Exploring sustainable lifestyles through cases

Out now, this research paper gathers case studies from all over the world to try to understand the direction of development, possibilities and challenges to living in a sustainable way.

Sustainable Lifestyles Policy and Practice: Challenges and Way Forward provides an overview of the current (2019) situation for sustainable lifestyles globally.  It includes 32 case studies from around the world, showing on-going efforts to support the transition to sustainable ways of living.

The key messages of the publication are:

  • There are challenges in conceptualising and implementing sustainable lifestyles. Although there are many promising policies and practices, sustainable lifestyles is not currently always considered from a holistic perspective and frequently suffer from approaches that overly emphasise one method or theme.
  • Ideas such as wellbeing and planetary boundaries are not fully included, consideration of urban middle class lifestyles remains dominant and thinking is too frequently focused on typical consumption domains such as buildings, consumer goods, food, mobility, and leisure.
  • Moreover, there are considerable challenges in implementing sustainable lifestyles policies and practices both in evaluation and scaling. There are a number of means of evaluating sustainable lifestyles policies and practices, however the adoption of such methods is not widespread and are frequently complex and labour intensive.
  • There are a variety of possible means of scaling. The most promising means of scaling appears to be what is referred to as scaling deep – that is scaling through changes in norms and values. This publication finds that due to the tremendous variety of approaches and contexts globally, this concept of scaling deep is key for sustainable lifestyles.
  • Sustainable lifestyles requires a shared understanding of the need to combine wellbeing with respect for ecological limits, but the means by which this will be achieved will vary considerably globally.

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