Exploring Sustainable Consumption
Environmental Policy and the Social Sciences
Consumption and lifestyles in the world's richest countries are a significant cause of global environmental problems. Consumerism is increasingly recognized as a major drain on global resources and the search for sustainable consumption is emerging as a key policy issue. In this text, Joseph Murphy and Maurie Cohen have brought together an internationally recognized group of authors who critically examine this key area of policy debate. Through papers by Jouni Paavola, David Goodman, Michael Redclift, Elizabeth Shove and other authors, "Exploring Sustainable Consumption" addresses issues including food and water consumption, green consumerism, the consumption of space, the role of technology and the pursuit of sustainable lifestyles. It criticizes naive proposals that emphasize technological optimism and a limited understanding of consumption practices. The authors locate sustainable consumption within the history of debates about the environmental impact of modern societies and examine how governments and others are approaching this issue. Each contributor examines consumption-environment relationships from his or her own disciplinary perspective. This literature is then used to outline approaches to policy and action.