French young people call for buying boycott on climate

Young people in France are calling for a global “Citizen’s Boycott” for the climate this weekend, asking people to not buy or consume anything - including watching television - on March 15 and 16.

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So far, almost 60,000 people have said that they are "interested" in the “Zéro Conso (zero consumption)” call on Facebook, with 15,000 confirmed to be taking part.

The Boycott Citoyen movement invites people to consume products more responsibly, creating less waste and using fewer resources.

It is asking people to refrain from buying or consuming as much as possible, including no taking out money, no watching television, turning off lights, no using phones or electronics more than strictly necessary.

It also includes no online shopping, and reducing the use of non-recyclable materials such as plastic.

The movement coincides with the climate protest marches that are also scheduled for this weekend, which have been created by young people and scientists in France and beyond.

A Facebook page for the boycott reads: “Do not spend a centime, do not take out money; be the most non-existent consumers that it is possible to be, and go to swell the ranks of protesters everywhere in France, to show our leaders that we refuse to nourish a dying system with our buying power.”

Since October, the Boycott Citoyen group has called on people to no longer buy from major brands, and to question the use of plastic, or travel such as flying on planes.

Carole Garland, one of the movement’s founders, said: “Many people think that restraining themselves [from buying] is deprivation. On the contrary - this can be a way of freeing up your creativity and curiosity, and get closer to other citizens, who - like us - want to change their consumption habits.”

The group is also planning a further push: on March 17, it is calling on people to buy from small and ethical businesses instead of major brands.

It said: “From March 17, let’s go to see our small business owners, ethical shops, bulk warehouses and small producers, who make the effort to create fairer consumption.”

Ms Garland added: “There is a time for being radical. There are more and more calls for civil disobedience, and even the head of the UN has called on civilised society to take action in the face of inaction towards climate change from [our] leaders.

“It is now the time to move into action, and question ourselves.”

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