Resurrecting sustainable practices: using memories of the past to intervene in the future

Cecily Maller, Yolande Strengers

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Practices that exemplify typical daily life in Western countries, such as multiple daily showers and driving cars to get from A to B, involve intense consumption of limited resources. There are concerns that the ongoing recruitment of people to these practices and their subsequent replication is rapidly accelerating as the practices spread from place to place in a globalised world. With the rise in per capita consumption occurring under the hovering spectre of climate change, pressure is mounting on policy makers to turn their attention to these routine forms of consumption embedded in everyday life. An obvious avenue for intervention is to consider how it might be possible to replace ‘unsustainable’ practices with more sustainable varieties (Spurling et al . 2013 ), such as wearing climate-appropriate clothing and/or building passively cooled and warmed homes, rather than relying on mechanical heating and cooling. Given that current everyday practices are often (but not always) more resource intensive than those performed in the past, one possibility is to think about how to resurrect past sustainable practices to reduce resource consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Practices, Intervention and Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond Behaviour Change
EditorsYolande Strengers, Cecily Maller
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317810797
ISBN (Print)9780415739634
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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