What are Sustainable Lifestyles? Sustainable lifestyles is a new concept and there are a variety of definitions. This project is using the definition developed by Dr. Lewis Akenji at IGES for the UN Environment report “A framework for shaping sustainable lifestyles: Determinants and Strategies”.
A “sustainable lifestyle” is a cluster of habits and patterns of behaviour embedded in a society and facilitated by institutions, norms and infrastructures that frame individual choice, in order to minimize the use of natural resources and generation of wastes, while supporting fairness and prosperity for all.
What governs these behaviours and choices are a group of diverse and complex drivers reflecting basic needs and desires, the personal situation, socio-technical conditions and physical and natural boundaries. The drivers cover a varied range and show that lifestyle and consumption decision making is determined by many overlapping constraining or liberating factors such as cognitive abilities, psychological, social, economic, policy and institutional frameworks.
Sustainable lifestyles are not then simply a matter of consumer choice, improved awareness and behavioural change, but involve the development of supporting frameworks to ensure sustainable lifestyles in the long term.
This project is devoted to understanding what the current situation is for sustainable lifestyles and the pathways towards future sustainability. During this initial stage of the project (spring 2018) we are focused on gathering examples of sustainable lifestyle solutions. Please find some idea starters on our examples page and please join us in exploring solutions by answering our questionnaire.