The next generation of consumers are perfectly placed to buck the alarming trend of global consumption to move towards a more environmentally-conscious and sustainable market, known as conscious consumption. But to do this they need to understand the status quo and the opportunities in their hands, otherwise how can they make the changes the world so desperately needs?
So why discuss conscious consumption and teach consumerism to children at school?
Move over, millennials. After being depicted as ‘entitled’ and accused of ‘ruining’ several industries, the generation that newspapers love to hate is officially no longer the centre of attention. Instead, it is now Generation Z’s turn to inform the trends and shape the market.
Gone are the days of having an opinion and simply sharing it amongst friends, or to a few in writing. In this world of accessible technology and social media, your voice can literally be heard by many, at the press of a button. Now it is possible to have an opinion, make it known and build a following, shaming those who don’t conform along the way too. Nowadays, you cannot help but see evidence of these worthy campaigns wherever you go, such as that against single-use plastic. Generation Z are here to make a difference and shout about it.
Can children develop conscious consumption skills and lead the way in changing consumer habits, such as moving away from single-use plastics?
What is Conscious Consumers?
Taken from my book, Literacy Beyond the Classroom, Conscious Consumers is a 5-lesson English project that uses video as a hook to teach students about consumerism through non-chronological report writing. We unpack who Generation Z are and how they are influencing consumerism in a socially conscious way.
Students will write a non-chronological report and create a marketing video to encourage the public to drink tap water rather than buying bottles of water. They will learn about the devastating impact that the bottled water industry is having on the planet, as well the health and budget benefits to drinking tap water. They will consider how to deliver facts in an interesting way on video, whilst covering non-chronological report writing and script writing.
All resources and full planning are free and available on Adobe EdEx:
Watch a completed student example of Conscious Consumers:
Interview with Hil Berg
Interviewed for Conscious Consumers is Hil Berg, who leads on sustainability and CSR strategy at Iceland Foods, advising the board and working on partnerships and communications.
Asked about ethical and sustainable business practices, and how to communicate these with current and future shoppers, Hil remarks, “We should be encouraging children to ask questions all the time about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, to question the brands that they like and the things they buy. We can only really make this world a better place by decreasing rampant consumerism and by getting people to vote with their wallets and stick with the businesses that are more responsible.”
Schools are a perfect place to teach children about consumerism and sustainable business practices.
Here’s that resource link again:
If you enjoyed Conscious Consumers, check out Literacy Beyond the Classroom, which improves English progress at Key Stage 2 by 3.75 times the UK national average. This innovative approach links global challenges to the five key National Curriculum areas in English: reports, instructions, persuasive language, fiction and poetry, and presentation skills, presenting ready-to-use lesson plans, exercises and activities to help teachers bring this concept to life in the primary classroom.
All projects can be completed using Adobe Spark. By teaching English in this practical, purposeful and meaningful way, we can inspire the YouTube generation to learn the literacy skills they need to influence the world around them and have a positive impact as global citizens.
Dominic is the Education Evangelist EMEA for Adobe Education. Before joining Adobe, Dominic found his passion for combining literacy with digital skills as a primary teacher both in the UK and internationally. From there, he was part of the first cohort on Emerge Education and used that as a springboard to start an education social enterprise. In 2018, he won the EDUCATE award from the Institute Of Education for a 4 month research project into improving KS2 writing using digital skills at 3.75 times the national average rate of progress.