The United Nations claims that current patterns of consumption are unsustainable. Consumption places a strain on natural resources and can lead to increased waste production. Consumption can involve anything from packaged foods to transport, leisure and tourism, and as we increase our demand for these products and services, we are using up valuable resources. Developed countries usually consume a great deal more resources than countries in the developing world, where basic needs for food, healthcare and education are often not met.
Agenda 21 promotes changes in patterns of consumption and production that reduce environmental stress and cater for the basic needs of humanity. Developed countries are encouraged to help other countries to achieve more sustainable consumption patterns by providing suitable technology. They should also lead by example by using fewer resources and producing less waste.