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Sustainable Living: Bridging the North-South Divide in Lifestyles and Consumption Debates

Authors
  • Hayward, Bronwyn
  • Roy, Joyashree
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Oct 17, 2019
Volume
44
Pages
157–175
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-environ-101718-033119
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This article presents a critical assessment of the literature on sustainable consumption in the global North and South, in the context of accelerated and megascale transitions that are needed across all human activities, in ways that “leave no one behind,” as envisaged in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It challenges two dominant, related research foci: an emphasis on the individual and individual aspirations of the good life, and the policy incrementalism of rational, ecological modernization. Although conceding individuals must act consciously to advance sustainability, nuanced interpretations of collective sustainable living rarely feature in mainstream research. Discussion highlights values of extended family, tribe and community solidarity, and human and nonhuman interrelationships for harmonious, peaceful, spiritual, and material coexistence. Concepts such as Ahimsa (India), Buen Vivir (South America), Ubuntu (Africa), Hauora (New Zealand), or Shiawase and Ikigai (Japan), for example, can enrich understandings of sustainable living as long-term collective action for sustainable development and reducing climate change.

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