- Aug 2023
The graph shows that ecological awareness does in fact lowers the footprint of high income consumption. They may shift from meat to plant based diet or fly less. Yet, they still consume more, fly more, travel more, buy more items, larger homes, larger cars etc. etc. This problem is why policies that promote circular-responsible-organic-whatever products will not deliver to targets.
- for: sustainable consumption, individual change, impact of environmental awareness, Custora
- individual consumption choices have an impact, but far from enough
- system change is also required on policy and structural level
- voluntarily reducing our income could be one way
- Mar 2023
Sustainable consumption scholars offer several explanations forwhy earth-friendly, justice-supporting consumers falter when itcomes to translating their values into meaningful impact.
- earth-friendly, justice-supporting consumers cannot translate their values into meaningful impact.
- “the shading and distancing of commerce” Princen (1997) is an effect of information assymetry.
- producers up and down a supply chain can hide the negative social and environmental impacts of their operations, putting conscientious consumers at a disadvantage. //
- this is a result of the evolution of alienation accelerated by the industrial revolution that created the dualistic abstractions of producers and consumers.
- Before that, producers and consumers lived often one and the same in small village settings
- After the Industrial Revolution, producers became manufacturers with imposing factories that were cutoff from the general population
This set the conditions for opaqueness that have plagued us ever since. //
time constraints, competing values, and everyday routines together thwart the rational intentions of well-meaning consumers (Røpke 1999)
- assigning primary responsibility for system change to individual consumers is anathema to transformative change (Maniates 2001, 2019)
This can be broken down into three broad categories of reasons:
- Rebound effects
- increases in consumption consistently thwart
effciency-driven resource savings across a wide variety of sectors (Stern 2020).
-sustainability scholars increasingly critique “effciency” both as:
- a concept (Shove 2018)
- as a form of“weak sustainable consumption governance” (Fuchs and Lorek 2005).
- Many argue that, to be successful, effciency measures must be accompanied by initiatives that limit overall levels of consumption, that is, “strong sustainable consumption governance.
- Rebound effects
This must change. The voting-with-your-purchases narrative, al-though constructed for us, has found fertile ground because of thecombination of (a) a growing sense of urgency among many thatsomething must be done about the environment, and (b) a deepen-ing confusion about how one productively engages in “politics” and“structural change.” Together, (a) + (b) enable the prevailing story thatthe checkout line at the market is where we can do the most good forthe planet, and for those treated unjustly. Recent developments in-dicate that individuals and groups are increasingly challenging thisstory, however. Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, and otherinitiatives are once again making environmental and social policy aquestion of political engagement. Let us join them in re-appreciatingand regaining our political power and capacities
// - The power of transformation also lay in new organizational forms at the intersection of citizens as both resource users and voters. - It lay in understanding that the existing dichotomies are also created by us and we can create new forms if motivated - If there are enough of us, we can create new truly consensus forms of resource usage, such as Cosmolocal production - https://jonudell.info/h/facet/?max=100&expanded=true&user=stopresetgo&exactTagSearch=true&any=cosmolocal
The resulting focus on saving the world as a consumer, onegreen-lifestyle action at a time, blocks inspirational avenues to work-ing collectively as citizens toward the good life.
// key observation
People cannot reason and weigh every consumer decision every timethey act. Most of the hundreds of small decisions we make are basedon daily routines. We simply would not be able to function otherwise.And our routines, in turn, are strongly infuenced by their social andmaterial contexts. Time, societal norms of comfort and appropriatebehavior, and fnancial structures, all play a role here. Breaking rou-tines and practices requires far more than the provision of informationabout products and product use. It requires a change in the institu-tions and structures supporting them.
// argument against consumer sovereignty
How to satisfy these needs can be a question of personalchoice, as long as maximum consumption standards are not violated.In other words, “satisfers” do not receive the same kind of protec-tion via consumption corridors that “needs” receive
Minimum consumption standards will ensure that individualsliving now or in the future are able to satisfy their needs, safeguardingaccess to the necessary quality and quantity of ecological and socialresources. Maximum consumption standards, in turn, are needed toensure that consumption by some individuals does not threaten theopportunity for a good life for others. The space between the foor ofminimum consumption standards and the ceiling of maximum con-sumption standards produces a sustainable consumption corridor.
-Paraphrase - Minimum consumption standards - will ensure that individuals living now or in the future are able to satisfy their needs, safeguarding access to the necessary quality and quantity of ecological and social resources. - Maximum consumption standards* - in turn, are needed to ensure that consumption by some individuals does not threaten the opportunity for a good life for others. - Consumption corridor - Sustainable consumption corridor** - The space between the floor of minimum consumption standards and the ceiling of maximum con- sumption standards produces a sustainable consumption corridor.
- myth of sustainable consumption
- consumer sovereignty
- myth of technology as savior
- Industrial Revolution and alienation
- attitude-behavior gap
- sustainable consumption
- maximum consumption standards
- beyond dichotomies
- sustainable consumption corridor
- myth of consumer sovereignty
- needs and satisfiers
- rebound effects
- Jevon's paradox
- consumption corridor
- minimum consumption standards
- behavior-impact gap
- key observation