Sustainable consumption and changing practices

Authored by: Matt Watson

Routledge Handbook on Consumption

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138939387
eBook ISBN: 9781315675015
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380900


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So many of the ways in which consumption is contested gather around questions of sustainability. We can start this chapter with three of them. First, patterns of consumption are at the root of overall demands for resources and the goods and services they provide. That makes them problematic because those demands for resources are reckoned to total around 150% of the productive capacity of the planet (World Wide Fund for Nature, 2014). This represents the fundamental grounds of concern over the scale of contemporary global consumption. Definitions of sustainability are of course diverse and contested. But using up resources faster than they can be replaced is counter to the most foundational understandings of sustainability.

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