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 16, 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 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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