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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Motivating Sustainable Consumption.
A review of evidence on consumer behaviour and behavioural change.
Consumer behaviour is key to the impact that society has on the environment. The actions that people take and choices they make - to consume certain products and services or to live in certain ways rather than others - all have direct and indirect impacts on the environment, as well as on personal (and collective) well-being. This is why the topic of 'sustainable consumption' has become a central focus for national and international policy. Why do we consume in the ways that we do? What factors shape and constrain our choices and actions? Why(and when) do people behave in proenvironmental or pro-social ways? And how can we, motivate and facilitate more sustainable attitudes, behaviours and lifestyles? Motivating Sustainable Consumption sets out to address these questions. It reviews the literature on consumer behaviour and behavioural change. It discusses the evidence base for different models of change. It also highlights the dilemmas and opportunities that policy-makers face in addressing unsustainable consumption patterns and encouraging more sustainable lifestyles. Changing behaviours - and in particular motivating more sustainable behaviours - is far from straightforward. Individual behaviours are deeply embedded in social and institutional contexts. We are guided as much by what others around us say and do, and by the 'rules of the game' as we are by personal choice. We often find ourselves 'locked in' to unsustainable behaviours in spite of our own best intentions. In these circumstances, the rhetoric of 'consumer sovereignty' and 'hands-off' governance is inaccurate and unhelpful. Policy-makers are not innocent