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Eva Heiskanen and Senja Laakso

Chapter 10, ‘Editing out unsustainability from consumption: From information provision to nudging and social practice theory’ by Eva Heiskanen and Senja Laakso addresses the question of whether unsustainability can be edited out from consumption in the journey from information provision to nudging and beyond. The authors begin by introducing the most commonly used methods to steer consumption towards these targets - from the provision of information to nudging and interventions based on a social practice perspective - along with examples and policy implications. The chapter illustrates the journey from what can be called the ‘mainstream paradigms in pro-environmental consumer-oriented change attempts’ (Keller et al., 2016: 77), to the critique of these approaches. The authors also present the newest ideas on how to make consumption practices more sustainable by nudging consumers and designing better choice architectures that help consumers change their behaviour according to their rational interests. They argue that to edit out unsustainable consumption patterns on a large scale we need to look beyond the individual consumer and individual instances of unsustainable consumption, to historical, structural and cultural factors shaping consumer society. The authors see research needs in exploring policy practices that prevent policymakers from making decisions more aligned with strong sustainable consumption.

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Oksana Mont and Eva Heiskanen

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Raimo Lovio, Per Mickwitz and Eva Heiskanen