Sustainable Consumption, Promise or Myth? Case Studies from the Field
This book brings together a number of recent case studies from the broad field of sustainable consumption. As they evaluate the promises, myths, and critiques of sustainable consumption, these essays can also be categorized into a range of different societal perspectives, from the individual to collectivities.
The first chapters explore the personal consumer, discussing how individual consumptive choices relate to lifestyle and culture, and how choices are reflected in the carbon footprints of consumers and vehicles like the automobile. The ongoing phenomenon of outsourcing production and thus the emissions of cities—in more affluent countries—and the resulting “low-carbon illusion” of cities is analysed, as is the inefficiency of density policies to mitigate these emissions.
The volume then moves on to consider community-based resource sharing, environmental entrepreneurs, spillover effects and learning possibilities. Also investigated are intentional communities born of alternative economic thought, suburban neighborhoods, and questions of whether cultural activities can be considered within the field of sustainability in lower-income city outskirts.
The third part of the book analyzes different social movements in sustainability, as well as the limits of policy, government regulation, and the potential for mainstreaming sustainable consumption.
In each chapter, scholars explore sustainability, from the individual to the collective, in order to improve understandings of consumer lifestyles and provide critiques of the processes of societal transition toward more sustainable human-environmental life.
Jean Léon Boucher is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Formerly a Mechanical Engineer, he gravitated to the social sciences and completed doctoral studies in Sociology at George Mason University, USA. His research interests are human-environmental sustainability, specifically the relationship between environmental attitudes, consumption behaviors, and the demographics of energy use.
Jukka Heinonen is a Professor at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Iceland and an Adjunct Professor at Aalto University, Finland. His research focuses on sustainability in the built environment, urban carbon footprinting and low-carbon human settlements. He has served as guest editor for Environmental Research Letters and Energies and Sustainability.
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