Historical Archives of the European Union

The Historical Archives presents an online exhibition for Earth Day

Artefacts from the holdings of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) illustrate that organisation's campaigns to increase public awareness of sustainable consumer practices.

22/04/2021 | News

In 2012 the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) distributed a 'shower coach', a simple plastic hourglass to remind European consumers to cut back on their use of water and the energy needed to heat it.

This hourglass is one of the artefacts in the archival fonds of the BEUC, deposited in 2018 at the HAEU for long-term preservation and public access.

The fonds comprises gadgets issued by BEUC during their numerous environmental sustainability campaigns.

Protecting the earth and its natural resources is critical in our fight against climate emergency. This hourglass mirrors the current state of affairs in our endeavour to stop climate change and clean up our planet: while the message it sends is constructive and contributes to the well-being of the earth, its plastic composition illustrates the ubiquity of plastic pollution.

Fortunately, from 3 July 2021 the European Union is banning some disposable plastic products.

However, greater efforts should be put in place today for tomorrow's generations. Caring for nature is integral to our own health, and individual responsibility lies with each of us.

Consult the online exhibition here

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