories, namely knowledge, intention and consumption behavior which can be seen in more detail in Table 1.

Table 1     Groups of statements in the survey related to consumption patterns

Knowledge Intention Behavior
For me, carbon footprint information on the product’s label is important I am willing to pay more for a product that is certified to be environmentally friendly (environmentally friendly) or fair trade (fair trade) I always compare product prices even for small, cheap items
I don’t know what I can do to save the environment I have no intention to try organic products I’m trying to consciously reduce my carbon footprint
Vegetable waste can be processed to become compost I feel pressured to be more environmentally friendly When traveling, I prioritize luxury and comfort over environmental awareness
Global warming is a serious threat to mankind   I prefer imported products over local
The concern for the environment is highly exaggerated   I am sorting out the waste at home
    I try to buy products in large sizes

Survey Results

The results of the survey are presented in Figure 1. Figure 1 shows the average score of how the knowledge, intention, and consumption behavior patterns of respondents from the 14 statements submitted. Score 1 means strongly disagree and Score 7 means strongly agree with the statement given. In general, for positive statements, on average, respondents somewhat agreed with the statements mentioned and for negative statements, on average, respondents slightly disagreed with the statements mentioned. It means that in general, the respondents’ knowledge, intentions, and behavior lead to a behavior pattern that is more aware of the impact resulting from excessive and environmentally unfriendly consumption patterns.

However, there are some interesting findings from this survey results, such as related to statements related to the context of knowledge. On average, respondents have very good awareness and knowledge of environmental issues. Respondents know which things are dangerous and they have good basic knowledge of environmental issues. This can be seen from the value of the statement “vegetable waste can be processed into compost” and “global warming is a serious threat to mankind” which gets a score of 6, which means agreeing with the statement, whose value is greater than other statements and disapproving of the statement “environmental concern is too much exaggerated”.

Another interesting point, for the intention and behavior of the consumption pattern, the mean score of the respondents is 5 which means somewhat agree. This average score shows the trend of environmentally friendly consumption patterns of respondents. Although, this can also indicate that there is some gap between knowledge and intentions and the behavior of the respondents. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing because knowing and doing are two different things. This gap must be filled by activists, communities and environmental NGOs to educate and provide information to the public so that, apart from having increased knowledge about the environment, the community also has a more environmentally friendly consumption pattern.

Figure 1 Knowledge and consumption behavior patterns of respondents

Sustainable Lifestyle Motivation

To further close the gap between knowledge and behavior, this study also asked respondents what factors encourage people to adopt sustainable lifestyles in their daily lives. There are 3 key answers given by respondents, namely:

  1. The importance of knowledge and awareness of consumption patterns in the digital era. Information and awareness to inform us that every day we produce waste, even as small as consuming coffee sachets or buying snacks. Also, the importance of being aware of how little we do, it will have a big impact if everyone does. Applying a minimalist lifestyle and adopting the 3R lifestyle are examples that can be done.
  2. Shock therapy by showing immediate effects, such as seeing events such as seahorses carrying cotton buds or straws that stick to the turtles, to generate awareness.
  3. In the end, knowledge, awareness and direct calamity must be followed by good economic and social strength. Many sustainable things that can be done are hindered due to economic concerns, for example choosing organic and certified products is a luxury that cannot be done by everyone. Apart from economic, good social life is just as important. Responsible consumption patterns must become the norm in society, so that a different person is not one who sorts waste, but one who does not sort waste.

Multi-stakeholder Role in Sustainable Lifestyle

Another interesting fact is that 75% of respondents agree that all parties, including the government, producers, distributors and consumers are responsible for implementing sustainable consumption and production patterns. Based on the answers from respondents, specifically for producers, there are five important things that must be done by producers or companies to achieve a sustainable production pattern, namely:

  1. Producers must be responsible for the waste they produce by at least following the principles suggested by environmental certification (ecolabelling). The application of the principle of zero waste is important to be applied in all aspects of production and distribution;
  2. Redesigning products and packaging so that they use raw materials and designs that are not, or at least less, harmful to the environment. The new packaging must be able to be renewed and utilized further. At a minimum, the packaging must be recycled independently by consumers or by companies;
  3. Efficiency and optimization of resources must be continuously improved so that the same amount of goods can be produced by using fewer resources;
  4. A proper waste management to avoid polluting the environment, if possible this production waste can be sold and reused for other industries, such as in the principles of circular economy and industrial ecology;
  5. Engaging communities, NGOs, and environmental experts in making company decisions that have an impact on the environment.


In the end, the adoption of consumption and production patterns in Indonesia is a shared responsibility. Responsible consumption patterns will not have any effect without producers applying responsible production and distribution patterns. However, by adopting responsible consumption patterns, we as consumers can pressure producers and companies, both directly and indirectly, to take responsibility for all the impacts that occur and try to minimize these impacts as little as possible.

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