ENVIRONMENTAL awareness means the responsibility of people or consumers to understand the environment and the consequences of their consumption.
Consumers should recognise their individual and social responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect the earth for future generations.
And social concern addresses the need for consumers to be aware of the impact of their consumption on other citizens, especially disadvantaged or powerless groups whether in the local, national or international communities.
These are the comments of Consumer Council of Fiji's chief executive officer Premila Kumar as the council launches its Switch and Save campaign today.
While the council continues to constantly fight for consumer rights, Switch and Save is a campaign that addresses consumer responsibility where consumers are being encouraged to take a simple practical action, that is switching and using energy-saver light bulbs.
The campaign has benefitted from funding by Consumers International's Green Action Fund on sustainable consumption.
"Not only does this (campaign) invoke consumers to exercise their consumer responsibility, it also is one of the many ways in which they can practically reduce their electricity bills and save money that can be diverted towards other pressing basic needs," said Mrs Kumar.
"This is one campaign that focuses on what the consumers can actually do for themselves in a more practical way that would not only encourage them to exercise their responsibility but also help them save money.
"For example if a consumer replaces 10 normal 75 watt bulbs with energy-saver (14 watt), he or she will be able to reduce his or her monthly electricity bill by $25.90 — that if each light bulb on average is switched on for four hours per day."
Mrs Kumar said the campaign also involved the council taking the Switch and Save message on its community and school visits, mobile units and other consumer education initiatives.
She said the council had observed that many consumers in Fiji were still using normal energy-hungry light bulbs.
"The council is lobbying and encouraging the local business community, particularly retailers to market more energy-saver bulbs and ensure more choices and competitive prices for consumers," she said.