The Psychology of Sustainable Consumption

Humanity’s current pace, volume, and habits of consumption threaten to overwhelm the resources of our planet: the UN estimates that if the global population reaches 9.6 billion, we would need almost three planets to sustain our current lifestyle. Psychology has a lot to offer the understanding of current consumption levels, as well as in promoting strategies for reducing and mitigating the impact of our consumption on the planet.

To this end, in this small group meeting we seek contributions from psychology and related disciplines, that consider the issue of sustainable consumption. How is sustainable consumption defined and perceived? What are the barriers to achieving it – both at the individual level (e.g. when making purchasing decisions) and at the societal level (e.g. environmental policy)? How can sustainable consumption be promoted?