Simple steps towards more responsible consumption

Luxembourg's "Overshoot Day" is set to change from 14 February in 2023 to 20 February in 2024. This day symbolises the moment when demand for natural resources exceeds the Earth's capacity to regenerate them for the current year, resulting in the use of future resources. Although the postponement of this date is a step forward compared with 2023, the delay until 20 February is not enough to meet our needs. 

However, this situation is not inevitable, as everyone can actively contribute to postponing this date. That's why the Directorate for Consumer Protection is calling for more responsible consumption. Responsible consumption covers many areas, not least the ecological impact of consumption, but also its social, economic and health impact. Responsible consumption therefore involves "consumption that is more respectful not only of the environment, but also of social and economic equity". By adopting a few reflexes in our daily lives, everyone can make a contribution.

Purchasing power

Choosing robust and repairable IT and household appliances, while checking the availability of spare parts, can help limit excessive expenditure on future purchases.

To maintain your purchasing power, it's also essential to be able to resist impulse buying, which can lead to over-indebtedness. Before making a purchase, it's important to ask yourself whether it's really necessary to buy the latest mobile phone, for example.

It is also advisable to pay attention to the warranties available, some of which offer additional repair times on top of the compulsory legal warranty.


Opting to repair household appliances, machinery or clothing instead of buying new is also a responsible approach to consumption. By having your goods repaired to extend their life, you reduce waste and over-consumption. This applies equally to household appliances, machines and clothing.

Second hand

In the quest for responsible consumption, buying second-hand is emerging as an interesting alternative, particularly for clothing. This eco-friendly option extends the life of existing items, reducing the demand for new production and minimising environmental impact. Choosing second-hand means choosing originality and making an active contribution to reducing waste.

Energy-saving appliances

Energy labels can help you make an informed choice when it comes to choosing appliances that consume less energy or water. These labels are compulsory for a wide range of equipment and specify the energy consumption of household appliances (washing machines, electric or gas ovens, fridges, televisions, etc.).


When it comes to food, favouring seasonal fruit and vegetables, local produce and short distribution channels are all ways of contributing to more responsible consumption. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are often cheaper, tastier and more energy-efficient to produce.

By organising your fridge efficiently, you can reduce wastage by indicating when produce should be opened and respecting the best-before dates. As far as storage dates are concerned, only the "use by" date applies to perishable foods. It is indicated by the words " use by...". Beyond this date, the food may present a health risk. For canned food, groceries and frozen foods, the words "best before..." indicate a date of minimum durability (DDM). These foods can be consumed after the best-before date, provided they have not been opened and have not been tampered with.


It's also vital to remember the importance of resisting the temptation of fast fashion, given that behind the glittering displays and attractive prices often lie hidden realities: precarious working conditions, sometimes even a failure to respect human rights, exploitation of natural resources and a disastrous carbon footprint. Responsible consumption means choosing quality over quantity and encouraging brands that are committed to transparency and sustainability.

Means of transport

Needless to say, public transport, cycling and walking are the best ways of getting to local shops. If you still need to use your car, you can make the most of your journeys by doing a lot of shopping in one go.

For online orders, you can encourage more efficient logistics by favouring the longer delivery times of "traditional" shipments over the shorter times of "express" shipments.

Recycling after use

Sorting your waste according to the instructions on the packaging is also a responsible thing to do. When it comes to foodstuffs, remember to empty containers properly and use organic waste for composting.

Not using a product does not mean that it has reached the end of its life: products in good condition can be given a second life by giving them away, exchanging them or selling them.

Finally, for products that really do have to be thrown away, we act responsibly by complying with sorting instructions, in particular by encouraging the recycling of materials such as glass, metals, plastic and paper.

The Minister for Consumer Protection, Martine Hansen, pointed out that "with our action, we are not passing judgement on consumer habits, but rather trying to provide information and encourage positive changes. It is essential that consumers understand the impact of their consumption choices so that they can make informed decisions. The government is also aware that responsible consumption sometimes involves greater expenditure. This is why the Directorate for Consumer Protection is currently studying the feasibility of introducing a repair bonus scheme at national level".

Press release by the Directorate for Consumer Protection

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