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In the great educational task aimed at moving towards a sustainable society, the issue of responsible consumption is of strategic importance, since there is a broad consensus on the role of consumerism as the main driving force of the unsustainable economy and culture.

Consumerism has managed to permeate in most social classes, mainly in developing and highly developed countries, due to the exponential growth that productivity has had, especially during the last seventy years.

Contrary to this situation, responsible consumption is understood as a conscious attitude of the repercussions of personal and collective consumption on a large part of the problems that afflict the world: environmental, socio-economic and cultural crises.

The responsibility in the consumption implies, the critical conscience, the ethical valuation and the active positioning in favor of the principles of justice, global solidarity and respect towards the Nature, and against the companies with practices and products that subvert and contravene these values. The congruent behavior that arises from these attitudes leads to voluntary austerity in regards to superfluous materialistic desires and caprices, finding satisfaction and fulfillment in social relations, the arts, nature and the construction of a universe away from utilitarianism.

The promotion of responsible consumption among members of the university community and its social environment has a dual purpose for the Autonomous University of Nuevo León: to promote the commitment to act in an ethical and responsible manner, and to show society that it is possible to adopt policy of responsible consumption without threatening the quality of life and well-being of people.

Responsible Consumption is understood as the actions aimed at carrying out the choice of products and services not only based on their quality and price, but also for their environmental and social impact, for the conduct and respect for human rights of the companies that make them. This concept is based on the idea that consuming is not limited to the satisfaction of a need, but implies influencing the economic, environmental and social processes that enable the good or product consumed.

The UANL promotes attitudes of Responsible Consumption among the members of the university community in order to become a reference and model of good practices for citizens, promoting the exercise of a consumption committed to Fair Trade and ecological, local or regional products , which is in accordance with the provisions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2015, in its section No. 12 that establishes responsible and sustainable consumption.

The main strategy established by the UANL to promote Responsible Consumption among the members of the university community, is mainly based on the reduction of waste generated in the performance of daily activities.

In this context, since 2015 the UANL promoted the Drinking Water Drinkers program, which included the installation of two water purification plants located in Ciudad Universitaria, which supply 12 drinking fountains located at the following sites:

Plant 1, drinking fountains: rectory building, Faculty of Architecture, Faculty of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Civil Engineering 1 and 2.

Floor 2, drinking fountains: Gaspar Mass 1 and 2 sports stadium, dressing rooms and soccer field, running track and basketball court, and fast soccer field.

During 2018, drinking fountains issued 553,517 liters of drinking water, which meant that members of the university community stopped consuming 1,107,034 bottles of commercial drinking water in the presentation of 500 ml.

The operation of this project represented great environmental benefits, by avoiding the generation of solid waste (PET bottles), protecting the health of users, in addition to significant economic savings for them, calculated at a little more than 10 million pesos.

This operation of the drinking water drinking fountains installed in Ciudad Universitaria has allowed the following environmental benefits to be obtained, by avoiding the generation of solid waste (PET bottles), protecting the health of users, in addition to significant economic savings for them.

Additionally, the UANL currently promotes different actions to carry out an efficient use of paper and plastic, encouraging the decrease in the consumption of these materials and / or their efficient use, which has allowed a significant reduction in the amount of waste generated . Some examples of these actions are the following:

  1. Apply the principle of reuse of materials in all possible cases (for example, use paper on both sides) before disposing of them.

  2. Use email to send communications, memorandums, invitations and documents avoiding printing and distribution.

  3. Use blackboards or bulletin boards, eliminating the sending of paper communications.

  4. Print documents as a draft, reducing ink waste and promoting reuse on both sides of the paper.

  5. Edit or correct documents in digital format and not on paper, helping to reduce their use.

  6. Establish donation campaigns and exchange of books and magazines between units.

  7. Promote the use of crockery in offices, meetings and conferences, reducing the use of disposable utensils to zero.

  8. Migrate to an electronic document management system or use platforms such as email (Outlook) in which you can schedule meetings, conferences, events formally, sending reminders of the appointment or event to all participants and request confirmation of reading, avoiding the generation of documents.

  9. Replace the consumption of bottled water, encouraging the use of a thermos or reusable personal container, which can be filled using a dispensing system.

  10. In coffee shops promote the sale of soft drinks in returnable glass bottles, also use crockery instead of disposable plates and cups.