Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overindulgence is not the green option

Date:
December 20, 2010
Source:
Inderscience
Summary:
At this time of year, indulgence is the buzzword. Luxury goods to buy, roaring fires to relax by, jetting off to sunnier climes, visiting distant friends and family. But, how does this festive spirit align with environmental obligations and our attitudes to going green? Researchers in Norway suggest we are deluding ourselves that overindulgence is the environmentally friendly option.

At this time of year, indulgence is the buzzword. Luxury goods to buy, roaring fires to relax by, jetting off to sunnier climes, visiting distant friends and family. But, how does this festive spirit align with environmental obligations and our attitudes to going green? More to the point indulgence isn't just for Christmas it's for the whole year. Even during a severe economic downturn many people luxuriating in consumer goods, driving needlessly and turning up the thermostat in winter or the air-conditioning in summer as a right, foregoing their green credentials again and again

Now, Erling Holden of Sogn and Fjordane University College, in Sogndal, and Kristin Linnerud of the Cicero Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, in Oslo, Norway, have quantified this dichotomy between environmental attitudes and energy indulgence in the home. Writing in the International Journal of Sustainable Development, the team has carried out surveys to find a statistical correlation between factors that influence our ability to behave in an environmentally friendly way and the mechanisms of household consumption that contradict those attitudes.

They have revealed three paradoxical aspects of this problem. First, they discovered that a desire to project an environmentally friendly image has little influence on energy use in the home or on transport. Secondly, a sense of powerlessness prevents people from translating positive environmental attitudes into low energy use in the home and for everyday transport. Thirdly, a desire to self-indulge prevents people from translating their purportedly environmentally friendly attitudes into low energy use for long distance leisure travel, commonly air travel.

The team points out that, "Public information and awareness campaigns can give consumers information on how to behave in an environmentally responsible way, but tend only to influence categories of consumption with little environmental impact." They add that, "Structural change can be used to mitigate the effect of the sense of powerlessness and encourage environmentally friendly behaviour, but the desire to self-indulge is much more difficult to deal with."

When considering how we approach the issue of our environmental impact, the question that arises again and again and applies equally to taking one more luxury chocolate at Christmas as to booking that exotic holiday: "What is more important: our desire to indulge or the environmental impact of our activities?"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Environmental attitudes and household consumption: an ambiguous relationship. Int. J. Sustainable Development, 2010, 13, 217-231

Cite This Page:

Inderscience. "Overindulgence is not the green option." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217152520.htm>.
Inderscience. (2010, December 20). Overindulgence is not the green option. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217152520.htm
Inderscience. "Overindulgence is not the green option." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217152520.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) An Austrian balloon pilot has succeeded in taking a balloon deep underground, a feat which he believes is a world first. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Rescue crews finished recovering the remaining 27 bodies from atop Japan's Mount Ontake Monday. At least 31 people were killed Saturday in the mountain's first fatal volcanic event in modern history. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Japan's Mount Ontake Erupts

Raw: Japan's Mount Ontake Erupts

AP (Sep. 27, 2014) A volcano erupted in central Japan on Saturday, sending a large plume of ash high into the sky and prompting a warning to climbers and others to avoid the area. (Sept. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins