Fostering sustainable consumption: A psychological approach.
This paper addresses the growing problems of excessive and unsustainable per capita consumption levels in the developed world. These problems are particularly urgent in the current context of ongoing destruction of the natural environment and degradation of planetary living systems, now considered to be reaching catastrophic proportions (Dietz, Ostrom, & Stern, 2003). It is therefore important to determine those factors that have a significant influence on more environmentally sensitive choices by consumers to help reduce our collective ecological footprint. In a recent quantitative study, it appears that tourists' levels of love and care for nature and pro-environmental values have a significant influence on pro-environmental choices and behaviour, and this influence seemed to be particularly important when more effort or sacrifice is required of individuals (Perkins, 2009). It will be useful to examine these effects within a broader population of consumers, not confined to tourists, using similar quantitative measures, in order to test the robustness of these previous findings and thus determine if there are implications for general consumer behaviour. Results of this proposed research will assist in identifying the relative size and psychological characteristics of the environmentally sensitive and aware consumer who may make many purchasing decisions based on their love and caring for nature. Moreover, such consumers may be willing to pay significantly more for appropriate environmental credentials and assurances associated with every day products and services. The findings could have significant implications for producers, suppliers and marketers wishing to target a group of environmentally responsible consumers.
Proceedings of EIRASS July 2010
Social and Community Psychology