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Green consumption or sustainable lifestyles? Identifying the sustainable consumer

This paper examines green consumption in the context of an increasing focus on sustainable lifestyles. The authors argue that green buying must be seen in the context of wider debates surrounding the development of sustainable ways of living that incorporate other environmental actions in an holistic conceptualisation of sustainable lifestyles. This framework is operationalised in a study of environmental action in and around the home, in which 1600 households in Devon were asked questions concerning their everyday environmental actions. These results were manipulated so as to investigate how the different behaviours related to each other and also whether different groups of individuals could be identified, conforming to different lifestyles. The results suggest that conventional forms of green consumption can indeed be related to other forms of environmental action and that at least four different types of environmentalist can be identified. The implications of these results for policy makers are discussed at the end of the paper.
Andrew Gilg, Stewart Barr, Nicholas Ford
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