Table of Contents

The Global Challenge of Encouraging Sustainable Living

The Global Challenge of Encouraging Sustainable Living

Opportunities, Barriers, Policy and Practice

Edited by Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer

This unique book illustrates that in order to address the growing urgency of issues around environmental and resource limits, it is clear that we need to develop effective policies to promote durable changes in behaviour and transform how we view and consume goods and services. It suggests that in order to develop effective policies in this area, it is necessary to move beyond a narrow understanding of ‘how individuals behave’, and to incorporate a more nuanced approach that encompasses behavioural influences in different societies, contexts and settings.

Chapter 5: Emergent futures? Signposts to sustainable living in Europe and pathways to scale

Cheryl Hicks and Michael Kuhndt

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, public policy


There is new momentum for change regarding the environmental and social impacts associated with our current European lifestyles. While many societal actors – from governments to business and civil society – may differ in their ideas about the scale of change required and what should be done, citizens from across Europe are taking action. There is now mounting evidence of social innovation, citizen and community movements that are driving notable change towards more sustainable ways of living in Europe. Signposts to future sustainable societies are emerging. Individual examples of more sustainable living alternatives isolated to one part of our lives, one community or one demographic may appear to be niche exceptions to the mainstream of society. Taking a systemic view brings these examples together and provides us with a broader vision of what more sustainable living, and more sustainable societies, could look like. It is difficult for most people to imagine or visualize our lives in the future – and it is difficult to implement changes if we don’t know where we’re going. Visions and demonstrations of existing practice make abstract ideas become more tangible, and inspire action in order to realize our visions.

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